How To Clean Lamp Shades: 3 Genius Ideas For Almost Any Material

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Don’t have a clue how to clean lamp shades, so they get ignored in a room that’s otherwise fairly clean? No judging here – I ignored my dusty lamp shades for far too long because I wasn’t sure how to clean fabric lamp shades and if I would rip or ruin them. Finally I’d had enough of those dust collectors and decided to experiment until I figured out cleaning hacks to get the job done and I can’t wait to share that with you. There are basically three methods to choose from to clean almost any lamp shade material and you won’t believe how fast and easy it is!

view of white and silver lamp on bedroom side table - How To Clean Lamp Shades



Growing up as an only child in the house, it was my task to do all the dusting every week. Maybe it was because my Mom owned 562 lamps and they were all fabric or that we lived off of a dirt road and it was especially dusty, but I despised having to clean lamp shades. It seemed to take me forever to get them all free of dust. I’m not sure if I was being a dramatic kid but I did feel like Cinderella. I mean, she made me drag out the vacuum cleaner for heaven sakes!

OK, I am a little dramatic.

I think that’s why dusting my lamps was never on my weekly cleaning list because I avoided it like the plague. When I realized I needed to know how to dust more efficiently because of dust allergies in our home, I knew I had to find out how to clean lamp shades quick and easy too! It was time to put on my big girl britches and get to experimenting! I found out a lot and here are the deets…..


  • How do you clean stained lamp shades?

My favorite lamp shade cleaners for stains have been Dawn dish washing detergent or or shout fabric spray. Start by testing a tiny spot on the inside of the lamp if possible. Spray a tiny bit of shout fabric spray on a damp cleaning rag and scrub the stain gently. Rinse the rag and wipe the spot gently again. Let dry!

  • Can you wash a fabric lampshade? 

Yes, I do all the time by carefully placing lamp shade in the bathtub (like fake flowers and so many other things) and giving it a good, gentle rinse with warm water. Be sure to do a test first where you wet a tiny spot on the back of the shade to be sure it won’t leave a mark. Some lamp shades like paper shades or linen shades may be too fragile so test a tiny spot and be very gentle.

  • What about a “yellowing” lamp shade?

Refer to the three choices of cleaning your lamp shades below according to the fabric, but if the fabric is sturdy enough, you could add a tiny amount of liquid bleach to the bath method below.


Lamp Shade and Fabric Cleaner


Depending on the type of lamp shade that you have and the extent of its dustiness will depend of which method you need to choose below to get it clean. I suggest starting with #1 and working your way through if the first method didn’t work.


As a first step, rub a microfiber cloth across your lamp shade to dust it easily and roll a lint roller across it gently to pick up any remaining particles, especially if the lamp shade is cotton or synthetic fabric. Most of the time, this is all that’s needed to get the job done!


If you have a cotton or synthetic fabric lamp shade that needs a little more attention, wipe it down with a damp rag that’s been dipped in a bowl of warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of Dawn detergent! If your lamp shade is made of a parchment/thin paper material or is especially fragile, use the same method but use a delicate laundry detergent instead of Dawn. Wipe the lamp gently and then rinse and repeat if necessary.


This trick works for so many things in our home that get extremely dusty like artificial flowers and certain decor items that hang on walls and aren’t dusted as often. All they need are a good rinse in warm water in the bathtub, let dry, and then put back where they belong.

view of white lamp shade and side table - how to clean lamp shades


Wayfair – we carry over 5,000 brands of products like furniture, lighting, cookware, and everything in between

Do you have any secrets you’d like to add about how to clean lamp shades? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!




Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Sabrina
    March 7, 2019 / 4:27 pm

    This works! I never knew a microfiber cloth and a lint roller would be my best buddies for cleaning lampshades!

    • Shan
      March 7, 2019 / 5:26 pm

      woohoo!!! I love quick hacks – hope it helps!


  2. Sarah Dudley
    April 15, 2019 / 9:20 pm

    Is it sad I’ve never thought about cleaning my lamp shades? Thanks for the wake up call, they are probably filthy! 🙂

    • Shan
      April 16, 2019 / 6:52 pm

      HaHa! You aren’t the only one for sure!


  3. Christa
    April 16, 2019 / 2:11 pm

    I am one of those strange people who actually enjoys cleaning. I’ve been really getting into spring cleaning my house and there are always a few things that I’m not sure how to tackle. This post was so informative! Off to clean some lampshades. 😀

    • Shan
      April 16, 2019 / 6:51 pm

      I enjoy these days myself – now that it doesn’t take me so long!


  4. Rachel
    April 16, 2019 / 2:12 pm

    I have always wondered how to clean a lampshade. Mine get so dusty! I just never knew!

    • Shan
      April 16, 2019 / 6:51 pm

      Same here for YEARS! Glad you found it helpful!


  5. Cristina - Memories of the Pacific
    April 16, 2019 / 2:15 pm

    Thanks for this! I had no idea how to clean lamp shades properly!

    • Shan
      April 16, 2019 / 6:50 pm

      Yay, Cristina, glad it was helpful!


  6. leah
    April 17, 2019 / 9:41 am

    ok to be honest I don’t know if I have ever cleaned lampshade haha. love these tips annnnd running to clean now!

    • Shan
      April 17, 2019 / 10:16 am

      No worries. YOu can join the club! Have fun 🙂


  7. Amy Winters
    May 1, 2019 / 6:54 pm

    As I was reading your article, you write about how your mom owned a lot of lamp shades, and they were especially dusty living off a dirt road. We lived off a dirt road growing up as well, and cleaning lamp shades were hard to do with all that dust coming in consistently. I assume she had a lot of fun lamp shade designs.

    • Shan
      May 1, 2019 / 8:47 pm

      You’re right. She had a lot of “stuff!” lol


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