How to Clean a Salt Lamp Without Breaking It
Owning a Himalayan salt lamp might be considered essential for some. Not only are they beautiful and decorative, but they also have a variety of benefits associated with them. We’ll talk about those benefits later in case you’re on the fence about buying a salt lamp.
While they offer many advantages, one of the issues people face is how to clean a salt lamp once they’ve used it a while. It’s easy for it to attract dirt and debris from the house, so you want to keep it as clean as possible.
What Is Himalayan Salt?
Himalayan salt is a kind of rock that has a distinctively pink color to it. If you buy a genuine Himalayan salt lamp, it will be made of a large chunk of the salt.
To ensure authenticity, it should be harvested in Pakistan from the Khewra Salt Mine. The salt from this area is probably millions of years old. Though it looks similar to regular table salt, it does have trace amounts of minerals in it. This gives it a pink hue.
How Do Salt Lamps Work?
Before we get down to the process of cleaning a salt lamp, it’s helpful to have background information on what it is and how it works. These “lamps” look like crystals, and no two of them are the same. You can find candles with tea lights, but many people prefer the electrical lamp.
The crystal has salt inside it. When the lamp (or candle) heats up the salt, it can provide its benefits to the room and you. Himalayan salt acts as an absorbent, so it soaks up all the particles and allergens that are floating in the air. People with allergies are sure to enjoy using a salt lamp because it can purify the air in the bedroom or anywhere in the house.
Once the salt does its job, it has to put water vapor back into the home environment. When you turn on the lamp, this starts happening. The heat works to activate the ions in the salt, releasing them into the air to keep the lungs clearer.
Where to Put Salt Lamps
Most people’s next question is where a salt lamp should be placed within the house. Some people like to have one in every room because they look beautiful and do so much good.
However, it is best not to use them in damp environments because the pink salt absorbs so much moisture. Therefore, you may not want them in your basement or bathroom.
Ideally, you’d want them in places where you spend a lot of time, such as the living room, your bedroom, or your office. Regardless of where you choose to put them, you’ll enjoy having it around, and its healing properties will make you feel great.
The Benefits of Having a Salt Lamp
Many of the benefits associated with salt lamps have no scientific support to back up the claims. However, those who have used them say that they work. Even if they don’t, the salt lamp won’t harm you and will look beautiful in your home.
When we talk about the benefits later, it’s important to understand that they are potential advantages. You may or may not experience such healing properties or notice a difference, and that doesn’t mean it’s not working or that it’s not beautiful.
1. Cleanses the air in your home
Negative ions (what is put back out into the air from the salt lamp) can clean the air of harmful particles. When these ions build up on pollen or bacteria, the pollutant is neutralized.
Scientists have suggested (though not proven) that positive and negative ions might kill germs. However, there’s no way to know yet how that happens. Some experts believe that the ability to kill germs happens from something else entirely.
Regardless, many people have experienced tremendous changes in the quality of the air in their homes. Those who smoke cigarettes inside their homes don’t smell the stale tobacco as much.
2. Prevents allergy attacks and asthma
Anyone who has trouble breathing because of asthma understands the significance of a clean house. However, getting there can be challenging because you kick up all the dust and allergens. Of course, your triggers may be different, but you want to breathe clean air.
A Himalayan salt lamp can filter a variety of things from indoor air. These include pet dander, mildew, dust, and mold. You’ll find that these are common triggers for people suffering from asthma and allergies.
Many inhalers for asthma sufferers use sodium, which is a form of salt. It is used to calm the bronchial passages and reduce inflammation. Therefore, using a Himalayan salt lamp might also have the same effect.
Of course, asthma isn’t the only upper respiratory issue with which the salt lamp could help. Turn it on when you have a bout of bronchitis or your COPD flares up. You may notice that you breathe a little easier.
3. Alleviates common cold symptoms
Any negative ions released by your salt lamp could protect you from airborne germs. What’s more, you’ll also breathe in those negative ions, which your body can use to filter the air better.
This can help you reduce sore throats, coughing, and sneezing. Not only will you feel better when you have a cold, but you can also reduce your risk of catching one.
4. Improves sleep and mood
Though it hasn’t been proven, many people believe that having positive ions in the air can increase a variety of negative things. For example, you may feel less anxious, less irritable, or have less unpleasant feelings.
When negative ions are introduced into the air, it can help to ease anxiety, stress, and depression. You may feel much better overall.
One study using mice and rats does suggest that significant amounts of negative ions in the air can alter serotonin levels. This is a chemical that contributes to you feeling good. The same study also suggested that negative ions can lessen depression in humans very slightly.
Regardless of the science behind it, the soft pink glow of a Himalayan salt lamp can be quite relaxing. It can help you unwind a bit. Plus, it may help you start to feel a little sleepy and induce sleep faster.
How to Clean a Salt Lamp
Of course, you probably did a bit of research already to determine if you should buy a salt lamp. You’ve now got it in your possession and have been using it for a while. It’s probably gotten a bit dirty or shows signs of crystallization, so you naturally wonder what to do about it.
Your salt lamp is soaking up all the bad stuff in your room, so it’s natural that it looks dirty. When you notice this, make sure to clean it by following these steps:
Step 1: Gather the things you need for cleaning.
The first thing you have to do is get some lukewarm (or room temperature) water and a clean cloth. Though you can use any color cloth, white might work best because it’s easier to see the dirt. The fabric should be soft and lint-free.
Step 2: Wet the cloth.
Soak the washcloth in the lukewarm water, ringing it out as much as possible while still keeping it moist.
Step 3: Start wiping.
It’s ideal to start in a spot that’s not visible; if there’s too much water or it’s too hot, it won’t damage a place that others see. Rub gently on the dirty spots. Check frequently to make sure you’re not rubbing off the salt and only getting the grime.
Step 4: Turn it on.
Once clean, make sure to turn on the salt lamp and let it heat up for at least two hours. In this way, it will dry faster and stay protected.
Salt Lamp Maintenance and General Care Tips
It is not enough that you know how to clean the lamp once it’s dirty; there are a few other things you should know to make sure it lasts long. Here are some more maintenance tips you want to keep in mind:
- Crystallization may look pretty and may make the product appear like it is growing, but it’s not ideal. Generally, crystallization on the lamp means that it is pulling in too much moisture and can’t handle it all.
Yes, it is growing to try to accommodate, but that can do significant damage and shorten its lifespan. Should that happen, try moving it to another part of the room that is drier.
- If you do find it too moist and have moved it around, you may also consider using the lamp more frequently than you currently do. This will keep it dry and will also give you more of the benefits mentioned earlier.
- It’s not a good idea to set the lamp on top of or near your electronics. You want it to be the focal point of the room, but these items can produce heat, which could release moisture from the lamp. Then, it could drip into the electronics and cause damage.
- Though you are likely to want to use your salt lamps everywhere, you shouldn’t leave them outside, such as on patios. It’s also best to avoid putting them near doors or windows.
- If your salt lamp has a marble base, you should keep it off leather, wood, or glass surfaces. Scratches are likely to happen if you do. You can still put it on these things, but you should use a decorative placement.
- Most people don’t think about it, but you shouldn’t put the lamp near loudspeakers or things that vibrate. Sometimes, the bulbs inside are sensitive and may shake or hit the side of the product. If that happens, the bulb or fuse might be displaced.
Ways to Prevent Moisture Build-up
Of course, the things you shouldn’t do are to prevent moisture from building up on and around your salt lamp. However, even if you avoid them, some moisture is bound to collect on the surface. This can lead to dust and other issues.
Water on its surface can be called melting, crying, or leaking. Regardless, there are a few tips to ensure that it doesn’t happen.
Primarily, you should leave the light on as long as possible. Though some arguments arise over leaving them on overnight or turning them off, these lamps are safe to have on all the time. Just check the manual to ensure that the manufacturer says this is okay.
If you do leave it on all the time and notice that it’s leaking, consider turning it off for a bit. Hopefully, doing this helps. Then again, the reason might be that you have it placed near a window or in a moisture-rich environment. If yes, move it.
Most people love their lamps and want to keep them in full view of everyone. However, there may be times where you need to store it and want to do that safely. For example, if you’re moving, you want to keep it protected. It’s likely to collect too much moisture and erode.
If you need to store the lamp for more than one week, find a plastic baggie that will fit it and place it inside. Get out as much air as you can and seal it so that it won’t collect moisture. It’s also possible to wrap it in multiple shopping bags or use cling wrap.
Himalayan salt lamps are delicate and can easily break. Therefore, when packing it, you should find a small box that fits it well (or use the original box from when you bought it). Use bubble-wrap or something similar to keep your item in place and cushioned.
Salt lamps are beautiful and are believed to offer a variety of health benefits, which is why they’re common household items. However, they can start to look dingy with all the dust and pollen they pull in.
Good thing, you now know how to clean a salt lamp. You also learned how they really are beneficial and got some general tips for proper care. Now, you can use it without fear and can keep it looking its best for many years to come.