Guide To Cleaning A Fabric Lamp Shade

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There are certain things around the house that are just too challenging, and cleaning a fabric lamp may be one of them for some people. Because of its shape, materials, and construction, the task of cleaning this light fixture may seem to be quite overwhelming, but here are some few tips to help you with the process.

Household Materials Can Do the Trick

Getting your desk, table, or floor lamp looking like new is not at all that hard. No, you don’t have to go to the grocery or hardware store to get cleaning items to clean your lampshade. All you will need may just be in your cabinets and closets. You will be surprised at how a roll of tape, lint rollers, and paint brushes can do wonders. Vacuum attachments, your hair dryer, and some gentle dishwashing liquid soap can help you get rid of dirt and stains under pleats and rims.

Quick Cleaning

When you’re in a rush, the quickest way to get rid of dust and debris on your lamp shade is this relatively easy process. Get a clean 1 or 2 inch paintbrush and use this to brush the dust or hair from the lamp shade. A lint roller or tape can also help lift the dirt and dust off. If you are going to use a tape, the length should be twice as wide as the palm of your hand. Create a loop that is attached to itself, with the sticky side of the tape on the outside. Slip the loop over your hand then press the tape to the shade, starting from the top working all the way to the bottom and rotating the shade and the tape until the entire shade is clean.

Another Way to Use Your Hair Dryer

Air blown onto a lamp shade can also get the dirt and dust off from it. Remove the shade from the lamp base, plug your hair dryer and train it on the shade to blow the dirt away. Rotate the shade to make sure that it is cleaned all throughout. If you are vacuuming your sofa or carpet, keep the attachments handy. You can use the soft brush attachment to vacuum down the shade after you have removed it from the lamp base. Most of the dirt and debris can be lifted away from its surface with the force of the suction. If your shade is pleated, an angled attachment will be able to gently remove the dirt trapped between the pleats.

Guide To Cleaning A Fabric Lamp Shade

The Magic of Your Dishwashing Liquid Soap

Tough stains on your shade can magically disappear with the help of a mild liquid dishwashing soap.  Fill a large sink or your bathtub with lukewarm water. Add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of your liquid dishwashing soap and dissolve this in the water. Be careful not to use a dishwasher or laundry detergent as these may be too harsh for your lamp shade’s material. Whisk the shade into the warm water repeatedly while holding onto the bars that attach the shade onto the lamp base. Continue the process of immersing the shade into the water then lifting it until the spot is completely removed from the shade. Once this is achieved, rinse the lamp shade in cool water until it runs clear. Place the shade on a dry surface under the sun to dry.

Take Your Shade to the Dry Cleaners

When you have tried all of the tips above but none of them gave you the results that you want, then the last resort would be your local dry cleaner.  Although not every dry cleaner may accept this task and some may even ask you to sign an agreement that they will not be held responsible if your lamp shade’s fabric is eventually damaged from the chemicals that they will be using, this is the best final resort that is worth a try, rather than buying a new shade.

Although it may seem to be a very daunting task, knowing which common household tools to use can prove that cleaning your fabric lamp shade is not at all that difficult. With the exception of tough stains, cleaning your shade can be done with just a few steps and your lamp shade will be looking good as new and providing better illumination for your space!

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Joan Silver is a known lighting expert from Capitol Lighting and a fan of all things “lighting”. She currently provides customers and designers with robust information on their lighting needs.