How to Clean Lampshades

Updated: Sep. 27, 2023

Cleaning lampshades is easy. We'll show you how to clean lampshades of all materials.

lampshade Africa Studio/Shutterstock

For many homeowners, lampshades are one of several household items that are easily forgotten during routine cleaning and only get noticed when they’re looking particularly dirty. Fortunately, cleaning lampshades is easy. We’ll show you how to clean lampshades of all materials.

Plus, these are the spots to never, ever miss when cleaning.

Lampshade Lint RollerFamily Handyman

How to Clean a Dusty Lampshade

Fabric lampshades are magnets for dust and pet hair. You can’t just throw them in the washing machine, so what do you do? We’ve found that a lint roller works really well. Simply run a lint roller up and down your lamp shade until it looks clean. As your lint roller gets covered in dust, just remove the dirty sheet and continue cleaning with a new one.

Be careful though, as lampshades are fragile and can become brittle over time. A torn lampshade is worse than a dirty one.

Check out these other genius cleaning hacks from professional house cleaners.

How to Clean Yellowed or Stained Fabric Lampshades

If you have a stained or yellowing fabric lampshade, give it a bath to restore it to its former glory. To clean a stained fabric lampshade, fill a deep sink or bathtub with warm water and 1 teaspoon of dish soap or laundry detergent. For extra lampshade whitening, choose a laundry detergent that contains oxygen bleach.

Next, place the fabric lampshade in the water and let it soak for a couple of minutes. Dip a sponge into the warm, soapy water and wipe the lampshade clean from top to bottom. If certain areas are particularly dirty, scrub them with a soft toothbrush and extra soap.

Empty out the soapy water from the sink and refill it with clean, warm water. Dip the lampshade in and out of the water a couple of times to remove the soap. Finally, dry the shade with a towel and place it outside or in front of a fan to finish drying.

Check out these 12 cleaning secrets under $5.

How to Clean Paper and Parchment Lampshades

Paper and parchment lampshades should not go under water, so they’ll need a different cleaning solution than fabric lampshades. Additionally, if your lampshade has glued seams or embellishments, water can disintegrate the adhesive. Because of this, these lampshades need a special treatment as well.

To begin, unplug the lamp and remove the shade. This makes cleaning the shade much easier. Next, gently wipe the lampshade with a dry microfiber cloth to remove dust and dirt. Wipe the shade from top to bottom, inside and outside, including the reflector bowl inside the shade.You can also use a vacuum cleaner attachment on the shade to remove an dirt and grime, just be careful not to tear the lampshade.

Plus: Check out our ULTIMATE spring cleaning guide, so you don’t miss a step.

Can You Wash Lampshades in the Dishwasher?

Yes, but only those made of glass. We recommend putting glass lampshades in the top rack of the dishwasher and using vinegar instead of dishwasher detergent. Fabric, paper, plastic or parchment lampshades should not be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Here are 14 things you didn’t know you can clean in the dishwasher.