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Chandelier Cleaning New York and Palm Beach

Chandelier Cleaning & Restoration

Chandelier Cleaning & Restoration


He makes chandeliers sparkle again

by Margie Kacoha

PALM BEACH, FL - Alan Martuneac of Palm Beach, owner of Chantelle Chandelier Cleaning, started his business here in 1991. Now, he dismantles and cleans chandeliers that hang in private homes and local shops.

Martuneac is often called in to do the work that was traditionally relegated to the household staff. According to Martuneac, it isn't unusual for maids or butlers to injure themselves while taking down a chandelier for cleaning. A fear of heights can be a handicap, and Martuneac said looking down at the floor through the crystals of a chandelier can cause vertigo.

An average chandelier of 300 to 400 pieces can translate into a painstaking cleaning process, taking a full day's work. The mobile telephone number for Chantelle Chandelier Cleaning is (561) 371-6444.

Professional chandelier cleaning by Chantelle Chandeliers

Explain the process of cleaning a chandelier.

First, you have to get at it. One of the biggest things is just being able to reach it. They can be hanging in hard-to-get areas, like spiral staircases. Or they can be above a large round table, a heavy marble table you can't move. Some of them you can reach with a ladder; with others you need scaffolding. Sometimes a small hydraulic lift needs to be used just to get up to them.

Once I reach it, I take it apart because you can't clean it while you're up there. I take it apart piece-by-piece and take it down. I soak the pieces in a cleaning solution then dry them.

What prompted you to make chandelier cleaning a full-time business?

I originally worked on staff at an ambassador's residence in Norway. I helped a butler do it, and ended up doing it myself. In Palm Beach, I did it just for a couple of people who knew me. They suggested I make a business out of it because nobody else was doing it. It's basically stress-free, provided you're not going to fall or break anything.

Chandelier CleaningWhat is the most rewarding part of your business?

I think what I like best about it is meeting a lot of people and having the chance to see the insides of the many beautiful homes in Palm Beach.

And the most challenging?

The toughest part is trying to keep on schedule. A rushed job is impossible. If you try to rush, that is when you start breaking things.

What was the most difficult job you've ever encountered?

Cleaning a Waterford chandelier originally owned by Martha Washington. It was 8 feet in diameter, hanging 30 feet high in a vaulted ceiling. It was tough getting in there. It was a squeeze.

Has your business of cleaning chandeliers enabled you to branch out into other areas?

Yes, I'm asked to clean and rewire many type of light fixtures other than chandeliers. I also restore metals, so people have asked me to restore bronze statues, for example.

Chandeliers must require special handling. Have you ever had a mishap, or a near mishap, in your work?

I've been fortunate. I've only had to repair other people's mishaps. They do require special handling because many chandeliers are one-of-a-kind and replacement parts are difficult to find.

What advice would you give on the proper care and maintenance of a chandelier?

Don't touch it and don't use spray products that claim to rinse them clean. They don't. What they do is create a mud bath on the dirty chandelier. They also rot the wiring and the little pins that hold the crystals on. Once it is clean, you shouldn't have to redo it again for another three years. Covering them during the off season also prolongs their brilliance. Use plastic, not cotton, because it will melt, but not burn, it someone turns it on inadvertantly while covered.

What plans do you have for your business?

I might open a shop in Palm Beach where I could put up a few chandeliers for sale while using it as an operating base.

How do you spend your free time?

On my boat, fishing and diving.

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