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how to clean lamps & Shades

Clean lamps and light fixtures allow you to get all that expensive wattage you're paying for.

If you haven't thought about cleaning the lamps and light fixtures in your home lately, it's time you saw the light.

How about a few passes with a duster occasionally or an occasional vacuuming of those neglected lampshades?

Consider yourself enlightened. Oh yes - and about once a month, your lamps would probably welcome a good buffing, too.

removing dirt and dust from lamps, sconces, and ceiling lights.

To care for table lamps, sconces, and ceiling lights, carefully remove the shades so you can clean the bulb and base. Next, clean the bulb and base with a damp, clean cloth. Polish dry with a second clean cloth.

To clean washable lamp covers, immerse them in hot soapy water in a sink, bucket, or bathtub (for larger light covers). Wash them gently, rinse thoroughly, and polish dry with a clean towel or rag.

how to clean lampshades of dirt and stains

The secret to keeping lamp shades clean is to dust them weekly. Once dirt or grime builds up, it gets more difficult to remove, especially on delicate shades such as parchment or fabric. Here's how to safely clean lamp shades by material:

  • Beaded lampshades: Vacuum regularly to prevent dust buildup. Wipe occasionally with a damp cloth.
  • Fabric lampshades: Dust with a soft vacuum attachment; take to a professional if necessary.
  • Metal lampshades: Wipe with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Paper lampshades: Wipe; replace when they get too dirty.
  • Parchment lampshades: Dust; remove marks with an eraser.
  • Plastic lampshades: Wash in dishwashing solution.
  • Rattan lampshades: Vacuum often.
  • Silk lampshades: Leave it to the professionals.
  • Glass lamp shades: Wash in dishwashing solution; rinse and dry thoroughly.

how to clean chandeliers

If you have a chandelier, you can wash it yourself piece by piece, following these steps:

  • 1. Turn off the lights. You might even want to turn this one off at the breaker.
  • 2. Take out all bulbs and wipe them off. Use a soft cloth of paper towel, slightly dampened.
  • 3. Fill two tubs with hot water. Add dish detergent to the wash tub and ammonia to the rinse tub for sparkle. Cushion the bottoms of the tubs with cloths.
  • 4. Remove the crystal drops and saucers and put them in the sudsy water. (Either remove just a few crystal parts at a time or make a diagram of what goes where so you don't have a chandelier jigsaw puzzle to contend with when it's time to put it back together.)
  • 5. Wipe the base of the chandelier. Use a cloth dampened with the wash water.
  • 6. Rinse and dry all parts. Gently, under lightly running water.
  • 7. Replace the parts quickly before you forget where they go. Then replace the bulbs.

Check out the Clean Organized Home Store for the tools and products you'll need to clean and maintain lampshades.



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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.