how to clean a lampshade

How To Clean A Lampshade

Don’t let a dirty and dingy fabric lampshade palliate your home. Fortunately, cleaning a lampshade is not nearly as daunting as you think. With only a few simple and affordable solutions, you can have that lampshade shining like new in no time with minimal hassle.

So throw out the old rags and put aside those rubber gloves. All it takes is some easy steps to get your lighting fixture clean in an instant. This post will cover how to clean a lampshade, so read on if you’re ready to transform dull into dazzling!

Why Clean a Lampshade?

We can all agree that fabric lampshades are an essential but often overlooked part of a home’s style and ambiance. The shade fabric provides a special luminescence to any room by diffusing the light produced from its fixture base. But if not properly maintained, these shades can become a dust-collecting disaster.

Cleaning your lampshade regularly makes your home look better and stops unhealthy, bothersome particles from floating in the air. As well as making sure the base of the lamps doesn’t accumulate all the dust, it’s also important to remember to clean their fabric shades from time to time so that you can enjoy your own personal light show, free from nasty particles.

Also read: How To Cover Fluorescent Lights With Fabric

What Materials You Need to Clean the Lampshade

how to clean a lampshade

Now that you know why it’s important to keep your glass lampshades clean let’s jump into what materials you need. Cleaning a lampshade is quite simple, and most of the items listed below are probably already in your house:

  • A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Water
  • Dry microfiber cloth
  • Protectant spray (optional)

Also read: How To Identify Vintage Lamps

Step by Step Instructions on How To Clean Your Lampshade

It’s time to get down to business and finally give your lampshade the cleaning it deserves! Here’s how you can clean any type of fabric or paper shade in just four easy steps:

Preparing for Cleaning

Before you start, make sure the lampshade is completely cool and unplugged. First, use your vacuum’s brush attachment to remove all the dust and dirt particles from the shade. This will make cleaning easier in the next steps.

Also read: How To Paint A Lamp

Removing the Lampshade From the Base or Fixture

Carefully remove the shade from its base or fixture and take it outside. This will help you avoid making a mess inside your house! Be sure to hold the shade from the top and bottom, as this will prevent any sagging that may occur when the fabric is wet.

Also read: What Is A Buffet Lamp?

Cleaning and Rinsing the Lampshade

Once outdoors, mix a few drops of detergent with lukewarm water in a bucket and dip your sponge into it. Gently wipe down your lampshade’s surface using circular motions. Rinse off all soapy residue with clean water. You can also use a soft-bristled brush if needed but be careful not to damage any fragile shade parts.

Drying The Shade

After cleaning, pat the shade dry with a soft cloth or let it hang to air-dry. Now that your lampshade looks fresh, you can use a protectant spray on the fabric. This will help keep dust away for longer periods of time and make sure your lighting fixture looks good as new.

Factors To Avoid When Cleaning a Lampshade

how to clean a lampshade

Although it’s relatively easy to clean a lampshade, there are some factors you should avoid. Here’s what not to do when cleaning your shade:

Avoid Using Paper Towels

Cleaning parchment lampshades with paper towels have become far too common, but it’s anything but a smart move. Not only is it messy and tedious, but paper towel lint can also be left behind and ruin the look of your lampshade. Instead, reach for a microfiber cloth. Not only does it easily remove dust and fingerprints, but this ultra-soft material also prevents scratches and doesn’t leave lint as its paper counterpart does.

Plus, cleaning with reusable materials like microfiber cloths is a much more sustainable option than clogging landfills with used paper towels. So, switch up your interior decorating game by ditching the paper towels.

Also read: What Are Hurricane Lamps?

Avoid Excessive Wiping

When cleaning your paper lampshade, avoid using too much pressure, and be sure to use gentle wiping motions. If you’re using a brush or sponge, keep it light, and don’t scrub harshly on the fabric, as this can cause permanent damage.

Avoid Abrasive Cleaners

When cleaning paper lampshades, avoid using abrasive cleaners like bleach or ammonia. These products can cause discoloration and weaken the fabric’s fibers. Stick to mild detergents and soaps for a gentle yet effective clean.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Stay away from strong detergents and harsh chemicals when cleaning your lampshade. These products often contain harmful ingredients that may permanently discolor or break down the material of your shade over time. Stick to mild laundry detergent, which is usually enough for most shades.

How to Test Whether the Shade Is Colorfast (If Applicable)

For fabric shades, it’s important to ensure that the dye is stable in water and won’t bleed when cleaned. This is referred to as being “colorfast.” To test whether a shade is colorfast, take a clean white cloth, wet it with warm water, and gently dab it onto the underside of the lampshade. If there’s no change in color or staining on the cloth, you can proceed with cleaning.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Lampshades

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind that will make cleaning your lampshade easier:

  • Test whether the shade is colorfast before cleaning.
  • Remove the shade from its base or fixture before you begin.
  • Use a mix of lukewarm water and detergent for spot-cleaning.
  • Pat dry with a soft cloth after rinsing off soapy residue.
  • Use a protectant spray to help keep dust away for longer periods of time.
  • Avoid using paper towels, excessive wiping, abrasive cleaners, and harsh chemicals when cleaning your lampshade.


Cleaning a lampshade doesn’t have to be complicated. Remember to use mild detergents and soaps, avoid harsh chemicals and paper towels, and use gentle wiping motions. With just a few simple steps, you can ensure your lighting fixture looks as good as new! Good luck with your cleaning adventures.