Who Cleans the Light Bulbs? The House Cleaner or the Homeowner?

All right, on to today’s show, which is from a house cleaner who wrote into the show, and she wants to know about light bulbs, which is a great question because we run into them a lot at people’s houses. Now there are three main types of light bulbs that we’re going to deal with in a customer’s house.

There are incandescent light bulbs, there are halogen light bulbs, and there are florescent light bulbs, and you need to be able to tell the difference. If you go into a house and you see kind of a soft yellowish bulb, and it’s kind of a cheap bulb and you can see through the bulb, it’s probably an incandescent bulb. Those are the very cheapest on the market and they last for about 700 hours, but they are the lamps, they are used in lamps, they are used in like bedrooms for example, maybe hallways.

Don’t touch them with your hands

If you have a vanity that has those big lights around the vanity, those will be incandescent bulbs, and so you want to make sure that you don’t touch them with your hands as you’re screwing them in. You want to grab a paper towel or something to screw them in. When you touch them with your hands, and this is true for a lot of light bulbs, the oils from your hands will get on the light bulb and it creates a soft spot on that light bulb where when it heats up, because of the oils from your fingers, it can cause that to heat up quicker than the rest of the light bulb, and then the light bulb can explode. So, you want to make sure that you don’t touch the light bulbs with your hands. Another secret is you do not want to touch the light bulb, any light bulb when it’s hot, and I say hot meaning when it’s turned on.

So if you walk into a bathroom and they have those big incandescent bulbs, you want to walk in and the very first thing you want to do after you turn on the light and look and see that there’s dust on the top of them,turn the lights back off because they haven’t heated up yet. That’s when you want to take your soft microfiber cloth and you want to go over the tops of those lights. And yes, if you can see them and you can reach them, please wipe them down, get rid of the dust, or use your feather duster, whatever you’re using to dust that area, but you do not want to do it when it’s hot.

If those lights have been on for a few minutes and you come at that with a feather duster or even a microfiber duster, it’s possibly that the heat could suck and stick your duster on the light itself, and then it starts to sizzle, and then it pops.

And it’s really awful when you’re at a customer’s house, this has happened to me so many times, and finally you learn your lesson, right? But you’re at a customer’s house and they have a big lights, and those lights are weird, and they’re expensive, and they’re not easy to find. You have to go like down to the hardware store, and you touched it the wrong way, or your paper towel was wet, or something, something happened and it busts the light, and then you’re like “Oh, now I’ve got to replace it. ”And it’s annoying enough, because the customer’s used to that much lighting when they put their face on in the morning, and so now you’ve got to make a special trip and go get the light after you get off work today, and bring it back so they have it for getting ready for their face tomorrow morning.

Halogen light

Super annoying, but it is your job to replace it if you bust the light. All right, on to the next part of the next light. The next light is going to be a halogen light, and the halogen lights are like the incandescent light, they offer kind of a yellowish soft glow, and they’re more or less used for like under the cabinet lighting, or if you have those recessed lights that go in the kitchen. They’re kind of flat on the side, they’re not round like a regular bulb. They’re flat and they’re bigger than regular light bulbs. They’re also way more expensive, where a regular light bulb, an incandescent bulb might cost you a buck, this is going to cost you like 15 bucks. They’re super expensive, and so you want to make sure that again you never touch those with your fingers.

And so when you’re dusting those, especially if you’re doing like over the head dusting in the kitchens, make sure that those light bulbs are cool. So when you go in, before you even turn the lights on, you want to grab your duster with a pole and you want to dust all those areas, or your step ladder and your duster. Whatever you do, you want to dust those before you turn the lights on. And then, when you clean underneath the cabinets, also wipe those lights down when they’re not turned on. If those are turned on and they’re hot when you wipe them down, again, those risk breaking.

Now, the ones that are underneath the counter usually have a little glass, so you’re not touching the lights themselves, but you want to just be very careful with those as well. The third light that we want to talk about are florescent bulbs, and they’re very common in newer homes because people are more eco friendly and they’re trying to conserve energy, and these last years. Like many of them will last 10 years, and so people are unscrewing the incandescent bulbs, and they’re getting rid of those, and they’re going for the florescent bulbs.

The florescent bulbs are a little bit different as far as the lighting. It’s not really used for mood lighting because it’s kind of a greenish, bluish, bright white light, but it gives you great daylight and great visibility. So you’ll see these more in like garages for example, or you’ll see them in laundry rooms,or other rooms of the house like playrooms, where there’s bright light and we’re not trying to create an environment of nice ambiance that’s leisure and casual. It’s just like, “Hey, here’s a bright room. ”So, for studying, great for study hall. It’s great for your office, your home office.

In your living room you still may want to have one of the halogen bulbs, because you can dim those lights, where you cannot dim a florescent light. And so, in situations where you want the bright light and you want to be able to see, like in my office I’ve got lots of florescent light, and so it allows me to see at all different hours of the day and night, but in other parts of my house I may have a softer light that just kind of sets a glow about the room for the ambiance. So you will see halogen, and incandescent, and fluorescent lights all in the same house.

Key to remember

Keys to remember are, if you can see the light it’s your job to clean it. If dust gets on that light, it’s your job to clean it. If the light is inside a shell or a light fixture, if you can dust around the outside of the fixture, that’s your job. If it’s too far above your head and you’re not able to get to it, that goes along with deep cleaning, and you don’t do that on every single clean. And so, my suggesting is just be aware. There will be times on a deep clean that your job is to get on a step ladder and get up there and to clean those lights. And then for the regular cleaning, anything that you can reach.

And now for me, I always do the lights, because my arms from wing tip to wing tip are six foot three. I’ve got like these huge long monkey arms, and so I can with my duster, it makes it that much taller, I can reach up and just do the lights. All right, so make sure that you just follow the rules of lights, and that you recognize what lights you have, and that you know how expensive they are, because the fluorescent bulbs are super expensive, the halogen lights are super expensive, the incandescent lights are super cheap, but if you break any of them it is your job to replace them. So that’s my two cents for today on lights. Alrighty, until we meet again,leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.