How to Clean Lampshades

woman finger showing dust from white lamp shade

From dusting furniture to vacuuming floors and more, your routine cleaning efforts may touch many of the more obvious surfaces throughout your home. However, lampshades often do not receive the full attention that they require. Regardless of the types of lampshades in your home, they can collect all of the same dust, pet hair, and other elements that could accumulate on tables, chairs, and other surfaces. As they accumulate a growing layer of filth, they may appear to be discolored, stained, or aged. The good news is that there are several easy ways to clean lampshades. The specific method that you choose, however, may be based on the lampshade’s materials.


  • Dust Lightly


One of the easiest ways to remove the uppermost layer of dust and other types of debris is to lightly dust the lampshade. You can complete this chore with a feather duster or a microfiber cloth. However, do not use furniture dusting products on the lampshades. Because you generally must dust lampshades carefully to avoid damaging them, this method may not remove filth that has accumulated in larger quantities. It also may not remove the dust that has accumulated in the grooves of pleated lampshades. To easily clean pleated cloth surfaces, use a soft-bristle paintbrush.



  • Use a Lint Roller


A lint roller is conveniently used to pull fuzz and pet hair off of clothing, upholstered furniture, and other cloth surfaces. It can also work well on cloth lampshades. Simply run the lint roller smoothly across the lampshade in a methodical manner until the surface is free of debris. For larger lampshades or for dirtier surfaces, you may need to use several sheets from the lint roller to get the job done.



  • Use Soap and Water


In some cases, cloth lampshades may be spotted with stains. The dust may have penetrated deeply in the fibers throughout the surfaces. In both of these cases, dusting and vacuuming may not be completely effective. For stains, you may spot clean targeted areas with soap and water. You should never clean any part of a lamp using water when it is plugged in. To avoid all types of water-related electrical issues, you may remove the lampshade to complete the cleaning process. For small spots, dip a toothbrush in a bowl of soapy water. This soap should be liquid laundry detergent. After gently scrubbing the stained area, rinse the toothbrush off with clean water. Then, use the clean toothbrush to remove lingering soap.



  • Pull Out the Vacuum Cleaner

When you vacuum your carpet and area rugs, you may also pull out the handheld tools to suction dust off of baseboards, ceiling fan blades, and other hard surfaces. Depending on the composition of your lampshades, you may be able to use the handheld vacuum tools to get the job done. Keep in mind that the powerful suction can pull cloth materials directly off of the underlying frame. If this happens, the lampshade may be ruined. Carefully inspect the structure and condition of all of your lampshades to determine if they can be vacuumed safely.



  • Submerge the Lampshade


If you have a deep sink or tub that can accommodate the lampshade, you may be able to clean it with full immersion into soapy water. This method is not ideal for lampshades that have been glued or that are made out of paper-based materials. In addition, the method is for the lampshade only and not for the lamp base. If you choose to submerge your lampshade in soapy water, you will need to scrub the entire surface gently using a clean toothbrush. After scrubbing, rinse the lampshade with clean water. Allow the clean lampshade to sit in a well-ventilated area so that it can dry completely. It must be dry before you reattach it to the lamp base.





Most lampshades can be beautifully cleaned with the right techniques and proper effort. However, if your lampshade’s filth has reached a significant level, it may be time to replace it. The best time to clean lampshades is routinely when you are dusting and vacuuming the rest of the home. Cleaning your home as thoroughly as it should be cleaned may require far more time and energy than you have available. Are you looking for an easier way to have a cleaner home? Cleanzen is the service that Chicago local residents trust for one-time and recurring cleaning needs. Our experienced maids are ready to tackle all of our chores, so contact us today to schedule a cleaning service for your home.


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