Enlightened tips for cleaning lamps and lampshades

Cleaning your lamps won't lead to fame and fortune as it did for Aladdin, but these enlightened tips for cleaning lamps and lampshades are guaranteed to brighten your surroundings!

Enlightened tips for cleaning lamps and lampshades

1. To remove dust from a lamp

Regularly use a microfibre cloth.

  • A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment may work better on some materials, such as unglazed pottery or wood.
  • The more often you dust, the less often you'll have to do more intensive cleaning of your lamps, such as during a spring cleaning blitz.

2. To remove dirt

Unplug the lamp and remove the shade and the bulb.

  • Start with a clean cloth or sponge dampened with plain water.
  • Wipe all parts of the lamp, starting with the base and working up.
  • Be very careful not to wet the socket or the plug.

3. To avoid dulling the finish

Buff the lamp immediately with a clean, dry cloth.

  • To attack more stubborn dirt, try cleaning it with a solution of about half a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid applied directly to a cloth or sponge.
  • Wipe the dirty areas, scrubbing gently if necessary.
  • Rinse the cloth or sponge in clear water and go over the surface to remove the detergent. Follow with the dry cloth.
  • Polish the lamp base occasionally with a suitable polish.

4. To remove serious dirt

The safest cleaning method after dusting is to use a special sponge that's intended to be used dry.

  • Use it like a pencil rubber to rub away dirt.
  • Try it on any shade, but be sure to use it instead of water on paper shades and any other shade that is held together by glue.

5. To clean stitched fabric shades

Wash shades that are stitched (rather than glued together) in the bath. And while you're going to the trouble of doing one, you might as well do all the lampshades that need to be cleaned.

  • Metal and plastic shades can also be cleaned in the bath at the same time.
  • To wash the shades, begin by running about 5 cm (2 in) of tepid water into the bath.
  • Add 15 ml (1 tbsp) of dishwashing liquid and swish it around.
  • Lay the shade on its side in the bath and gently roll it in the water.
  • Change the water when it gets dirty and wash the shade again.
  • Rinse.

6. To dry a cloth shade

Use a towel to press out as much water as you can.

  • Finish with a hair dryer, tipping the shade upside down frequently so that no water settles in the bottom of the shade, where it could leave a water stain.
  • Drying quickly is important, because the metal parts of the shade can rust and stain the fabric.

7. To clean a glass shade

Fill a sink with warm water and add 1 or 2 tsp (5 or 10 ml) of ammonia.

  • Immerse the shade in the water and wash it with a cloth.
  • Use an old toothbrush to get into crevices or difficult-to-reach spots.
  • Rinse and dry with a clean cloth.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu