Cleaning a Lampshade

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Lampshades are often overlooked when doing routine cleaning which can cause them to look drab and dirty. They are often made of fabric which requires special care when cleaning. This is a page about cleaning lampshades.


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I have used Kaboom foaming bathroom cleaner on my fabric lampshades with outstanding results. I took the lampshades into the bathroom over the tub and sprayed them down good. I lightly rubbed the foam in with my hand and waited about 10 minutes for it to work. I rinsed very well and then took them out in the hot Florida sun to dry.

They all turned out bright and clean with no streaks. I am amazed how well this worked. I even used this on my lampshade with beads on the bottom, with great results. To think I was going to throw the shade out and replace it. Now it looks brand new.

By Carmen Dunning C. from Daytona Beach, FL

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August 11, 2011

Lampshades can build up grime, dust, and pet hair over time. Cleaning them can be difficult, but it is worth trying before your replace them. Here are some tips for cleaning lampshades:


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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 16, 2004

I have off-white colored lamp shades that get very dusty and coated in cat hair. Without rubbing in the dust and discoloring the shades, how can I get them clean and dust-free?

Nicole W. from Kentucky


By Lee-Ann (Guest Post)
July 16, 20040 found this helpful

Vacuum them with the attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

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By NHdoubleK (Guest Post)
July 19, 20040 found this helpful

I use a clean small paint brush or basting brush to dust my pleated shades. Works like a charm!

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By CONNIE (Guest Post)
July 19, 20040 found this helpful


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By Anita (Guest Post)
July 19, 20040 found this helpful

Bounce-type fabric sheets work well for this.

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By Carolyn (Guest Post)
July 19, 20040 found this helpful

try a Swiffer Duster, I use them on my pleated white lamp shades and they are fantastic !!

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By Lisa (Guest Post)
July 28, 20040 found this helpful

If the shades aren't pleated, this is a great trick -
I bought a 4 pk of Lint Rollers that have tear off sheets, at Sam's Club. I keep one upstairs and one downstairs. You can;t believe the amount of "stuff" they pick up off of the lamp shades!

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October 17, 2016

How do I safely clean large antique lamp shades without damaging them?


January 31, 20170 found this helpful

I would do a spot test with hydrogen peroxide, which can get rid of stains and dirt and make things whiter again. I have used it in many surfaces - it makes everhything cleaner and does not often ruin things. But you should really do a spot test first.


rubbing corn starch on it can do the trick as well, as can baking soda.

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July 6, 2009

I have 2 antique raw hide lamp shades, they are yellowing with age and have a few marks on them. How should I safely clean raw hide?

By Gwen Myrick from Conroe, TX


July 8, 20090 found this helpful

Well. the rawhide is simply going to yellow with age just like a newspaper and many other items :-( Being rawhide you'll have to be careful how long you clean with a moist cleanser but you could try a small test spot with hydrogen peroxide to try to remove the yellowing. Would need to know what the 'marks' you're talking about are before giving advice on them.

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January 16, 2020

If you don't want to replace a worn or soiled lamp shade, try one of the ideas found below for refurbishing a lampshade.

Looking up at the underside of a lampshade.

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March 14, 2017

A lint roller is an excellent tool for cleaning dust and lint from your fabric lampshades. This is a page about using a lint roller for cleaning lamp shades.

Cleaning Lamp Shades

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 20, 2011

How do I clean a lamp shade?

By Lillie Gordon from Newport News, VA


Cleaning a Lampshade

I tried just about everything on this page and nothing faded the tough water lines and yellowing on my shades. Confronted with the fact they were $50 a piece I decided to go for a Hail Mary. I sprayed Clorox Cleanup onto the shade, let it sit a minute, scrubbed it with an abrasive sponge, dipped it into the tub and, it was a little lighter! I did it again, and again, and again and no more stain! (07/31/2010)


By Judy

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April 9, 2010

I need ways to clean fabric covered lampshades that are discolored due to smoking (without quitting, which I'm trying to do). I do dust them every week.

By gayle from Rochester, NY


Cleaning a Lampshade

I found for dusting lampshades a great thing to use are rubber gloves. It takes all lint and fuzz to the bottom and then you either vacuum or rub off. They work great for removing pet hair from sofas, etc. (05/19/2009)

By Jo

Cleaning a Lampshade

I've read that a smushed, rolled up ball of white bread (without the crust) works. It's supposed to work for wallpaper cleaning, but I bet it will also "dry-clean" your lamp shade. Just keep using a new piece when the old one gets dirty. You can also use a dry-clean sponge. They sell them online. For nicely made fabric lampshades (that have no paper-tape or frayed edges), they can usually be washed.


This is how I washed my pleated window shades: Spray it with Simple Green (straight from the bottle) outside, then leave it on for 5 minutes, then hose it down. You can also use "Scrubbing Bubbles" or the dollar store equivalent (then hose it down). You need a strong cleaner like this to cut the nicotine. This is what I've done for my ex-mother-in-law who used to chain smoke (until she recently died of lung cancer). *Sorry, but it's the truth. I pass no judgment, we all have our addictions. Some to food, some to shopping, and some to other things. (05/19/2009)

By Cyinda

Cleaning a Lampshade

I use MeanGreen for lampshades and laundry stains. Just spray, let sit for a few minutes and rinse with water. For tough stains, spray, rub gently with fingers and rinse. (05/23/2009)


By tama

Cleaning a Lampshade

To remove dust from lampshades, I use a lint roller. (05/23/2009)

By Kathy

Cleaning a Lampshade

Sounds nuts, but I fill the bathtub with lukewarm water, add laundry soap and stick them in. I turn them every so often to make sure it saturates everything. Then drain and fill with clean water the rinse the soap off. I take them out, put them on a couple of old towels in front of a fan and they dry in no time at all. I haven't warped one yet. (05/23/2009)

By falldowngobump

Cleaning a Lampshade

When I get or make a fabric lampshade I always spray it with several coats of Scotchguard before I ever use it, it helps quite a bit in the long run. (10/23/2009)

By Virginia

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May 19, 2009

I would like to clean my lamp shades. They are fabric and were exposed to a smoking room for a good while.

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April 28, 2009

Tips for cleaning lampshades. Post your ideas.

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