How to clean a lampshade

Shed some lighting on an often-forgotten cleaning task with our guide to cleaning lampshades!

Updated

clean white lampshade beside green plants

Key steps to cleaning lampshades

  • Dust your lampshade surface regularly and before every deep clean.
  • Fill a bucket, sink, or bath with warm water and a few drops of detergent.
  • Soak the lampshade in the solution. For silk lampshades, just dip - don't soak.
  • Use a cloth dipped in soapy water to clean a pleated lampshade.

Not sure of the best way to clean a lampshade? You're probably not alone but that doesn't mean you should continue to overlook this household task. Step out of the shadows and into the light with our guide on how to clean a lampshade quickly and easily and check out our sister article on how to change a light bulb so you can keep your house well-lit at all times.

Looking for the best way to clean a lampshade? Don't worry about specialist cleaners — just use warm water and a good quality detergent! 

How to clean a lampshade: daily advice

Cleaning lampshades should not just be left to an irregular deep clean - follow these daily tips for regular cleaning:

  1. Gently dust the surface of your lampshade at least once a week.
  2. Use a dry, clean paintbrush or the brush attachment of your vacuum hose to get into nooks and crannies.
  3. Use a soft, dry cloth for delicate fabrics.

How to deep clean a lampshade: washing advice

Whether you want to learn how to clean lamp shades with pleats or keep on top of the everyday cleaning of your fabric lampshade, one of these methods can help. 

What you'll need:

All of these methods will use a combination of the following items:

  • A bucket, sink or even your bath; whatever is deep enough to fully submerge your lampshade
  • A gentle laundry detergent such as Persil
  • Rubber gloves

1. How to clean lampshade fabric using soapy water

Follow these steps for sturdy fabrics like cotton:

  1. Remove all non-washable trim. 
  2. Fill your bucket, sink, or bath deep enough to submerge your lampshade with lukewarm water.
  3. Add a few drops of detergent.
  4. Soak the lampshade for a few minutes.
  5. Swish the lampshade around, side to side and up and down.
  6. Empty the water when it gets too dirty, then refill and repeat the process.
  7. Repeat the above steps until the water remains clear.
  8. Allow your lampshade to air dry, hanging it up to help it return to its original shape.

2. How to clean a silk lampshade using soapy water

The steps for how to clean a silk lampshade are similar to other fabrics but you want to avoid soaking the lampshade.

  1. Fill your bucket, sink, or bath deep enough to submerge your lampshade with lukewarm water.
  2. Add a few drops of detergent.
  3. Holding it by the frame, dip your silk lampshade in and out of the water to wash it.
  4. Rinse your lampshade under clean, fresh, warm water. Don't submerge.
  5. Hang to air dry.

3. How to clean a pleated lampshade using soapy water

Fabric or silk, your lampshade should now be super clean ... but what if it has pleats? Here are some extra steps to help you clean a pleated lampshade:

  1. Whip a small amount of detergent and water together with a hand whisk.
  2. Use a microfibre cloth to apply the soapy mixturebetween the pleats of your lampshade.
  3. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any soapy residue.
  4. Leave to air dry.

Use these methods to clean your lampshades regular and keep your home looking fresh. Remember to always test cleaning methods on a small area first to prevent damage - if you are unsure about the material of your lampshade or the best way to clean it, consult a dry cleaner.

Originally published