How To Keep Your Lampshades Clean And Dust Free

Even the cleanest of people likely have places in their homes they might neglect or at least don't know they should be cleaning. One of those spots for many is lampshades. Whether it's a table, standing lamp, or ceiling light fixture, your lampshades need regular cleaning to prevent dust and dirt buildup.

Not only a dusty one looks bad, but it can make your home less energy efficient. Sandi Pressley notes that a dirty light is 30% less bright and efficient than a clean one, which may lead you to turn on more unnecessary bulbs when all you actually need to do is clean your lampshade. Plus, anything that collects dust for long periods of time can lead to increased allergies, making regular cleaning of your lampshades a necessity, especially for those affected by dust allergies. While it may seem like an annoying chore, there are plenty of simple and easy ways to keep your lampshades clean.

Routine cleaning

Cleaning your lampshades is quite an easy task, especially when done regularly. Pooky recommends cleaning these fixtures about once a week, so ensure you're incorporating them into your weekly cleaning schedule. As for how to clean them, that depends largely on the material of the shade. Hardier materials, like plastic or glass, for example, can be cleaned with either glass cleaner or a simple wipe-down without fear of damaging the material — just be sure to unplug it and let the bulb cool down first.

Silk shades, however, should be treated very delicately. Home Depot recommends only using a feather duster to clean silk lampshades. Fabric lampshades can simply be wiped down with a dry microfiber cloth or feather duster once a week, as can paper lampshades. If you have pleated fixtures, you can use a soft-bristled paintbrush to easily get the dust out of the crevices without damaging the pattern.

Other cleaning tips and tricks

Another easy way to clean lampshades is to use a lint roller, advises Home Depot; simply give your fabric or canvas shades a quick roll to remove surface-level dirt and dust. Just be careful not to use this tool on silk or other thin materials that could tear or damage. Other quick and easy methods include the handle attachment on a vacuum, and a hair dryer, according to Pooky. Make sure to use a low or no heat setting, as well as keep your distance so you don't melt or damage the material.

As for deep cleaning, which should be done once a year, let fabric lampshades soak for 15 minutes in lukewarm, soapy water, using a mild and unscented laundry detergent. Then, rinse off the lampshade and let it dry before reattaching it to your lamp. Glass and plastic fixtures can be removed and given thorough scrubbing. Consult a professional for silk lampshades.