Lampshades are very expensive. When your lampshades become dirty, do you need to toss them into the trash right along with your money? Is there a way to clean your lampshades?
Consult a dry cleaner if you have lampshades of extreme importance or value to you. The delicate material that make up many lampshades can be tricky to clean on your own, but it is possible to wash your own lampshades, in many cases.
Begin by removing the lampshades from your lamp. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe away dirt and dust. Do not forget to wipe off both the inside and outside portions of the lampshade. A soft vacuum brush may work wonders to spruce up your lampshades. You will be amazed at the amount of dirt and grime that sticks to your lampshades.
You will need a sink or tub that is large enough to fully submerge the shade. A large basin will work well for this task. Dish washing liquid or laundry detergent will work fine. Keep a dry cloth handy during the cleaning process. You may or may not want to use rubber gloves while cleaning your lampshades.
While you are filling your tub with warm water, remove the non-washable trim from the lampshade. Pour a bit of laundry soap or dish soap into the water. Stir the soap and water until the suds form.
If your lampshade is made from fabric, soak your lampshade in the sudsy water. Using a clean cloth, gently rub suds into the fabric to remove any large soiled marks or stains from the lampshade. Move the shade around in the soapy water by turning it back and forth. Lift the shade up and down in the water several times.
If the water becomes too dirty, you will need to refill the tub with warm, soapy water. Continue the cleaning process until the water in the tub remains fairly clear.
Do not be alarmed when the fabric of your lampshade begins to sag or droop. The fabric may stretch during the cleaning process, but most fabrics will return to the original shape when dry. If you removed the fabric from the metal frame, you must put it back on the frame before the material dries. You can dry your lampshade by hanging it outside on a string, or dangling it over the bathroom tub.
Another great method to dry your lampshade is to place it back on the lamp and turn on the light. The heat from the bulb will help to speed up the reshaping and drying process. At this time, use your fingers to shape the ruffles or ridges in the lampshade. Do not wait until the shade is completely dry to improve your results.
If your lampshades are made from parchment, plastic, or laminated lampshade, you will not want to follow the steps above. You do not want to get these types of lampshades very wet.
You will want to use a small bowl with only 1/4 cup of warm water. Add just a touch of mild laundry detergent
To the water. Use a whisk to form dry soap suds from the mixture. They should be about the consistency of whipped cream. Wash the inside and outside portions of the shade in small sections. Use a sponge to gather the dry suds and wipe the lampshade. Be certain to cautiously wash the areas of the shade with glue,
Such as the binding. Getting this area saturated will undoubtedly cause the glue to loosen.
Use a clean, damp sponge to remove the dry suds from the lampshade. Wipe the lampshade dry with a soft cloth.
Regardless of the method you use to clean your lampshades, always remember to clean the metallic reflector bowl prior to reattaching the lampshade. To prevent scratching the surface, always use a soft cloth with non-abrasive cleaners. Dusting your light bulbs are another great idea. Never dust light bulbs while the lamp is on or still warm. Use a dry cloth to remove any dust before returning the lampshade to its original position.
Your clean lampshades will look fabulous. Cleaning your lampshades takes a bit of time, but saves a great deal of money. Keep your home looking its best by washing your lampshades periodically.