Caring Tips for your lampshades

Caring Tips for your lampshades

A home without light does not feel like a home at all. Light not only provides safety and enables people to perform tasks efficiently but also adds to the aesthetic appeal and inviting ambience of a house.

Lamp shades are one of the most widely used sources of lighting. These pieces of furniture serve both function and style. While they give off light to help you do a variety of activities, it also serves as a decorative adornment that adds flair to any room.

They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They are also made of different materials such as fabric, canvas, cotton, parchment, handmade paper, plastic coated boards, damasks and so on.

Aside from these, variations in pleating, trimming, and adornments such as embroideries, hand-paint, lace, rosettes and many others expand the already wide selection of lampshades.

Many people attest to the long life of lampshades, making them worthy investments for your house. Some even say that their lamps last longer than other furniture. But this does not happen by its own. For a lampshade to last a long time, proper care and treatment has to be ensured. Here are some useful information about how to care of your lampshades:


Regular cleaning is important to keep the lampshades in top shape and prolong their life. Aside from this, it will also maximize the amount of light that passes through and enable it to stay as beautiful as it was when you first bought it.

However, cleaning is not that simple. Different types of lampshades require different kinds of cleaning. For instance, leather lamp shades will require cleaning methods and materials that are different from plastic coated lampshades. This is why it is imperative for you to know what kind of lampshade you own before you proceed.

Cleaning paper lampshades

Regularly clean your paper lampshade by removing dust and dirt with a dry soft bristled brush. Use long sweeping movements starting from the top of the shade, rotating to the sides and then working your way down to the bottom.

The inner side of the shade as well as the light bulb and wire fittings can be wiped with a soft cloth before you re-assemble. Remember, water is not recommended to be used for cleaning the surfaces of the paper shade. There are some paper shades that have embellishments such as embroidery or buttons. With this kind, you have to be very careful when brushing to prevent the brush from getting caught.

On the other hand, those that have digitally printed images should be cleaned according to the instructions of the manufacturer.

Cleaning fabric lampshades

A lot of shades made with fabric are washable but you have to check with the manufacturer’s directions just to make sure that you’re doing the right thing. For instance, cleaning of silk lampshades entails removing of the clear cellophane from the shade before washing. Also, it only needs to be washed with a mild detergent every two to three years only. Regular cleaning requires dusting of the fabric shade.

To do this hold the top center of the frame and tap using the palm of your hand. You can also use soft bristled brush to dust the portions of the shade using the same long sweeping movements you use with your paper shades.

Take note that the brush should have soft bristles otherwise it will leave unsightly marks on the fabric. You have to be doubly careful if the fabric shade has any adornments or trimmings that can snagged by the brush. Another technique for dusting off fabric shades is to use a hairdryer. Just be sure you set it on a cold setting as not to weaken the quality of the fabric. Soiled shades may be washed by submerging in a bathtub filled with lukewarm soapy water that has a mix of a mild fabric-safe detergent.

Clean it by wiping with a soft cloth or sponge using an up and down motion. Thoroughly rinse in lukewarm water until no suds are left. Dry it with a terry-cloth towel. Make sure that all trimmings are removed before you wash the shade. Keep in mind too that shade fabrics glued or taped to the frame should not be submerged in water.

Cleaning glass lampshades

Shades made of glass should be regularly dusted with a soft lint-free cloth. Occasionally, you can clean it with a damp soapy cloth, wiping it on the outer and inner surfaces of the shade. Rinse by wiping with a new damp cloth to remove traces of soap. Then for the final touch, wipe it with a dry cloth. Remove any dust and dirt from the light bulb and wire-fittings before you assemble it again.

Cleaning plastic, plastic coated and parchment lampshades

To clean these kinds of lampshades, combine ¼ cup of mild detergent with water. Mix it thoroughly until it appears like whipped cream which consists of thick suds. Apply this mixture on a cloth or sponge and use it to clean the outer and inner layers of the shade. Rinse the shade by wiping with a clean damp cloth. Wipe it dry afterwards. Remember, not to rub it heavily or let it get very wet especially if the binding around the edge is glued on.

A black parchment lampshade does not easily look dirty but you still have to dust it regularly. You can also wipe the surface with a lightly damp cloth occasionally.


  • It’s easier to clean a table lamp by leaving the shade fixed to its base.
  • Don’t expose paper or fabric shades to direct sunlight for this will cause for colors to fade.
  • Make sure that your lamp’s shade is not too heavy or big for its base otherwise it will be unstable.
  • Position the table lamp in a way that it won’t be easily toppled or knocked over.
  • Don’t wait for your shade to become extremely filthy before you clean it. Dirt will become harder, if not impossible to remove after a long time.
  • Keep beverages, food and pointed objects away from your lampshade.
  • Whether it’s a faux leather lamp shade, a plastic coated one, or whatever kind of lamp you’re cleaning, it’s imperative that you switch off the power source of the lamp before removing and cleaning.

Lampshades inevitably become an integral part of your homes, sometimes they almost become like a family. With proper care and treatment, you can look forward to more years of brightened up days and nights with these useful and stylish pieces of furniture.

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