Light Up Your Home! How To Clean Your Lamp Shade

Sparkle Plenty Cleaners

Leaving a lamp shade spotless is not rocket science. All you need is a little elbow grease and a couple of common household items like dish soap and vinegar.

However, not all lamp shades are made equal, and cleaning your specific type of shade might involve a different approach to avoid damage. Check out the following guides depending on the material of your lamp shade!

How to remove stains from fabric lamp shades

Although they’re easy to clean, some lamp shades are more delicate than others. So, it would be best if you check what type of fabric it is to learn if there are washing care instructions or any other guidelines from the manufacturer. Here’s a general way to clean fabric lamp shades:

  1. First, fill a container big enough to hold your shade with warm water and a trickle of no-dye, no-fragrance laundry detergent.
  2. Once you’ve filled the container, let every face of the shade soak for a few minutes so the soapy water has time to get deep into the fabric.
  3. Then, use a damp non-colored cloth (to avoid bleeding hue on the fabric) to wipe the shade and a soft toothbrush to scrub away any stain you notice.
  4. Finally, rinse the shade with clean water and let it air dry before putting it back in the lamp.

Warning. Don’t soak lamp shades with glue at the seams (opposite to sewn ones). Instead, wipe the fabric with a clean cloth and cold soapy water.

How to clean plastic lamp shades

Although plastic lamp shades can endure rougher cleaning due to how resistant they are, you’ll need more than raw elbow grease to leave them spotless.

Soften the dirt from your lamp shade by soaking it in warm soapy water. As you soak the shade, wipe it with a damp clean cloth—for stubborn stains, use a toothbrush. Finally, rinse the shade with clean water and dry it with a clean cloth before putting it back in place.

How to leave glass lamp shades spotless

Just like many glass surfaces, cleaning glass lamp shades streakless can be tricky. Make it easier by spraying glass cleaner or an equal parts vinegar-alcohol-water solution on a microfiber cloth to wipe the glass surface. You can also use a soft toothbrush to get rid of tough stains.

Immediately after finishing, use a clean cloth to dry off the excess water.

How to spot-clean paper or parchment lamp shades

You need to be careful and patient when cleaning these shades due to how easy it is to ruin them. First and foremost, remember that water is definitely not an option.

So, instead of wet wiping, you use a white drawing eraser or an art gum eraser to remove the stains. However, be gentle and don’t rub the area too much to avoid adding a hole to your shade’s decoration. Also, wear gloves to prevent oily stains on your shade.

Note; Some stains (like ink, for example) won’t come off, no matter how hard you try. If that’s your case, consider changing your shade.

What about pleated lamp shades?

Crevices in pleated lamp shades make them a little challenging to clean thoroughly. However, you can use a compressed air can and a soft brush to clean them. The compressed air will loosen dirt on slits, while the brush will get into those hard-to-reach places to clear them out.

Can you fix non-paper yellowed lamp shades?

Many lamp shades start to shift to a yellowish hue after some time, making them look dull. If that has happened to yours, you might be tempted to replace it. However, although you may not be able to save extremely yellowed lamp shades, you can fix less-colored ones following this method:

  1. Dip the shade in warm water, add a trickle of oxygen bleach laundry, and then wait at least 10 minutes.
  2. When time’s up, use a soft toothbrush to firmly rub the shade until you lift all the yellow grime.
  3. Finally, rinse your shade under running water and wipe the remaining yellowish mush with a damp clean cloth.

Get more cleaning tips from the pros!

Sparkle Plenty Cleaners offers helpful advice, tricks, and guides to make your house cleaning easier so you can have time for the things that matter most—over ten years of experience back us up! Visit our cleaning blog to find tons of valuable tips.


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