How to Clean Lampshades

Clean lampshades regularly, or they will be difficult, if not impossible, to clean.  In most people’s homes lampshades are in full view, so they need frequent dusting with a vacuum cleaner or feather duster.  Always unplug lamps before cleaning them.


Paper Shades – Uses a dust cloth to clean paper shades, and pay special attention to any creases.  Do not use water, since it will cause distortion.  Paper shades can be relatively cheap – consider replacing shades that become very dirty.

Fabric Shades – Uses the upholstery tool on your vacuum cleaner to clean a fabric lampshade.  Do not wash the shade – the fabric could shrink, and the metal frame may rust.  If the shade is very dirty, have it professionally cleaned.

Parchment Shades – Dust gently, and remove marks with an eraser.

Plastic and Glass Shades – Wash in a dishwashing liquid solution, then rinse and dry.

Silk Shades – Have silk shades cleaned professionally before dirt stars to show.

Straw Shades – Vacuum raffia and straw shades frequently, since they tend to trap dust.

Vellum Shades – Mix together one part soap flakes, one part warm water, and two parts denatured alcohol.  Wipe the lampshade with this solution.  Rinse with a cloth dipped in denatured alcohol, and apply a little wax furniture polish.


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