State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500622
Cleaning Lamp Shades
Basic cleaning of shades: use a clean soft cloth or a vacuum brush to
dust the lampshade inside and outside.Take off any non-washable trim.
If the cloth is glued to the frame, sew it on with thread of the same
color. Then you will be able to wash it over and over again without any
Fill a deep washtub or bathtub with enough warm water to cover the
shade. Add detergent and swish up thick suds. Use a mild detergent, as
a hand dishwashing liquid.
Use suds on a soft brush to rub any spots lightly. Then dip the shade
up and down. When the water gets dirty, change to clean sudsy water.
Wash the shade a second time.to rinse the shade, dip it up and down
through two or three changes of clean water. Don't worry if the cloth
stretches and sags while it is wet. It will tighten up for a snug fit
when it gets dry.
To dry a fabric shade, tie a string to the middle of the frame. Then
hang it over the bathtub or hang it from a clothesline outdoors to drip
dry. Or you can wipe the shade with a bath towel until it is almost
dry. Then put it back on the lamp and turn on the light so the heat
from the bulb will help it to finish drying. If the lampshade has
ruffles, "press" them with your finger.
Plastic, Plastic Coated, Laminated, Parchment, or Fiberglass shade.
Put one fourth cup of mild detergent into a bowl. Add just enough warm
water to make it wet. Whip this mixture with a whip or electric mixer
to make stiff "dry" suds that look like whipped cream. Put some of the
thick suds on a cloth or sponge. Use this to wash the shade, inside and
outside. If the binding around the edge is glued on, don't rub it or
let it get very wet. Rinse the shade right away by going over it with a
clean damp cloth. Then wipe it dry.
Don't forget to clean the reflector bowl if the lamp has one before
replacing the shade. Never use any abrasive cleaner like common
scouring powders, no abrasive pads.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus.
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June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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