How To Clean A Lampshade

Your lampshade may start unblemished and clean, but it can quickly become dusty and yellowed without regular upkeep. Lampshades are expensive to purchase, so it’s always good to know how to keep your lampshade clean and prolong its lifespan.

However, lampshades can be tricky to clean, especially if you’ve never cleaned one before. You’ll learn how to clean a lampshade properly in this article. All you need are a few supplies you can find at the grocery store.

Whether your lampshade is paper, glass, or plastic, keep reading to find out how to clean a lampshade, as well as how often you should be cleaning them.

How To Clean A Lampshade

How Often Should I Clean My Lampshade?

At a minimum, you should dust your lampshades off once every week. Regular dusting will prevent dust and cobwebs from accumulating within the lampshade. Without regular maintenance, dust, grease, and other airborne pollutants build up within the fabric. These stains won’t be removed by dusting, so they’ll need deeper cleaning to get rid of them. 

How To Dust A Lampshade

There are many methods you can use to dust a lampshade. Leave the lampshade on the lamp, making the bulb is off or that the lamp is unplugged. 

For fabric lampshades, you can use a throwaway duster, lint roller, microfiber cloth, or a vacuum’s upholstery attachment. Always be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric. If you do use a vacuum, be gentle and don’t use too much suction.

Using a throwaway duster is usually more gentle on the shade and saves you from having to clean the duster after you’re done

If your lampshade has pleats, a soft-bristled paintbrush can remove dust well from hidden crevices.

For paper, plastic, or glass lampshades, a dry microfiber cloth works the best to remove dust. Wipe the shade gently, working from top to bottom.

You may want to remove a glass lampshade from the base before dusting to avoid breaking it.

Things You Will Need To Deep Clean A Lampshade

  • Large basin or bath
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Cotton gloves
  • Art gum eraser
  • Throwaway duster
  • Light detergent
  • Dish soap

How To Clean A Fabric Lampshade

Follow our steps below to find out how to clean your fabric lampshade and return it to its former glory!


You can wash your fabric lampshade to deep clean it. Look inside the shade to see if it has a care tag. If it does, follow the guidance printed on the label. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to hand wash it. 

Remove any attachments or embellished trim before washing, as these may fall off in the water.

To hand-wash your lampshade, begin by filling a basin or bathtub with warm water. It should be deep enough to submerge half of the lampshade. 

Add two teaspoons of a gentle detergent used for delicate fabrics. Swish the detergent through the water to create bubbles. 

Washing The Lampshade

Make sure the lamp is unplugged, then take the shade off of the base.

Hold the shade from the wire supports at the top, then lower it into the soapy water. Soak it for 10 minutes, moving it around so the water contacts all of the fabric.

Dampen a microfiber cloth with the same soapy water, then use it to clean the lampshade. 

Gently wipe the shade on both sides, working from the top down. 

If your lampshade has stains, apply a drop more detergent onto your cloth, then use it to clean the stains off. 

Rinsing And Drying

Lift the lampshade out of the soapy water, then drain the basin. Fill it back up with clear, warm water. Place the shade back in the tub and use the water to clean away the residual soap. 

Drain the tub and repeat if any soapy suds remain. 

Once clean, drain the tub and shake the lampshade to remove as much water as you can. 

Place the shade on a towel and leave to dry. 

Make sure the shade is completely dry before putting it back on the lamp. 

How To Clean A Paper Lampshade

How To Clean A Paper Lampshade

The oils and dirt on our hands can soil parchment and paper lampshades, so always wear cotton gloves when cleaning them.

Stain Removal

If your lampshade has stains or insect marks, you can use an art gum eraser to remove them. Do so gently to avoid damaging it.


Remove the lampshade after unplugging it from the base. Make sure that the shade is cool before handling it further. Temperature changes can lead to the lampshade cracking as it hits the water. 

Before hand washing, use a microfiber cloth to remove any dust from the shade.

Washing The Lampshade 

Fill a large basin with warm water, then add some dish soap. 

Dampen a microfiber cloth or sponge with soapy water, then use it to wipe the inside and outside of the lampshade. 

Never use abrasive cloths or strong cleaners, as this can damage the paper.

Rinsing And Drying

Once you’ve cleaned the lampshade, rinse it in clean, lukewarm water. Dry the shade with a dry microfiber cloth, then leave it until fully dry. 

How To Clean A Glass Or Plastic Lampshade

For those of you with glass or plastic lampshades, we’ve got you covered too! Read on to see how you can clean them.


Remove the glass or plastic lampshade from the lamp, making sure it’s cooled down completely. Hot glass or plastic can crack in contact with cooler water. 

Dust the lampshade with a microfiber cloth, making sure it’s free from loose dust on both sides.

Washing The Lampshade

Fill a large basin with warm water and a little dish soap. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the water and begin wiping away the dirt. 

Never use strong cleaners or place the shade in the dishwasher. The heat and harsh detergent may damage your shade beyond repair.

Rinsing And Drying

Use clean, warm water to rinse the lampshade, making sure it’s free from soapy suds. 

Dry the lampshade with a dry microfiber cloth, doing so gently to prevent the shade from breaking.

Leave until the shade is completely dry, then reattach it to the lamp’s base.

Final Thoughts

If your lampshade needs a deep cleaning, soapy water and a microfiber cloth work well on paper, plastic, glass, and fabric lampshades.

If your shade is made from paper or parchment, wear cotton gloves to avoid oils on your hands affecting its surface.

The best way to avoid stains on your lampshade is by dusting them regularly. Once a week is more than enough, just remember to be gentle and remember to switch your lamp off before removing the shade. Even though cleaning lampshades isn’t a standard part of our deep cleaning service, it’s still something that needs to be done!