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How to Clean a Lampshade?

Lampshade is the most important part of the floor lamps in homes. These lampshades’ main aim is to protect the eye from the bulb’s glare and to direct the light from the bulb into the room.

A common form of the lampshade on a floor lamp, for example, uses cloth or paper with a loose weave to block significant amounts of light in a horizontal direction.

There are some varieties in the market for lampshades which makes it difficult for most people to understand the proper way of cleaning these lampshades.

Let me explain!


How Do You Clean Lampshades?

Here are the tools and best ways to wash different lampshade varieties!

1. Fabric Shade/Feather Shade:

how to clean fabric lamp shades

Fabric lamp shades are one of the easier shades to clean.

Cleaning tools and materials:

  • Clean cotton cloth
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Brush
  • Non-Abrasive sponge
  • Fabric cleaner (For intense dirt)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Luke warm water with a clean container

Specific Steps:

Step 1 If your lampshade has light dirt or staining but is not robust enough to immerse in water, first remove any non-washable trim and then follow step 2.

But for more intense dirt, or if your fabric lampshade is heavily stained, for example with grubby handprints or watermarks, then follow step 3.

Step 2 Mix a bowl of cool water with fabric detergent. Get them melted completely and apply it to the lampshade by using a microfiber cloth. Then gently rinse off the suds and wipe the lampshade dry.

Step 3 – Put on some rubber gloves and fill a large, clean container with lukewarm water. The water should be enough to fully submerge your lampshade.

After that, add some delicate fabric cleaner and stir, to create suds. Now gently immerse the lampshade, holding it securely by the frame.

Use a sponge or cloth, and gently wipe the lampshade using an up and down movement.

Cleaning caution:

  • Do not submerse any lampshades that are glued or taped to the base in water.
  • Do not use a hard brush for cleaning your fabric lampshade.


2. Linen Shade/Silk Shade:

how to clean linen lamp shades

This type of lampshades attracts a lot of dust onto them so take care of this lampshade.

Cleaning tools and materials:

  • Brush
  • Micro cloth
  • Detergent or ivory soap
  • Feather duster
  • Warm water

Specific steps:

Step 1 – For silk or linen shades, use a feather duster to remove the dust at first.

Step 2 – Remove it from the lamp and then rubber it over with a bit of baby powder/chalk powder.

Step 3 – Vacuum the remainings with a handheld vacuum cleaner.

Step 4 – When it comes to the stubborn stain, get it washed by using a teaspoon of soda and a cup of warm water (Attention: not hot water!).

Cleaning Caution:

  • Avoid lint rollers on a silk lampshade, as those could damage a sensitive fabric.
  • Do not use oil-based products to clean the silk lampshade, as it could create permanent stains on the lampshade.


3. Glass Shade/Plastic Shade:

how to clean glass lamp shades

Plastic and glass shades aren’t as delicate as their paper counterparts, but they still need to be handled with care.

Cleaning tools and material:

  • Microfiber cloth.
  • Dish soap.
  • Vacuum or lint roller.
  • White vinegar.
  • Glass cleaner.

Specific steps:

Step 1 – After removing the shade, first you need to use the vacuum or lint roller to remove loose dust.

Step 2 – Now, mix a few drops of dish soap in a bowl with water.

Step 3 – Dip the microfiber cloth in the mixture and wipe down the shade inside and out.

Step 4 – For stubborn stains, mix a 1:1 white vinegar and water mixture. Apply to stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

Step 5 – Use a damp cloth to rinse.

Step 6 – Use a dry cloth to buff out the shade.

Step 7 – Allow to dry and place it on the lamp.

Cleaning Cautions:

  • Do not put your glass lampshade in the dishwasher.


4. Paper Shade/Woven Fabric Shade:

how to clean lamp shades at home

A lamp shade made paper needs a delicate touch. For this material, stay clear of water or soap. Instead, try to use a microfiber cloth for your cleaning needs.

Cleaning tools and materials:

Specific steps:

Step 1 – Remove the shade from an unplugged lamp. For parchment shades, consider wearing gloves to remove them.

Step 2 – For durable lamp shades, use the vacuum cleaner to remove dust.

Step 3 – Use a lightly damp microfiber cloth to remove any stubborn dust or debris.

Step 4 – For delicate materials, dust with a feather duster or microfiber cloth.

Step 5 – Brush from the top of the lamp shade to the bottom.

Step 6 – Remove grease stains by pressing plain bread on the area.

Step 7 – Place it back on the lamp.

Cleaning cautions:

  • Do not use water on paper lampshades.
  • Prevent dust build up, try to keep dust from settling on your lampshades.


How Do You Whiten Yellowed Lamp Shades?

If you have a stained or yellowing lampshade, give it a bath to restore it to its former glory.

To clean a stained lampshade that had turned yellow over time, fill a deep sink or bathtub with warm water and 1 teaspoon of dish soap or laundry detergent and then wash it.

If you want your lampshade extra whitening, then choose a laundry detergent that contains oxygen bleach, it will do the work.



Can Lamp Shades Be Washed?

Yes, there are lampshades like fabric shades, plastic shade lamps which can be washed but not all the lampshades can be washed.

What Is the Best Cleaner for Lampshade Cleaning?

Mostly few drops of detergents are the best cleaners for lampshade cleaning but many times people use dish soap also to clean their lampshades.



The conclusion that could be made out of this is that you need to take care of your lampshades from time to time.

Don’t let dirt or dust accumulate on the lampshade because that little dust increases slowly and ultimately it makes the lampshade very dirty and difficult to clean.

And also keep in mind to follow proper steps to clean the lampshade because every lampshade has a different material used in it which can be damaged if you don’t follow the proper steps for that particular lampshade respectively.