How To Clean Outdoor String Lights For A Bright Look

Outdoor string lights increase the beauty of your yard. They lighten up your whole compound with a beautiful nice cozy vibe.

When it comes to cleaning the string lights, it becomes a little tricky. Because everything that is outside is never easy to clean.

The string lights are exposed to dirt, dust, rain, storm, and other natural happenings. Well, these things can make it a tough job for you to clean them.

Don’t worry; I am here to provide you with some simple solutions to this problem.

Cleaning Or Maintaining Outdoor String Lights

It’s always good to know about the thing which you are going to deal with. Especially when you don’t have much idea about it.

Today, I am going to talk about the process of cleaning outdoor string lights. I am also going to talk about some important facts about this.

So, don’t waste more time, and let’s get started.

What is a String Light?

Did you see those lights used to decorate lawns or yards on Christmas Eve? Yes, they are called string lights.

On a string light, there are several small lights connected to each other hanging on a wire or cable. A series connection is set there to power them up.

It means, once you attach it to the power, all the lights will light together. These string lights are generally used to decorate trees, walls, and the whole compound of a house.

String lights are also known as fairy lights or festive lights.

How Do String Lights Get Dirty?

If you just sit on your lawn for a couple of days, you will get dirty and have some dust all over your body! That might sound weird, but the fact is 100% true.

String lights are meant to be hanging outdoors for some time during the Festivals. Some people just hang them for decoration as well.

Yet, because of being hanged outdoors, string lights have direct exposure to dirt, soil, pollen and pollution, birds, and bugs. All of them can soil the string lights and make them dirty as hell.

In winter, snowfalls can also cover the string lights and when it melts, the dust over the lights becomes muddy and make the lights look dirty.

There are several ways outdoor lights can get dirty. There is no way you can stop them. The only option you have is to clean them.

Why it’s Important to Clean the String Lights?

Unless you invent something that will protect your outdoor string lights from dust, cleaning them is the best way. But why is that so important to clean the light?

On our houses in the US, we love to light up our houses for several days at festivals. At that time, while hanging there for several days, the lights will get dirty for sure.

I am sure you will not love to hang dirty or dusty lights to hang on Christmas. You will not love to store them like that as well. So, before you hang them or restore them, it’s necessary to clean them properly.

Some people install string outdoor lights for permanent decorative purposes. It’s good to clean them after a certain period of time.

Dust or soil can cover the lights and they will not give illumination like before. Dirt will obstruct the light. If you don’t clean them for long, there is a huge chance that you may lose your favorite string light.

String lights are not cheap. They cost a good amount of money to be made.

So, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on making string lights for each festival, you must clean them.

14 Process of Cleaning the Outdoor String Lights

Here I am going to show you the easiest way to clean the dirt string lights. To make it more understandable, I am going to show you the process in steps:

cleaning outdoor string lights

1. At first, you need to gather the necessary equipment to clean the lights. You will need a ladder, 2 buckets with water, a couple of clothes or towels, a soft bristle brush, a screwdriver, tapes, soap or detergent, a glass cleaner, wax, and a dryer. Make sure you have all of them before you start cleaning.

2. Unplug the lights from the electrical outlet. Never forget to do this part. You might get electrocuted if you skip this step.

3. Your string lights must be tied somewhere up. Use a ladder to bring them down carefully.

4. Remove the bulbs from the holder carefully. Make sure you don’t break any bulbs. Some holders might need screwdrivers to release the bulb. Use it if you need it.

5. Now, first clean the line or cord. It’s not wise to wash them with water. Clean it with a cloth. If the dirt looks sticky, you can clean them with a wet cloth. But make sure you dry it properly before installing again.

6. If you clean the bulbs at regular intervals, there will be simple dust over them. Wipe the bulbs with a dry cloth to remove the dirt. You can use the brush as well.

7. Some dirt becomes sticky or muddy. It happens when you clean the lights after a long interval. In that case, soap and water is the best solution.

8. In a bucket pour some soap or detergent and make foam. Soak a cloth in the foam and hold one light in another hand.

9. Now, start cleaning the bulb with soap soaked cloth or towel. After you did the same with all the bulbs, keep them aside for 5 minutes.

10. Soak another cloth in the fresh water and clean the soap from each bulb carefully with it.

11. Make sure the part that will go inside the holder never gets wet.

12. After that, spray some glass cleaner over the lights and wipe them with a fresh dry cloth.

13. Now it’s time to put some wax over the lights. Wax will keep dirt away for some time and your bulbs will shine more.

14. Use a hair dryer to blow some hot air toward the lights to make them dry before you restore them.

Safety and Precautions

Always remember, you are dealing with an electrical device. Water can be very dangerous for it and can cause a huge accident if you cannot handle it properly.

While you are cleaning the lights, never soak them in the water. Also, never soak the line or the cord. If any water remains there, it will cause an accident when you connect it to the electric outlet.

Let the bulbs dry for several hours before you re-install them. Also, check for damaged lights before hanging them again.


I love to see my lawn full of fairy lights in the evening. I am sure you also love this amazing scenario.

A clean and well-maintained outdoor string light lasts for a long time. The lights also become bright when you clean them.

I am sure, the steps I have shown will make it easier for you to clean them. After a few hours of cleaning, the string lights will be illuminating your whole compound.

About The Author

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Written by Shimul
Hi, I'm Shimul, the founder of Trendy Outdoor. I'm excited about sharing the latest outdoor living trends with you. My goal is to provide you with up-to-date information that will help make your outdoor space stylish and enjoyable. Read About Me More । Follow on Facebook

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