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How To Clean A Lampshade

Do you need information on how to clean a lampshade to make your home dust free? Then, read through this article for details on how to clean your lampshade.

This article does not just contain step-by-step procedures on cleaning lampshades but also the basic information you need to know about lampshades.

To ease your reading, this article is presented in sections beginning with an overview of lampshades. This is followed by a detailed explanation of the pros and cons of using lampshades.

Furthermore, the next section contains the factors you need to consider before buying a lampshade. After this, you will see the step-by-step procedures for cleaning lampshades.

Subsequently, I will provide answers to some frequently asked questions on how to clean a lampshade. Then, I will conclude this article with my final thoughts.

Sit tight; let’s do this.

How To Clean A Lampshade: Overview

When you have electricity in your home, and the bulb lights up, there is a tendency for your eyes to come in direct contact with the glare of the light. These rays of light could affect the eye.

Even so, some parts of your room need more illumination than other parts. For instance, an architect will want more light focused on his drawing board or table than every other part of his drawing studio.

Furthermore, allowing light rays from electrical bulbs to glare directly into your eye could cause an eye defect. Hence, there is a need to shield the eye from these rays, especially when the lamp is at eye level.

Therefore, a lampshade is a fixture that envelops an electric light bulb to diffuse the light it emits and make it less harsh. Also, a lampshade provides a good level of decoration to your room.

In addition, using a lampshade focuses the light rays on a particular spot. It prevents harsh rays from causing damage to the eyes if you mistakenly stare at the electric lightbulb.

Apart from protecting the eyes, lampshades can also beautify your room. Some lampshades are made with decorative designs and colors that can match your room to decorate it.

However, it is not so easy to keep your home dust-free. It is easier said than done.

Dust does not just collect on easy-to-clean horizontal surfaces alone; they collect everywhere. Thus, your lampshade is not an exception.

Nevertheless, when you have dust on your lampshade, it makes it dirty and ruins the beauty of your room. Therefore, cleaning your lampshade is a crucial activity you must carry out.

Now that you know what a lampshade is, let us discuss its pros and cons.

How To Clean A Lampshade: Pros And Cons

Lampshades play a lot of beneficial roles in our homes. Although it could be difficult to maintain, it is a fixture that could beautify your room.

Pros

The pros of lampshades include:

Protection Of Your Eye

The eye is a vital human body part; you can not see without it. The eye accepts rays of light for you to eye images.

Particularly, the retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye. When light rays hit the retina, photoreceptors (special eye cells) turn the light into signals that travel to the brain through the optic nerve.

In the brain, the signal turns into the images you see. Too many light rays entering the eye will affect the sight process.

Hence, lampshades prevent light rays from glaring into the eye if you mistakenly look directly at the lamp. The lampshade shades the rays of light that travel from the lamp.

Focuses Light Rays

For certain reasons, you might need more light rays at a particular part of your room than at other parts. Lampshades allow the rays of light from your lamp to focus on a particular spot.

When you place a lampshade over your lamp, some light rays pass through the lampshade, while some only reflect on the surface of the lampshade. Thus, this focuses more light on a spot than on other parts of your room, depending on the shape of the lampshade.

Therefore, the illumination on that spot will be greater than in other areas of your room. This typically applies to architects, students, etc., who need more like on their tables.

Decoration Purposes

Lampshades can also serve as an item for decorating your room. Some lampshades have beautiful designs with colors that could match that of your room.

Therefore, the lampshade not only protects the eye or focuses light rays, but it also adds beauty to your room.

Cons

Despite the benefits of lampshades, it has a few setbacks, which include:

Difficult Cleaning

Although lampshades have designs that decorate your room, they could also be the reason your room could look unkept if you do not clean it. The designs and nature of the lampshade material could make it very difficult for you to clean it.

However, cleaning your lampshade makes it look refreshing and new. This will improve the beauty of your room.

Non-uniform Distribution Of Light Rays

When you use lampshades, it focuses light rays more on a particular spot than other parts of your room. As a result, some other parts of your room will have little or no light.

This will obstruct the rays of light from traveling a long distance. Hence, the ends of your room might remain dark even when there is a lamp in your room.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Lampshade

When getting a lampshade for the lamp in your room, the following are some of the factors you need to consider to get a lampshade that will function properly.

Type Of Light

The type of lamp you use in your room is one of the factors you need to consider when choosing a lampshade. We use various types of lamps in our homes, including floor lamps, table lamps, task lights, pendant lamps, etc.

Particularly, the lampshade used in floor lamps blocks lights horizontally to prevent the direct glare of the bulb from hitting people sitting or walking in the eye.

Also, the table lampshade directs the shade of the table lamp and the smaller lampshades for task lights and pendant lampshades.

Thus, the type of light is one important point you should note when choosing a lampshade.

Lampshade Fitter

The lampshade fitter is a metal structure that consists of prongs and a central attachment that connects to a lamp base.

Also, the lampshade fitter is the part of the lampshade that secures it to the base using a harp by sitting on the socket’s top or clipping directly to the bulb.

The lampshade fitter could be of any type. For example, it could be a Spider, Uno, Clip-on, or Euro lamp shade fitter. However, the size of the lampshade is a point you have to note before choosing a lampshade.

Purpose

The purpose of getting the lampshade is one point that will guide you to make the right choice of a lampshade. Apart from using the lampshade to prevent glare from the bulb, lampshades can be used for decoration.

For instance, the Chinese lampshade has beautiful designs and covers the entire bulb. It is mostly used for decoration in Chinese festivals.

Even so, you could need a lampshade to help focus light rays more on a particular spot in your room. Although, some lampshades can prevent the bulb’s glare, focus light in a particular spot, and decorate a room.

Therefore, identifying your need for a lampshade will guide you in choosing one that will serve you best.

Style And Shape

Lampshades are of different sizes and in different shapes. Therefore, the size of the lampshade mostly determines how big the lampshade fitter will be.

This determines how large the area of illumination will be. Also, the shape of the lampshade will determine the part the light will illuminate more.

For instance, if the lampshade has the shape of a cylinder with both ends open, then the top and bottom will be illuminated more. Also, most table lampshades have the shape of a cone, which allows only the bottom to be more illuminated.

Hence, the height of the table determines how far the bulb will illuminate the room.

On the other hand, the lampshade style gives your room a unique beauty. Even so, the style determines how simple it will be for you to clean the lampshade.

Cost

The prices of various lampshades differ according to the type of material used in producing the lampshade, the design of the lampshade, and other factors. Therefore, when you intend to get a lampshade, you should consider the price and check if it will suit your budget.

How To Clean A Lampshade: Procedures

Lampshades are made of different materials and could be more challenging to clean than other items in your house because of their delicate construction.

With the right tools, you can clean your lampshade and free it from dust and other stains to make it look new. First, however, below are the procedures on how to clean fabric, glass, natural fiber, and paper lampshades.

In addition, always check for the manufacturer’s provided cleaning instructions. If not available, follow the instructions below according to the type of lampshade.

How To Clean Fabric Lampshades

Different fabric lampshades are available, and the specific steps for cleaning them could vary. However, with the steps below, you can clean cotton and canvas lampshades which are more durable.

Materials

  • Microfiber duster, lint rollers, or vacuum with an upholstery brush.
  •  Microfiber cloth.
  •  Detergent with oxygen bleach or gentle detergent.
  •  Soft-bristled paintbrush.
  •  Towel.

Step 1

The first thing to do is to switch off the light and unplug the table or floor lamp. Then, remove the lampshade from its base.

This will allow you to gain access to every part of the lampshade to remove dust and stains.

Step 2

Then, remove the loose dust from the lampshade using soft microfiber dusters, lint rollers, or a vacuum with an upholstery brush. However, try using a paintbrush with soft bristles to remove dust from the tighter crevices between the pleats of a pleated lampshade.

If the removal of dust is not enough to make your lampshade clean, you can give it a deeper cleaning.

Step 3

To give your lampshade a deeper cleaning, fill a bathtub, sink, or basin with lukewarm water. Ensure to choose a container that is deep enough to fully submerge the lampshade or at least half of it.

Use a detergent that is suitable for delicate fabrics. However, if your white lampshade is yellowed, you can use a detergent formulated with oxygen bleach to make your lampshade white again.

Step 4

Gently wipe the lampshade with a soft microfiber cloth while it is still submerged in the water. You could add a small amount of detergent to the microfiber cloth to remove stains that may still be present.

Step 5

After wiping off the dirt from it in soapy water, remove the lampshade from the bathtub, sink, or basin, and drain or dump the water. Then, rinse any remaining soap from the basin and refill it with clean, lukewarm water.

However, continue rinsing the lampshade until you remove all the soap residue. Then, gently shake off the excess water from the lampshade and dry it on a clean towel.

Allow it to dry completely before replacing it on the lamp. This could take a day or longer.

However, do not submerge a silk lampshade in water. Instead, use a feather duster to gently clean your silk lampshade, or take it to a professional for dry cleaning to remove stains.

How To Clean Natural Fiber Lampshades

The process of cleaning natural fiber lampshades such as wicker, rattan, and jute differs from the steps of cleaning a fabric lampshade. You can carefully clean it with a liquid solution, but too much moisture can damage or leave stains on these fibers.

Materials

  • Soft-bristled paintbrush.
  •  Microfiber cloth.
  •  Mixing bowl.
  •  Distilled white vinegar or gentle dish soap.
  •  Hair dryer.

Step 1

Switch off the light and unplug it from the outlet. Remove the lampshade from the lamp base and remove as much surface dust as possible from it.

Using a microfiber cloth or duster will be a great option, but a soft-bristled paintbrush may be necessary to remove the dust in some services, especially on wicker or rattan shades.

Step 2

Use warm water and gentle dish soap to prepare a cleaning solution in a small mixing bowl. Alternatively, you can use one part distilled vinegar and one part water to make a cleaning solution.

Furthermore, dip a clean microfiber towel into the cleaning solution and gently wipe the lampshade using the towel. Finally, you can try dipping a small soft-bristled paintbrush in the solution and use it to remove dust and grime from smaller crevices.

Step 3

At this point, use a dry microfiber cloth to remove as much moisture as possible from the shade. This is because natural fibers can be stained or damaged by moisture.

Use a blow-dryer to further dry the lampshade. Ensure that the shade is dry before replacing it on the lamp base.

How To Clean A Paper Lampshade

You can not submerge a paper lampshade in water like fabric lampshades. Also, you need to wear gloves when cleaning a paper lampshade because of the stains that might be on the paper lampshade due to skin oils and residues from personal care items.

Materials

  • Gum eraser.
  •  Microfiber cloth.
  •  Rubber or cotton gloves.

Step 1

Remove the lampshade from the lamp base and dust it using a clean and dry microfiber cloth. Next, gently wipe down the inside of the lampshade, then the outside.

If you need to go through dusting the shade again, switch to a clean area of the cloth or grab a new cloth to avoid staining the lampshade with the dust you have removed from it.

Step 2

If you have stains on the paper lampshade, use an art gum eraser or a piece of crustless white bread to remove them. Try not to press too hard on the shade to avoid bending the lampshade.

However, use your other hand to prevent the lampshade from denting or getting bent while you are working.

Step 3

After removing the stains, replace the lampshade on the base. However, getting a new paper or fabric lampshade to replace the paper lampshade could be an alternative.

How To Clean A Glass Lampshade

Glass lampshades can easily look new again when you clean them. However, glass is easy to clean with soap and warm water.

Even when it could be tempting to wash a glass lampshade in a dishwasher, it is not advisable to do so. When the heat from the dishwasher combines with a stronger detergent, it could cause damage to the shade.

Materials

  • Gentle dish soap.
  •  Microfiber cloth.
  •  Sponge.
  •  Towel.

Step 1

To begin with, switch off the floor or table lamp and unplug it from the wall. Allow the lampshade to cool completely if the bulb has been recently on and the shade is hot or warm.

This will prevent you from burning yourself or cracking the shade. When the lampshade is cool, remove it from the lamp base.

Step 2

Use a dry microfiber cloth to remove as much dust as possible by dusting both the outside and inside of the glass lampshade.

Then, submerge the glass shade in a large basin or sink containing a mixture of warm water and gentle soap. Using a sponge or clean fiber cloth, gently wash all surfaces of the glass.

Do not use any abrasive soaps or scrub pads so that you will not ruin any designs on the glass and avoid scratching it.

Step 4

Rinse all the soapy residue off the lampshade using lukewarm water. Then, dry it using a clean and dry microfiber cloth.

Furthermore, place the lampshade on a clean towel and ensure that it is completely dry before replacing it on the base.

How To Clean A Lampshade: Frequently Asked Questions

How To Clean A Lampshade: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can I use to clean my fabric lampshades?

Submerge the fabric lampshade in a mixture of lukewarm water and delicate fabric detergent, and gently wipe the lampshade with a microfiber cloth.
Then, rinse it and allow it to dry.

2. How do you clean a lampshade without ruining it?

While holding the lampshade by its metal frame, submerge it in soapy water. Rinse it with warm water and allow it to dry.

3. How do you clean white fabric lampshades?

To remove stains from your white fabric lampshade, use a soft-bristled brush dipped in soapy water and rub at the stain. Then, wipe away any soap with a damp cloth.

4. Can shades be cleaned?

Yes.
You can clean your shade by submerging it in a mixture of water and soap, then wipe the dirt with a soft brush. After this, rinse it and allow it to dry.

5. Can you get a lampshade wet?

You can get lampshades wet, depending on the type. However, paper and parchment lampshades must not go into the water.

6. Can you dry clean a fabric lampshade?

After rinsing your fabric lampshade, ensure that it is completely dry before returning it to the base. However, you should try to dry clean them whenever possible to prevent them from becoming water stained.

7. Can I spray fabric on the lampshade?

Spraying a fabric lampshade is a way to achieve a new lampshade color. Although the method works for nearly any fabric, it will cover existing patterns.

8. Can I bleach a lampshade?

Sun and bleach damage lampshades and make them difficult to dye.

9. Is vinegar good for cleaning blinds?

Vinegar is an easy and quick way to clean blinds.

10. How long do lampshades last?

Good lampshades can last for 10 years.

How To Clean A Lampshade: My Final Thoughts

A lampshade does not just protect the eye from the direct glare of the bulb. It also helps to focus light on a particular spot and decorates your home. In addition, it is a fixture that covers the lamp to diffuse the light it emits, thus making it less harsh.

Despite how decorative a lampshade could be, the beauty is lost whenever dust accumulates on it. Hence, there is a need to always clean your lampshade from time to time.

However, this article has everything you need to guide you in cleaning any lampshade.

I hope you found this article helpful.

Therefore, fill out the “Leave A Reply” form at the end of this article.

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Christian Jerome Akam
Christian Jerome Akam
Christian Jerome Akam holds a Higher National Diploma in Electrical/Electronics Engineering. He enjoys reading and making research, singing and listening to solemn music, and sports. Christian is a content creator that writes buying guides and detailed explanations on electrical devices and systems for PowerVersity.

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