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  • Writer's pictureClean Team USA

How to: Clean Lampshades

For most people, cleaning your lampshades is something that often gets missed if not forgotten about entirely. However, over time the accumulation of dust, dirt, and grime can become unsightly and eventually alter the color of the lampshade altogether.

Plastic Lampshades

Cleaning up plastic lampshades is usually a breeze as the material isn’t as delicate as paper and parchment lampshades.


  1. Unplug your lamp for safety and remove the lampshade

  2. Using a dry microfiber cloth or vacuum cleaner attachment, remove all the loose dust from the surface of the shade

  3. In a bucket, mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid with warm water

  4. Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with the soapy water and gently wipe the shade clean

  5. Let dry completely and repeat as necessary

Paper and Parchment Lampshades

Paper and parchment lampshades should never be completely submerged in water as it could corrode the adhesive. These types of lampshades require a different treatment in order to be cleaned. Note: Consider wearing gloves during the cleaning process in order prevent staining the lampshade with the oils from your hands.


  1. Unplug the lamp and remove the shade

  2. Gently wipe the shade with a dry microfiber cloth or use vacuum cleaner attachment to remove the loose dust

  3. Using a dry piece of bread, gently wipe the shade clean (remember to wear gloves)

Fabric Lampshades

Cleaning lampshades made of fabric can be a bit more time consuming, however, the payoff makes the task well worth it! Note:Always make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions or care tags on your lampshades to see if there are special care instructions.


  1. Unplug your lamp and remove the lampshade

  2. Using a dry microfiber cloth or a vacuum attachment gently remove the loose dust from the surface

  3. Fill your bathtub with enough warm water to cover half of the lampshade

  4. Add a few drops of liquid laundry detergent to the bath water

  5. Gently mix the water to activate the sudsy water

  6. Lower the lampshade into the water and allow it to soak for 10 minutes, making sure both ends of the lampshade have time to soak

  7. Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with the sudsy water and use it to wipe your lampshade off (starting from the top and working your way down)

  8. Drain the tub and refill it with clean water (no soap this time)

  9. Rinse your lampshade to ensure all of the soap is removed

  10. Drain the tub and gently shake any excess water from the lampshade

  11. Let your lampshade air dry completely, then reattach to your lamp

Remembering to clean your lampshade often can save you the time and hassle of having to deep clean it later on. For weekly routine maintenance gently dust your lampshades both inside and outside using a clean, dry microfiber cloth to prevent dust and dirt from becoming built up.

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