There are basically two types of lampshades--the hardback shade and the silk shade. The hardback shade has an exterior paper or fabric that has been laminated onto a liner. The silk shade has a fabric liner and exterior which is stretched over a wire frame. The fabric may or may not be made from silk. A vacuum brush or soft clean rag can be used on both types of lampshades to remove dust.

Wash Lampshades

Step 1

Read the tag on the lampshade to see if there are any special washing instructions or restrictions.

Step 2

Vacuum the lampshade before washing to remove surface dirt.

Step 3

Fill a tub with warm water, if you will be washing a silk lampshade. The water level should be high enough to allow the lampshade to be totally immersed. Add Ivory Snow or Deft soap to water, using recommended amounts listed on the box.

Step 4

Spot the shade by dipping a rag in the soapy water and gently rubbing on the spot, using a circular motion.

Step 5

Turn the shade upside down and dip in the tub. Gently move the shade up and down and sideways in the water. If the water gets dirty, drain and refill with new soapy water.

Step 6

Rinse shade in warm water, using the same method as washing, but use clean water. This may take several tubs of fresh, clean water to remove all the soap. The fabric will tighten up as it dries.

Step 7

Vacuum the hardback shade, and do not immerse in water as with the silk back lampshade.

Step 8

Spot clean hardback shades only in extreme cases. Wet washing is not advised as routine cleaning. Make a pasty substance by adding 1/4 cup mild detergent and water. Whip with electric mixer to make dry suds which resemble whipped cream. Gently wash the lampshade using dry suds and sponge. Avoid glue areas. Rinse with a damp cloth, and dry with dry cloth.