How to Clean Different Types of Lampshades

how to clean lamp shades. Off white striped lamp shade on a blue table
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If you’re looking for one more detail cleaning task for your customers, consider cleaning their lampshades!  Go beyond dusting them and actually clean them.  It’s not hard.  In fact, here’s a 1,2,3 tutorial of how to clean different types of lampshades with your professional house cleaning business.


Typically, residential cleaning services dust and damp wipe the base of the lamps in the homes they clean.  But you can do more and include lampshade cleaning as a part of your detail cleaning packages.  The cleaning doesn’t have to be done on every routine cleaning day.  Every 3 or 4 months should suffice.


Cleaning the fabric or washing the surface of various lampshades will improve the look and feel of the whole house once you’re done with your cleaning. 


So, offer this additional service to your customers for 2 main reasons: additional income to your cleaning company and a better customer experience.

And, why not?


Let’s get ready….

Materials you can use to clean different types of lampshades

  1. Feather duster
  2. Vacuum with brush attachment
  3. Towels
  4. Lint roller
  5. Bucket or tub of cool water and mild soap. I like Thieves!

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Instructions for how to clean different types of lampshades

how to clean different types of lampshades. African american woman holding a small white fabric lampshade over tub.

No matter the lampshade, it is best to remove it from the base prior to cleaning, when possible.

Cleaning wipeable surface lampshades including glass, plastic, metal, and parchment

  1. Dust with a feather duster
  2. Use a very damp microfiber cloth to wipe evenly across the shade.

Cleaning lampshades with décor overlay

  1. Use a vacuum with brush attachment. I read somewhere that you could take a nylon and place it across the upholstery vacuum attachment and vacuum the shade like that.  This will ensure that you don’t suction any dangling or loose pieces. 😉
  2. Be careful not to ruin any jewels or tassels.
  3. Take a damp cloth to touch up any stains or spots, only if you can.

Cleaning torch light shades

  1. Make sure the light has been off and the bulb is cool.
  2. Unplug the lamp if possible.
  3. Remove the bulb.
  4. Vacuum the inside.
  5. Take a very damp cloth to wipe inside and outside.

Cleaning fabric lampshades… including pleated shades

  1. Either vacuum, or lint roller to remove dust, hair, and lint.
  2. With your customer’s approval, place the lampshade in a tub of cool water. Get the entire shade wet. (Inform your customer that if the metal rods are rusty for whatever reason, the rust may come through the fabric. By the way, this has never been our experience in the 25+ years in this industry.) 
  3. Rinse well in cool water.
  4. Let dry completely before returning to the lamp base. (Your customer may have to replace this shade if it doesn’t completely dry by the time you finish your regular clean time.)

If you question any type of cleaning techniques, practice at home on similar items to examine the results.  It would better prepare you in case you’ve never tackled this job.  Good luck with cleaning all those different types of lampshades!

Complete the form below to enter the deep cleaning challenge.  You’ll learn how and why deep | detail | spring cleaning is a game-changer for your professional house and office cleaning business!

Not interested in providing comprehensive cleaning services?  No problem.  Take a peek at our Resource Library for cleaning professionals.  It’s full of checklists, schedules, a list of cleaning products, and so much more!  Oh, and it’s FREE too, but for a limited time.


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