How to Remove Rust From Lamps

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Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning rags

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Vinegar

  • Baking soda

  • Plastic tub


Soak small parts of the lamp, like screws and detachable metal parts, in the plastic tub.


Always unplug lamps before cleaning.

Over time, in a humid environment, the metal parts on this lamp could rust and diminish its beauty and functionality.

If you keep a lamp in a damp or humid environment, the metal portions of the lamp may develop a layer of rust. Fortunately, rust is fairly easy to remove without damaging the remainder of your delicate item. All you need is a little patience and some items that are probably already in your kitchen cabinets.


Step 1

Remove the shade from the lamp. In most cases, the shade will either screw on at the top of the lamp or clip on over the bulb. Once you have removed the shade, inspect it for rust damage. If you do not see any rust on the metal framework, you can set the shade to the side.

Step 2

Examine the entire frame for rust. As you do so, wipe down the lamp with a damp rag and three drops of liquid dish soap. Wiping down the lamp will remove dust and grime while ensuring that you spot every bit of rust.

Step 3

Clean any rusted metal with vinegar and baking soda. Saturate a cleaning rag with vinegar and wipe down the metal. Use firm pressure and be careful to keep the vinegar off the lampshade when possible. If the rust persists, add a small amount of baking soda to the rag and use this to scrub. The baking soda will abrade the rust without harming the lamp's finish.


Step 4

Wipe down the entire lamp with a damp rag and three drops of liquid soap. This will remove any cleaning residue.

Step 5

Dry the lamp with a clean, dry rag. Removing dampness immediately will prevent new rust from forming on the newly cleaned metal. Now you can reassemble your lamp and start enjoying rust-free light.



Carole Ellis

Carole Ellis began writing in 2004 for the "UGA Research Magazine." Her work has appeared in Growing Edge, Medscape and Doctors' Guide publications. In addition to medical coverage, Carole publishes a real estate newsletter called REJournalOnline and is the news editor for the Bryan Ellis Real Estate Letter. She has a bachelor's degree in English and graduate work in creative writing and plant biology.