Natural Himalayan salt lamps are a stunning piece of work. Just the mere sight of it lit up can induce feelings of serenity, happiness, and awe. Not to mention some of the health improvements that you might have had noticed from using one. Understandably, ‘’how long do salt lamps last?’’ might be a question running in your mind already, thinking you might soon run out of the good stuff.
So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to explore this question and other things you need to know about your natural Himalayan salt lamp.
First Off, What are Some of the Properties of Salt?
Hygroscopic: This means that salt tends to absorb moisture, consequently becoming damp and sticky. How does it work? Water vapor is drawn into the molecules of the salt, resulting in some physical change. Thus, it’s pretty normal that you find your Himalayan salt sweating when the weather is particularly wet or humid. If it isn’t, then perhaps it’s because you didn’t get the real deal.
Water Soluble: The fact that we flavor food with salt should make this pretty obvious. But just how soluble is salt in water? Well, 35.6 grams of salt will dissolve in 100 grams of water at 0°C and 39.2 grams per 100 grams at 100°C.
So, you can just imagine how much water it would take to thoroughly dissolve your salt lamp, leaving behind a lonely bulb and its cord. Nevertheless, this also means that little contact with water will pare an invisible layer.
Hard yet Brittle: Salt registers a 2.5 on the MOH scale of hardness. Just how hard is that? Let’s just say, it’s a bit higher than talc crystal on the scale, which is pegged at 1; it’s as hard as gold, which is also a 2.5; and, of course, far behind the diamond, which is a 10.
But unlike gold which is malleable, your chunk of salt is brittle. Salt crystals have tight-packed lattices with the positive and negative ions firmly attached and in definite positions. So, when you apply significant pressure on your salt crystal, they come apart leaving a splintery surface.
Basically, your salt lamp is difficult to break yet it is susceptible to damage. And, yes, it will shatter if you drop it.
How Long Do Salt Lamps Last Then?
If Himalayan salt lamps are moisture-absorbing, water soluble, and hard yet brittle, how long can you expect them to last? Well, there’s no easy answer to how long your salt lamp will last. It will depend on your environment and the care you provide it with.
If you have not noticed considerable sweating on your rock when turned off, then that means you live in a pretty dry environment or that you have found a good spot for your Himalayan salt lamp—or you got a fake one! Whichever be the case, yours will last you a very long time without requiring much maintenance work.
How Do I Care for My Salt Lamp?
Now, if you don’t live in a dry environment and it’s sweating as it should, you don’t have to look at your beautiful natural Himalayan salt lamp wistfully and woefully. Neither do you have to hoard more salt lamps as replacements—because just the same they’re going to melt unless you house them somewhere else! What you need to do is to care for your lamp properly. So, how do you do that?
Find a secure place for your lamp. Again, your salt lamp is hard yet brittle. A bump now and then will cause it to chip off. And should it drop from a high place, you’d be lucky if it doesn’t shatter into pieces.
So, treat it as you would your prized china. Find a safe and stable spot for it to shine. And given the propensity for it to chip off, it would also do your furniture good if you place a saucer or something underneath to catch its pool of sweat.
Turn it on. If your salt lamp has collected a pool of water underneath, then it’s a bad sign that you haven’t been using it as you should. So, light up your lovely lamp at least 16 hours a day if you’re not comfortable with having it on 24/7. By keeping your salt light on, the bulb warms up and dries out the moisture the Himalayan salt rock has absorbed.
Besides, if you’re looking at your lamp as an ionizer, then you need to heat up the salt crystal with the light for it to be activated. Otherwise, it’s just a lovely piece of decoration sitting on top of your table.
Keep it away from wet or damp areas. Some parts of the house are more humid or wet than others. Your kitchen and bathroom, in particular, will affect your salt lamp negatively. Your living room, bedroom, or any spot in the house that’s drier will be perfect for your natural Himalayan salt light.
If you should clean it, then wipe it with a damp cloth. Has your lamp been collecting dust? A good cleaning is in order. However, don’t hose it down with water or clean it under the sink. Water will erode layers of your rock salt. A damp cloth will do the trick. But how is it done exactly?
First, make sure you turn off and unplug your salt lamp before cleaning it. Next, get a lint-free cloth, soak it in water, wring as much water as you can from it, and pat it gently on the surface of your rock salt. When done, plug the lamp back in to dry.
On other occasions, such as when you notice some moisture collecting on a nook, just pat it dry with a lint-free cloth as well. You don’t need to bathe it or be constantly cleaning it for fear of germs. Salt in itself is anti-bacterial.
How long do salt lamps last? Notably, these salt rocks are formed from a primordial sea that has now become a salt mine in the Himalayas. Given the right environment and the proper care, that chunk of salt sitting on your table will continue to enchant onlookers for generations or even centuries.