Why is my salt lamp shedding salt?

The most common reason is that it could have been dropped or knocked over, and the salt on the inside of the lamp shook loose. If you observe a lot of sediment at the base of a light situated in an area where it will not be knocked over, you should consider it to have been dropped. A dropped lamp is not necessarily a broken salt lamp, but it may be.

Why is my salt lamp shedding salt?, Zazzy Home

If the base of your salt lamp is cracked and you shake it over a table or other hard surface and see tiny pieces of rock-like substance form on the table, this means that the porcelain has broken inside of your lamp.

The most common types of cracks are what I call “radial” cracks, where they fan outward from the center and cracks that run along parallel lines from one side to another. These parallel line cracks often come about when a tall lamp is dropped while packed in a moving box. In addition to radial and parallel line cracks, there can also be internal stress fractures which means that if you drop your lamp onto concrete, it could shatter. Stress fractures can also occur if you move your lamp too often or even just from prolonged exposure to low temperatures, such as a basement environment.

The powdery substance you might find around the base of your salt lamp is not ‘sand’ but rather pieces of broken rock. If there are big pieces, that’s not sand either! Salt lamps cannot be cleaned for them to function correctly because they need all the cracks and crevasses where the beneficial ions collect, so although it might look dirty, it’s working fine- try cleaning one by shaking off the tabletop or sweeping out with a broom or something like that, and see what happens! The best way to maintain its purity is still using common sense:

  • Do not let children or pets knock it over.
  • Do not put it near a heat source.
  • Try to keep them out of direct sunlight.

An excellent way to store your lamp is in a cupboard or drawer- they can be used as décor without necessarily needing to look at the light.

Why is my salt lamp shedding salt?, Zazzy Home

If you are trying to restore your broken salt lamp into functional shape, there are many different methods. Still, the one that seems most popular is spraying a plastic sealant called ‘clear nail polish’ onto the cracks and radiation lines found on the exterior part of the lamp (NOT THE INSIDE!).

Another method would be using acrylic paint with high UV protectors, which will help block some of the light that it naturally emits.

To prevent your salt lamps from shedding, do not nudge or move them while they’re on. It’s also recommended not to let wet hands touch the surface as this can cause specks of dried salt to fall off. Another thing to note is that if you get water droplets on the bare bulb, dry it properly as any moisture may cause oxidation and more dusting.

Another possible explanation is a power surge while away from home, which loosened some of the salts within your lamp. This may also be why some of the crystals have broken and are now loose to shed.

There are two ways to ensure that your lamp does not shed any more salt:

1) Re-clean it through vigorous cleaning. There is a greater chance for the salt chunks within your lamp to become re-attached, although this will only work if you clean it thoroughly.

2) Fill up your lamp with more salt so that no gaps remain in which crystals could escape from your product. You can buy a fine grade of mineral salt online or at health food stores and fill up your lamp until no more gaps are left. Close its lid tightly after doing so and allow it to rest undisturbed for at least three days.

You mustn’t overfill your lamp as it increases the risk of your salt lamp exploding, releasing hot chunks of salt everywhere, and could seriously damage anything in its blast radius. You can also buy an extra lid for safety reasons so that you will not have to open up the original cover while doing this.

Why is my salt lamp shedding salt?, Zazzy Home

Some people also suggest that you can place an old sock over the spout of your lamp so that any salt crystals which escape from it will be caught in the sock, and then they can be cleaned off properly.

This method will also work if you want to de-clutter your salt lamp by removing any extra crystals accumulated inside it over time. If this is the case, follow all of the above steps except for step two (which would be stopping short of filling up your salt lamp again), and hopefully, most of the large crystals will come loose without too much effort.

Or maybe someone spilled something onto your lamp, such as water or juice, which has caused a reaction with some of the salts in it and caused it to start shedding. This can also cause the crystal formations to break and reduce in size, so you might want to place your lamp somewhere safer from accidents or spills after this occurs.

There are a few other factors that may contribute to why your salt lamp has shed a significant amount of its crystals, but remember that these methods will only work if you clean them thoroughly before trying them out. If none of these methods seem like they would solve your problem, then contacting the shop where you got it from is always another option for solving this issue.

If any of these things happen to your salt lamps, then all you need to do is flick off any excess salt when you notice it’s coming out of its holder by hand and wait for everything else to settle again before turning on your lamp again. If you want to clean your lamp, then I would recommend that you do so in the following ways:

1) Clean it with a damp cloth and some water. This will help remove any dust, dirt, or salt particles that have accumulated on the surface of your lamp over time and make it shine again, although this method won’t work if there are chunks of salt stuck within its grooves.

Why is my salt lamp shedding salt?, Zazzy Home

2) Soak a rag in distilled white vinegar (or another strong solvent such as alcohol), wring out most of its moisture and then wipe your lamp down gently after doing so. The reason why we use vinegar is that it’s acidic and can dissolve away any mineral deposits left by hard water build-up while not being too abrasive on your lamp.

Keep any solvents you use away from children and pets so that they do not accidentally ingest them, as this could cause significant problems for their health if they do so.

After cleaning your lamp, I would suggest that you let it dry out by keeping its lid closed or placing it somewhere where air can circulate freely around it (such as on a table) so that the water or solvent used to clean it up doesn’t remain pooled in one area of the lamp later on and cause salt crystal damage when turned back on.

Lastly, it is also worth noting that your salt lamp will likely shed more crystals initially. This is natural and doesn’t mean that your lamp has gotten any weaker or that there are gaps within it. What this means is that they are normalizing themselves to the environment that you have placed them in, and you should see them become more steady over time.

Remember to take good care of your lamps because they will last longer when properly maintained and provide you with years of good service.

If your salt lamp stops shedding crystals altogether, then that means it might be time to buy a new one, as this can happen over time depending on what methods you use to clean them and how often you do so. All in all, taking care of a quality salt lamp is an easy process that doesn’t take too much time or effort on your part when done correctly, and they won’t let you down if taken proper care of throughout their lifetime.


Claire is a blogger, writer, and designer with a passion for making the most out of any space. She's worked in interior design and maintenance for over a decade, and has learned how to make the most of even the smallest room. Claire shares her expertise, where she offers tips and tricks for creating beautiful, functional spaces on any budget. When she's not blogging or designing, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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