How To Clean Lamp Shades?




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Cleaning lampshades can be easy. I will explain to you how to clean fabric and paper lampshades. I highlight how to tackle different types of dirt on lampshades and the items you will need to clean them.

For light cleaning of fabric lampshades, it is best to use a dry sponge or lint roller to gently rub the dust off your shade. For paper lampshades, it is best to use a lint-free cloth to gently wipe off the dust from your shade. When it comes to pleated lampshades, then a soft vacuum attachment will give you the best results. With more delicate lampshades such as silk ones then a can of compressed air will remove dust without the risk of damaging your shade.

Monthly cleaning of your lampshades should keep them nice and clean!

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Table of Contents

Things You Will Need To Clean Your Lampshades

To clean your lamp shades, you will need the following items:

I recommend the following products from Amazon for cleaning your lampshade:

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Regular Cleaning Of A Lampshade

Cleaning lampshades may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! With a little bit of care and the right cleaning supplies, you can clean any type of lampshade quickly and easily.

The first step is to identify the type of lampshade you have. Do you have fabric, glass, metal, or pleated shades? This will determine what cleaning supplies and methods you’ll need to use.

In the following sections I detail what you need to know about how to clean lampshades of different materials:

Regular Cleaning Of A Fabric Lampshade

The most common way a lampshade gets dirty is through the accumulation of dust.

Dusty lampshades are not only unattractive but can also be a health hazard, as dust can trigger allergies and asthma.

6 step instructions for regular cleaning of a fabric lampshade:

  1. Firstly, remove your lampshade from the lamp
  2. To clean a dusty lampshade, start by dusting it with a dry microfiber cloth (or other lint-free cloth) or a dry hard sponge.
  3. If the shade is particularly dirty, you may need to vacuum it with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
  4. If there is any remaining dust that cannot be removed with the steps above then wipe the shade down with soapy warm water and a damp cloth to remove any remaining dirt and dust.
  5. Only use a damp cloth if you are sure that your fabric lampshade is colorfast. If you are not sure then test a small area first.
  6. Gently shake and allow the shade to air dry completely before replacing it on the lamp.

When wiping your fabric lampshades best results can be achieved by wiping downwards in a complete consistent strokes. This will minimize the spreading of dirt to surrounding areas of the shade.

When you have a furry pet then a sticky lint roller should be used first before wiping with a cloth or dry sponge. A lint-free roller is particularly good at picking up those pet hairs. Other than that, a dry sponge absorbs dirt better than other cleaning methods.

Regular Cleaning Of A Paper Lampshade

Paper and parchment lampshades can be delicate, so you’ll need to take extra care when cleaning them.

5 step instructions on how to clean paper or parchment lampshades:

  1. Remove the paper shade.
  2. Dust the shades with a soft cloth or feather duster first, then vacuum them with a soft upholstery brush attachment.
  3. If the shades are still stained or dirty, you can wipe them down with a damp cloth. Be sure to use only mild soapy water, and avoid getting the paper too wet.
  4. Once the shades are clean, allow them to dry completely before putting them back on the lamps.
  5. Vacuum again to remove any residue.

How To Clean Yellow, Soiled, Or Stained Fabric Lampshades | How Do You Get Stains Out Of Cloth Lampshades?

If your lampshades are yellowed or stained, you can try cleaning them with a bleach and warm water solution. Only clean your lampshades this way if you know they are colorfast.

5 step instructions on how to clean soiled, stained or yellowed shades :

  1. Remove the shades. Be sure to clean away from the electric base of the lamp.
  2. Create a solution with the ratio of one part bleach to 10 parts warm water
  3. Test the solution on a small area of the shade first to ensure it won’t damage the fabric.
  4. Once you’ve determined it’s safe to use, apply the solution to the entire shade with a soft cloth and let it sit for several minutes.
  5. Rinse the shade well with clean water and allow it to dry completely before putting it back on the lamp.

There are a few different ways that you can clean nicotine stains off of a lampshade. One way is to use white vinegar and water. Another way is to use rubbing alcohol and water. You can also try using a mild detergent and water. Whichever method you choose, make sure that you test it in an inconspicuous area first to make sure that it does not damage the lampshade.

How To Remove Nicotine Stains from
A Fabric Lampshade

Cleaning Of Pleated Lampshades

While the approach is similar to those highlighted for fabric lampshades to remove dust from the folds of fabric in pleated shades use either a soft vacuum cleaner attachment, a fine clean paintbrush or compressed air for best results.

Cleaning Of Glass Lampshades

If you have glass lampshades, you can clean them with a window cleaner or a solution of vinegar and water:

  1. Spray the cleaner onto a soft dry microfiber cloth and wipe down the shade.
  2. If there are any stubborn stains, you can use a soft-bristled brush to scrub them away.

Check out my detailed guide on cleaning Tiffany Style Glass Lamps

Cleaning Of Metal Lampshades

If your lampshade is made of metal, you can clean it with a solution of vinegar and water or a metal polish:

  1. Apply the cleaner to a soft cloth and wipe down the shade.
  2. If there are any stubborn stains, you can use a soft-bristled brush to scrub them away.

How To Clean Beaded Or Shell Lampshades?

Beaded or shell lampshades can be cleaned in much the same way as paper and parchment shades:

  1. Vacuum the shade with the upholstery attachment, using a slow, back-and-forth motion.
  2. If there is any dirt or debris stuck to the beads or shells, use a soft-bristled brush to gently dislodge it.
  3. Once the shade is clean, wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dust that may have been missed.
  4. Allow the shade to air dry completely before replacing it on the lamp.

How Do You Clean A Delicate Lampshade? | How Do You Clean A Lampshade Without Ruining It?

When it comes to cleaning delicate lampshades, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to avoid ruining the shade:

  1. First, always use a soft, dry cloth when dusting the shade.
  2. Secondly, if the shade is made of a delicate material, such as silk, be sure to use a gentle cleaner and spot test it in an inconspicuous area first.
  3. Finally, when cleaning a lampshade with a pattern or design, be careful not to rub too hard and risk smudging the design.

How Often Should I Clean Lampshades?

How often you need to clean your lampshades will depend on a few factors, like how often the lamps are used and whether or not they are in a dusty environment. If you live in a particularly dusty area or have pets that shed, you may need to clean your lampshades more frequently. In general, however, cleaning lampshades once every few months should be sufficient.

To stop or reduce dust build-up on a lampshade, you can:

  • Wipe it down with a damp cloth regularly.
  • Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to gently remove dust.
  • Place the lamp in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep the air in your home clean by using an air purifier.
  • Choose a lamp shade that is made of dust-resistant material.
How to Clean A Lampshade Walkthrough
How To Clean A Lampshade Without Water

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Fabric Lamp Shades Be Washed?

Yes, most fabric lamp shades can be washed. Check the label on your shade to see if it is washable. If it is, use a mild detergent and cool water. Gently hand wash the shade, then rinse and air dry. Iron the shade if needed to restore its shape.

Can Paper Lamp Shades Be Washed?

Paper lamp shades can be dusted with a soft, dry cloth. If they need to be cleaned, gently hand wash them in cool water with a mild detergent. Rinse well and air dry. Do not machine wash or iron paper lamp shades.

Can You Put Glass Light Shades In The Dishwasher?

Yes, you can put glass light shades in the dishwasher. Just make sure to put them on the top rack and use a mild detergent. If your shades are particularly dirty, you can pre-wash them by hand with soapy water before putting them in the dishwasher.

What Causes Brown Spots On Lampshades?

There are a few things that can cause brown spots on lampshades. One is if the shade is made of a material that is not colorfast. Another is if the shade has been exposed to sunlight for too long, which can cause the material to fade. Finally, if the shade is not properly ventilated, heat can build up and cause the material to discolor.

How Can I Clean Brown Spots From My Lampshades?

If your lampshades have brown spots, there are a few things you can do to clean them. One is to spot clean them with a mild detergent and water. Another is to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to gently remove the spots. Finally, you can try using a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water.

What Should I Do If My Lampshades Are Still Stained With Brown Spots?

If your lampshades are still stained after trying the above methods, you may need to replace them. You can find new shades at most home improvement or lighting stores. Be sure to measure the old shades so you know what size to buy.

How Do You Whiten An Old Lampshade?

There are a few different ways that you can try in order to get your lampshade looking brighter and more like new. One method is to use a bleach and water solution. Simply mix together equal parts of each and apply it to the shade with a clean cloth. Allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping it away.

Another option is to make a paste out of baking soda and water. Apply this to the shade with a damp cloth and let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off. If neither of these methods seems to be working, you can always try sanding the shade down with fine-grit sandpaper. This will help to remove any stains or discoloration that may be present.

Why Do Lampshades Turn Yellow?

Lamp shades can turn yellow for a number of reasons. The most common reason is that the shade is made of a material that is not resistant to sunlight. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can break down the materials in the shade, causing them to discolor. Another common cause of yellowing is exposure to smoke or other pollutants in the air. These can also cause the material in the shade to break down and discolor over time.

Do You Leave The Plastic On Lampshades?

Leaving plastic on lamp shades is not recommended as it can cause the shade to become brittle and yellow over time.

How Long Do Lampshades Last?

Lamp shades are made of different materials, so their lifespan varies. Fabric and paper shades can last for several years if they’re well-made and well-cared for. shades made of glass, metal, or plastic may last for many years with little or no attention.


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