How to Clean Fabric Lamp Shades: Different Easy Ways

Lampshades play a vital role to decorate a room beautifully. Having said that, people often choose a fabric lampshade as it can add excellent texture and color to the entire room. These lampshades are made of different types of fabrics including denim, linen, cotton, velvet, ikat, and all.

How to Clean Fabric Lamp Shades

Therefore, a common question from the people who own a fabric lampshade arises – how to clean fabric lamp shades? Well, they may add lovely ambiance but over time the lampshades get dusty. Consequently, they lose the glitz and require cleaning.

However, this problem is very common but you should know the proper solution. Otherwise, there are chances your lampshade won’t offer much to make an intricate design statement for long. So, check out our complete guide regarding cleaning lampshades made of fabric.

How to Clean Fabric Lamp Shades: Different Easy Ways

Often lampshades get unnoticed and remain uncleaned from routine cleaning. We notice them when they get significantly dirty. Then cleaning them becomes a great deal. Nonetheless, cleaning lampshades are not that tough when you know exactly what to do.

How to Clean Dusty and Dirt from Fabric Lampshades:

Lampshade fabrics are prone to have pet hair and dust on them. They work like magnets. So, now to clear the fabric what would you do? Throw it right to the washing machine. Just kidding! You cannot do that. What you can do is come up with the following options.

1. Cleaning a Lampshade with Lint Roller

A lint roller works great on this purpose. Just run the roller all over the fabric part up and down until it gets cleaned properly. Make sure you change the sheet of the lint roller when it gets covered with dirt. Then continue the process with the new sheet.

The lint rollers come with a sticky sheet. Hence, the sheet holds the dust and debris from the lampshades easily. Nevertheless, be careful when you are doing it. Since lampshades are delicate products, they can be brittle and fragile at times.

2. Clean Lamp Shades with Masking Tape

This also works like a lint roller. Just set the masking tape on the lampshade fabric carefully. Without putting much pressure, remove the tape gently. It will come off with dirt and dust on it. However, make sure you don’t get rough while doing this.

3. Using Microfibre Cloth or Brush

Microfibre cloth is also a good option for sweeping dust from fabric lampshades. Run it over the lampshades with a gentle motion. You go from top to bottom to clean it. If the lampshade you have got is a pleated one, you can use a paint or make-up brush. Using it you can go to any hard-to-reach places of a lampshade.

4. Clean with Vacuum Cleaner

If your lampshade is made with a strong and robust fabric then you can use this power tool. It should come with an attachment of an upholstery brush. It offers a light and gentle brushing movement while cleaning the lampshade.

Again, be careful with the fabric fringes. But if the attachment end is covered with a stocking then you can avoid this problem.

5. Using Hairdryer

Many people also use a hairdryer for this purpose. If your lampshade is mainly designed with fringes and trims, use this tool to clean the dust. set the hairdryer at the full speed and hold it about 8 to 10-Inches away from the fabric. Remember to keep it on the cool setting so that it doesn’t damage the lampshade fabric.

Read Next: Step by step guide on cleaning fabric kitchen chairs

How to Clean Light Stains from Fabric Lampshades?

Your lampshade can accumulate two types of stains. One that is light and the other that is stubborn. To deal with light stains or marks, you can clean them in the following way.

Step 1: Separate Trims and Fringes

First, remove the trims or fringes from the lampshade that are non-washable.

Step 2: Make a Solution

Take a bowl and pour cool water into it. Then add some detergent for delicate fabric and soap suds. Mix them well.

Step 3: Apply with a Cloth

With a microfibre cloth apply the mixture in each section of the lampshade. Turn the shade and make sure you have covered the whole shade.

Step 4: Rinse Off

When you are done rinse off the shade properly. Ensure there are not any soap suds remain in the lampshade.

Step 5: Wipe and Dry

After rinsing, wipe it carefully and properly till it dries.

How to Clean Solid and Stubborn Stains from Fabric Lampshades?

In case the lampshade fabric gets heavily stained, tougher action is required. So, to remove grubby or stubborn watermarks or handprints follow the process below.

Step 1: Get a Container

Get a large container or a bathtub will do better. Fill it with lukewarm water. In the case of lampshades with glued fabric, you should use cold water. The container should be large enough to submerge the lampshade fully in the water.

Step 2: Make a Solution

Now, add some detergent or cleaner for delicate fabric. Stir or mix it with the water properly so that it produces suds.

Step 3: Immerse the Lampshade  

Get the lampshade and dip it in the water gently. Make sure you are holding the lampshade by the frame ensuring its security. Do not hold the lampshade for more than 30 seconds under the water.

Step 4: Wipe with Soft Brush

Using a cloth or sponge, sweep the lampshade moving up and down carefully. If necessary, you can go for a soft brush instead. Rubbing instead of wiping, however, may affect the fabric color. So, don’t rub it.

Step 5: Clean and Rinse off the Suds

To clean properly, change the water frequently and when needed. When the shade is finally clean, change the water and fill it with new water. Finally, dip the shade in and out again so that the soap and suds get removed.

Prevention of Brown Water Stain

Brown water stains are also common on fabric lampshades. However, you can simply prevent this stain from occurring on your fabric lampshade. What is important to know first is that technically, these stains do not cause by the water supply of your home.

In fact, the brown stains are the consequence of heavy minerals including calcium. These minerals are found in tap water. Now, to prevent brown water stains, drain the water heater one time a year at least. It will decrease the sediment production on the bottom of the water heater. Consequently, it will decrease the brown spots on fabric lampshades.

Read Text: Tips on Covering Lamp Shades with Fabric

How to Clean a Linen Lampshade?

You can clean linen lampshades in two methods. One is the dry method and the other is the liquid method.

Applying the Dry Method: To execute the dry method, you can simply take away the linen fabric and then vacuum it gently. If you cannot remove the linen lampshade from its core the vacuuming won’t help much.

Using a Paintbrush: In that case, you can use a paintbrush with no paint residue on it. Brush off the linen fabric until it looks clean. This is a long process, so many users do not want to go with it.

Using Soap Foam: Nonetheless, cleaning with soap foam is also considered a dry method. Just make foam out of mild soap and water. Then with a brush, take some foam and brush it over the fabric. Continue brushing until the stains come out. After that, take a damp piece of rag or cloth to remove the foam from the linen lampshade.

Drying Your Wet Fabric Lampshade

Sometimes, fabric lampshades are prone to stretch when they are soaked, wet, or washed. Hence, they need to dry properly. Once dry, they come back to their previous shape. You just need to make sure each section of the lampshade dries out properly and evenly.

  • After getting the lampshade out of the water, shake it first. Then pat the shade with a towel gently. The towel should be soft and most importantly, clean. The towel will soak all the extra moisture from the lampshade.
  • Then simply hang the lampshade over the bath. Or you can stand or place it in a well-ventilated place. It will air dry the shade.
  • Also, in warm weather, you can place your lampshade outside. Place it in a secure and clean place where sunlight doesn’t come directly. However, there are chances to be damaged of the shade by children or pets. So, you better take care of the matter first.
  • Moreover, a far or hairdryer is also a good option for this purpose. Drying out the lampshade using a hairdryer is possible within no time. But make sure you keep your distance when you are using it on the shade directly. Also, if you set the dryer in the heat setting then it will only damage the lampshade. So, as we mentioned before, go for the cool setting.

How to Reassemble a Fabric Lampshade?

When your lampshade is dry, you need to reassemble each part of it. While cleaning the lampshade do not forget to clean the lamp base. Also, clean the dust from the lightbulb of the lampshade as well.

Set the ruffles or pleats of your lampshade in position. Also, if you have removed any of its ornaments or trim parts then set them in their previous position as well. now, you can put back the shade on the base like before. Screw them accordingly. Also, set the bulb in place. Then check all the connections.

Tips on Cleaning Fabric Lampshades

Like any other tool or furniture in your room, lampshades also build up dirt, dust, general debris, and fingerprints. Though their cleaning is not that complicated yet carefulness is highly required. Therefore, while cleaning the fabric lampshades consider some points.

Hold the lampshade carefully: While you are up to clean the stain or dust from the lampshade make sure you hold it firmly. Always try to hold the fitting part of the tool. This way you can avoid tearing, marking, denting, or creasing of the shade.

Know the mechanism: Know if the fabric of your lampshade is stitched or glued to it. If the fabric is glued then it can come off by holding it in the wrong way. So, watch the design minutely and then start cleaning it.

Know the design: Also, be aware of the fringes, beadings, or trims of your lampshades. If these are removable then remove them before cleaning the main fabric shade of the lamp.

Don’t rush: While cleaning, do not rush the process. Take time to clean each part of the lampshade.

Professional Service: If needed ask for the help of professional services. Many times, the expensive lampshades come with heavy beads, embroidery, or silk fabric. In this case, this should be handled by professionals.

Follow instructions: Last but not least, follow what the manufacturer’s instructions say before cleaning.

Proper Maintenance

Everybody wants his/ her investment to last for years. It is not exceptional in the case of lampshade as well. You must want your one to be beautiful and shiny for a long time. Nonetheless, the best way to make it serve you for a long time is to ensure its proper maintenance. Here are some steps that you can follow as maintaining procedure.

Keep it on an Elevated Place

Always place the lampshade on top of something. It will avoid heavy build of dust and unsightly stains.

Clean Regularly

Include your lampshade in the regular cleaning routine. If you clean off the dust daily from the lampshade, you won’t have to elaborately clean it frequently.

Clean The Base and Bulb

When the bulb of the lampshade gets cold after switching it off, wipe it thoroughly. Use anything like a lint roller, gentle brush, or microfibre cloth. Don’t forget the base as well.

Wrapping It Up

Like many other problems, prevention is the strongest trick to keep your fabric lampshades neat and clean, and beautiful as well. It is because you need more effort and time to fix the dirty lampshades but if you take care of your lampshades regularly, you don’t need to spend hour after hour to get back the exact look of your favorite fabric lampshades.

Therefore, try to check the lampshades regularly. If you find any dirt on your lampshades, don’t wait, clean your lampshades. This practice will save a lot.

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