How to Care for a Salt Rock Lamp

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A salt rock lamp is made from chunks of real salt, sometimes carved into a shape such as a bowl or an organic rock-like form. A salt lamp used frequently requires very little care or cleaning, although it may "sweat" during humid weather. To clean it, simply wipe it with a slightly damp cloth while the lamp is unplugged.

The More You Use It, the Better

A salt lamp releases negative ions into the air while in use. These negative ions cling to airborne positive ions that contain dust and allergens, effectively neutralizing them or removing them from the air. The lamp also removes some humidity from the surrounding air while it's lit, so the room benefits from less dusty, cleaner and drier air.

Cleaning a Salt Lamp

A salt lamp won't collect much dust as long as it is used for hours each day. If you don't use the lamp for a while, dust may gather over any area exposed to air. Unplug the salt lamp and wipe it gently with a feather duster or lint-free, soft cloth. use a slightly damp cloth or sponge when the outer surface crystallizes a bit or for a more thorough cleaning.

Warning

  • Always unplug a salt lamp before cleaning it. Allow it to dry off completely before plugging it back in.

The Benefits of the Right Bulb Wattage

Sometimes, condensation may appear on the salt lamp, which happens when the surrounding air is excessively humid, if the bulb in the lamp is too low in wattage, or if the lamp isn't used enough to get the salt hot and dry. The longer you leave the lamp on, the drier it becomes; some manufacturers recommend leaving them on around the clock. While the ideal wattage or bulb type varies from one lamp to the next, it is best to choose replacement bulbs that have the same wattage as the original bulb included with the lamp. A 7-watt candelabra bulb offers a bit of ambient light, but it may not emit enough heat for the salt lamp to function properly, reducing its beneficial effects. Check the original instruction sheet from your lamp or look for a sticker on the outside of the bulb socket indicating the recommended bulb size and wattage. To replace the bulb, unplug the lamp and squeeze or slide the clips on the bottom of the lamp that hold the socket in place. Remove the bulb and replace it with a comparable model. LED bulbs may not work well in a salt lamp, since they do not emit much heat; stick with old-fashioned incandescent bulbs.

Warning

  • Allow a salt lamp to cool down before handling it or the bulb inside. While the salt generally won't get too hot to touch, the bulb and socket may.

Crystallization Concerns

If you don't use the lamp often and the air in the room is fairly humid, salt crystals may grow on the lamp base or even on the surface beneath its base. Place a tray or piece of felt at least an inch wider and longer than the lamp base to prevent damage to furniture, or wrap the lamp in paper or plastic and store it in a less damp area during humid seasons.

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