Spring Cleaning Means it’s Time to Clean Your Lighting Fixtures | How to Clean Lampshades, Lights, and Lighting Fixtures in Your House

Mar 18, 2021, 11:54 AM | Updated: 12:04 pm
How to Clean Lampshades...
Photo: Adobe Stock

How to clean your lampshadesThis article about how to clean lampshades, lights, and lighting fixtures in your home is sponsored by Lighting Design.

In general, cleaning isn’t necessarily the most fun you can have in your house. And your favorite light fixture that are out-of-reach are obviously the most noticed when they are dirty. Here’s how to clean lampshades, lights, and lighting fixtures in your home.

Unplug Your Lighting Fixtures or Turn Off The Power

How do you clean lampshades? - How to Clean Lampshades

Photo: Adoe Stock

This is a rule. Don’t clean your lighting fixtures unless power is off or the fixture is unplugged. Maybe you want to have a crazy hair-do. Maybe you want to know what Emperor Palpatine feels like. But the reality is that electricity is no joking matter. So again, turn off the power or unplug so you don’t electrocute yourself.

Don’t Use Your Dishwasher

How to Clean Lampshades

Photo: Adobe Stock

It seems like it would be a no brainer. “It would make things easier…” you think to yourself. But your dishwasher is NOT a place for your lighting fixtures. Why? Well, the glass in your favorite lighting fixtures are not dishwasher safe. That means you’ve got a high likelihood of cleaning glass out of the catch tray. Not fun. No warranty will cover that either. And the dishwasher might even be damaged. Just avoid lighting fixtures and dishwashers crossing paths.

Try Different Types of Dusters

How to Clean Lampshades

Photo: Adobe Stock

It’s not that lighting fixtures collect more dust than everything else in your home, it’s that it’s more noticeable because it’s well lit. Swiffer Dusters are the way to go for cleaning most lighting fixtures. They easily trap dust so it doesn’t get everywhere. You can also get extendable handles for the dusters to clean fixtures that are out of reach too. Try doing this about every other week to keep your fixtures dust-free.

Use Soap and Water

Photo: Adobe Stock

While you can’t use your dishwasher, you CAN hand-wash your lighting fixtures though! Try using a mild soap and warm water to clean glass parts on your fixture. Again make sure to just clean the glass pieces. No electrical parts should be near the soap/water mixture. Soak your piece in the water for a couple of minutes, rinse and dry off. This should get rid of most dirt/grime!

How to Clean Lampshades

How to Clean Lampshades

Photo: Adobe Stock

There are three types of Lampshades that can attach to all sorts of lighting fixtures. Each of them needs a different kind of love.


Start by wiping off dust with a dry microfiber cloth, duster, or you can use a vacuum cleaner attachment. Then add a couple drops of mild dishwashing liquid to some warm water. Then dampen a clean microfiber cloth with the soapy water. And finally, wipe the shade clean.


The process starts the same as above. Wipe off, or vacuum off, any dust. Then make some soapy water. It’s better to use a large sink or bathtub for this though because you’re going to dip the lampshade into the soapy water and let it soak for 10 minutes. Then pull it out, and gently rinse. Then set it on a dry towel to dry overnight. Don’t use a hairdryer as some fabric lampshades have a plastic insert in them and can melt leaving you with a misshaped lampshade.

Paper and Parchment or Lampshades with Glue

Start by finding some clean gloves. Oils from your hands can actually stain parchment. Then simply clean with a duster, or a microfiber cloth. And this might sound crazy, but you can also wipe dirt off using a dry piece of white bread. Just use the bread like a microfiber cloth. Just don’t eat it after you do.

Exterior Lights

Photo: Adobe Stock

Don’t forget your exterior lights! These are pretty easy because you can usually hose them down with low to mild hose pressure. Then finish by wiping them down with a dry cloth, preferably microfiber. That way you can avoid water spots.

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Spring Cleaning Means it’s Time to Clean Your Lighting Fixtures | How to Clean Lampshades, Lights, and Lighting Fixtures in Your House