If the thought of cleaning your fabric or silk lampshades is overwhelming, don’t worry, cleaning lampshades and keeping them clean is not as difficult as you may think. Although fabric lampshades are a magnet for dust, dirt, and pet hair that build up over time, with proper care and regular cleaning, you can keep your fabric lampshades looking as good as new! Read on for a complete guide on how to clean and maintain your fabric lampshades.
If the pieces of the lampshade are glued together, you will not want to immerse in water (unless it is a last resort). If the pieces are sewn together, you can immerse the shade in water. Also, remove any detachable trim and decoration and clean those separately.
Your next step is to gently clean away any surface dust or dirt with a microfiber cloth, duster, lint roller, or your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment. Be very gentle with all of these methods, especially when using a lint roller on thin, delicate fabrics as the roller’s stickiness could tear the material.
To maintain your fabric lampshades, make dusting them part of your regular cleaning routine. This will help prevent dust and dirt build-up over time and make the cleaning process much easier. Unplug the lamp and follow the instructions above for removing dust from your lampshade.
If your lampshade’s pieces (usually the trim and piping) are stitched to the lampshade rather than glued, you can immerse the lampshade in water. To wash your lampshade, fill a bathtub or a large container with warm water high enough to cover most of the lampshade. Add a few drops of a gentle detergent or dishwashing liquid to create suds. Only use a little soap, as the more soapy the water, the harder it will be to fully rinse the shade. For extra whitening, you may choose a detergent with “oxy” bleach as one of the ingredients.
While the shade is immersed in water, you can gently clean stains using a sponge or soft washcloth. For stubborn stains, you can gently dab the area with a soft brush. Don’t scrub too hard as that can cause discoloration or damage to the fabric. For very stubborn stains, let the lampshade soak for about 15 minutes. After soaking, gently wipe stained areas with a sponge, washcloth, or soft brush.
Once the lampshade is clean, drain the water and refill it with clean, lukewarm water and carefully rinse the fabric by dipping the lampshade in and out of the water.
If you cannot immerse your lampshade in water or if it only has a few stains, you can spot clean the lampshade.
Fill a container with warm water, add a little gentle detergent or dish soap and apply to the stained areas with a white microfiber or soft cloth. Once the stains are removed, continue to gently clean the entire lampshade. Wipe the entire shade with cool water to rinse. This ensures that the lampshade will dry evenly with no water spots or discoloration.
Once the lampshade is clean, gently shake out any excess water, and pat it dry with a soft, clean towel. Place the lampshade on a towel and let air dry inside in a well-ventilated area. Once the outer fabric is dry, turn your lampshade over to dry the liner. You may also let the shade air dry outside in the sun as long as it’s in a clean area and isn’t in danger of blowing away. Sun drying is our favorite drying method after cleaning lampshades.
If you are in a rush, use a blow dryer or fan to dry the lampshade. Use the low, cool setting on your blow dryer, or if using a fan, make sure to place the fan several inches away from the shade. Once the shade is completely dry, return the shade to its base.
If you have tried to clean your lampshades using the above methods, but they are too yellowed or heavily stained, consider sending your shades to our talented team of professionals at Lampshade Connection. We will recover and restore your lampshades, making them “new” again, so that you may enjoy your beautiful lampshades for years to come. We also specialize in relining lampshades and making custom lampshades using your fabric or one of your stock fabrics. Contact us today so that we may assist you with all of your lampshade needs!