Honestly, I have let the dust collect on my lamp shades for far too long. I have tried vacuuming them, but the dust seems to cling to the fabric. I have tried wiping it off with soap and water, but that just smeared the dust around. Then I found it… the easiest way (ever) to dust lamp shades, and all you need is one thing! Ready to clean those lamp shades?
Cleaning isn’t necessarily the most fun thing in the world. I realize this. However, there have been a couple cleaning tips that have gotten me a excited. Yep. Excited about cleaning. I loved how well I was able to remove hard water stains on my faucet with just a little vinegar. I was amazed that a bit of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide completely changed my porcelain sink from dull and stained, to a bright white. Here’s another one, and it’s SO simple.
While I was cleaning bedrooms for the 8 Week Cleaning Challenge, I stared at all the dusty lampshades. They were really gross, but I hadn’t found anything that could get the dust off effectively. Then I remembered having read about a simple trick that was supposed to remove it with ease. Honestly, I was skeptical, but gave it a try, and it worked SO well!
What You Need to Dust Lamp Shades
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Yep. That’s it. A lint roller.
Directions for Cleaning Lamp Shades
This hardly deserves an entire section devoted to the directions. Simply roll the lint roller all over the shade, and the dust comes right off. I had to change the roller tape halfway through because after it fills with dust, it loses the stickiness that pulls the dust from the shade. Take a look at the difference on my daughter’s lamp shade.
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I have tried this but mine didn’t clean up that well😞,
Try half to three quarters of a cup of salt in a polythene bag, put lamp shade inside and give it a good shake. It should shift anything that is in the creases.
I use the dusting attachment on my vacuum 😉
I find it easier and no cost by rinsing them off in the sink and let dry. Works great
Just vacuuming doesn’t seem enough, I’m going to try the lint roller as well
Carole Kane says
I simply use a soft small clean paint brush, take outside and brush off the dust, works like a charm.
Sue Davison says
Me too! Might as well. I’ve tried most everything else.
Just vacuum it.
Thank you for posting that! Now my shades will look brand new like yours!
Sharon Thomas says
Good idea. Or you could ise the dusting brush on your vaccuum cleaner.
I usually use my vacuum and small round dust attachment to get the dust off. I will try this and see how well it works.
Great idea esp for a delicate lampshade! Most don’t realize the trim is glued on. I have also used a Mr. Clean Magic eraser gently, it gets the dust off and then you also see ( horrors, lol) it was dirty too
It won’t work for burlap shades, however. Especially at the top and bottom rims (with cat hair.)
HOw Do you get fly spots off light shades?
I found using a slightly wet corner of a washcloth wiped gently on the spots works well and let dry once the spot is gone. I find vacuuming with the duster attachment works great to get the deeply embedded dirt and dust off.
People are suggesting using a lint roller for dust removal on lamp shades , and I use lint rollers, too…. but long before using lint rollers I used packaging take or masking tape..
Lisa B. says
After you use the lint roller, use an inexpensive paint brush to really brush out the lint that has collected in the seams. I use a wide chip brush from Home Depot that costs about $1.
Julie Pulley says
I take my lamp shades out and set them on my driveway (on a good dry, hot day). Hook up my air compressor and blow off all that built up dust in minutes! They will come out looking brand new!
Vacuum sweeper brush attachment works great too!
I use the small round vacuum attachment.
Carolyn M Warden says
Those must be relatively HUGE chunks of dust, that a standard sized lint roller got everything out of those little pleats, without using a smaller implement.
I believe a lit roller would work on a plain shade with no pleats or decoration. I’m sticking with using the hand held brush attachment to my vacuum.
A vacuum with attachments work well too?
Judith Lay says
I vacuum my shades with the upholstery attachment and it works great.
I use the wand attachment on the vacuum cleaner. It works great also !
Also try a 4″ to 5″ paint brush for once a week clean on lamp shades.
Wendy OLson says
I have pleated lamp shades and am looking for suggestions on how to clean them. I can’t get in the pleats with the lint roller.
I have had a lot of people recommend using a stiff paintbrush to dust lamp shades with pleats.
MaryAnn Cooke says
paint brush works wonders on pleated shades
Jersey Jo says
Just take the shade outside and brush with a stiff brush and vaccuum
It doesn’t work! I’ve been trying clean my moms shades for yrs!!! I need help too
If there are smokers in the house, the nicotine is sticky when it lands on the surrounding room, and it’s furnishings, it can be impossible to clean up, on some textile / fabrics.
Amy Busby says
Do you have a tip for pleated shades? Mine are driving me crazy!
I don’t have any pleated shade in my house, but many have recommended using a stiff paint brush to dust in between the pleats. Hope that works 🙂
Nessa Anderson says
compressed air, such as used to clean Keyboards or the putty used for the same purpose.
Any clean, dry paintbrush will do, but do it outside. Messy.
How about just vacuuming the shades? ?
nancy nardone says
couldn’t you use a piece of tape like wider shipping tape?
Thank you so much for sharing! This worked fabulously on my guest room lamp shades.
Jenny H says
That is a great idea!! Another good tool, a Swiffer duster!!
Kyle Wayne says
I thought it was really creative using a roller to clean them! My sister is looking to buy fun lamp shades but needs tips on cleaning. I’ll be sure to talk to her about using a roller to clean them.
Great tip, thank you!
Vacuuming is so very easy, nothing gets wet and dust goes in the tank.lamp shade ,like new.
Looking to find the trick to clean the double glass on oven doors
Here’s the post I have on cleaning the oven door: https://www.lemonslavenderandlaundry.com/cleaning-tip-tuesday-cleaning-oven-glass-baking-soda/
Lynn Bryan says
What about pleated shades?
I get this question a lot, and many people have stated they use a paintbrush on pleated lamp shades. Take the lamp shade outside, and use a paintbrush to wipe out the dust inside the pleats. Others have recommended using an air compressor to blow the dust out as well.
For delicate pleated lampshades I use a soft bristle baby hair brush
Donna W. says
For pleated shades, I’ve used the air in the cans like you use for a computer keyboard. This is also great for window seals and other tight places as well. Hope this helps.
Tricia mcauley says
Been doing this for years also use on my vertical blinds and anywhere my black cat has been!
i just take all of the shades yes cloth shades and use the shower hand held with straight hot water. and spray them down from top to bottom then shake them off and put them outside to dry do it on a warm windy day….wala!
I just wash mine with soap and water in the kitchen sink or bathtub with sprayer. It hasn’t hurt any of mine yet.
nancy nardone says
Yes this works for me
Tracy Pitman says
What about pleated shades?
Great question. Many have suggested using a paintbrush to get inside the pleats. I don’t, personally, have any pleated lamp shades, so I haven’t tried it myself.
I use the soft brush attachment with my sweeper.
Beth Armstrong Leahy says
THANK YOU!! I clean houses for a living and never knew how to get those lampshades clean. This is great!!!Any time I attempted to wipe them or dust them resulted in a smeary dusty mess that was WORSE than before. NOW I know what to do. Thanks again.
Beth Armstrong Leahy says
PS…wouldn’t dare to use vacuum on other people’s shades….too much chance of knocking it over!
I agree with you! Every time I tried “washing” the dust from the lamp shade, it just seemed to making a dirty smear. And I never felt like vacuuming did a good job. This is, by far, the best (and easiest) way to do it (in my opinion 🙂 )
Try air in a can for the fiddly bits and also for dusting plants.
Easy quick way to clean your lamp shade
WOW! So simple!!
Leysa Rought says
It’s quicker if you just vacuum them with the upholstery attatchment while you have it out anyway.
Doesn’t always work on , would prob vac first to get the most of off then the lint roller
Yup this is what I do, I have the vacuum there anyway, works like a charm!
I didn’t realize this wasn’t a well known way to clean lampshades. We have been doing this for years. My mom always cleaned them this way.
Glad someone shared it around now.
Forgot to mention that you use the microfiber cloth DRY, not wet!
I can’t believe no one has mentioned my favorite way to clean lamp shades – a microfiber cloth! Quick and easy! Also is great to dust blinds – mini or otherwise. My all-time favorite cleaning tool!
I use my husband’s compressor and can’t believe how much dust blows off.
????????I love it!!!!!
Cheri Burris says
I rub my lampshades with a dryer sheet. Simple and works great!
Nice idea. I have used a vacuum before. When mine gets some kind of unidentified spot, I have the same shade as in your pic and I just put a couple drops of dish soap in a sink full of warm water and using a cloth, wet it down. Whipping it gently and repeat until the spot is gone. Set on a dish towel to dry. They out like brand new.
I take lampshades outside and gently tap along the rim with a wooden spoon. The vibration causes the dust to fly off. Fun watching dust go by-by.
Debra Morehead says
I put my in the bath tub and rinsed them off with the sprayer. It did a wonderful job. They looked new.
I take off all the lampshades in the house, take them outside and use the lawn blower. Mine has a low and high setting and for a fragile one I put it on low. Works like a charm, gets in every seam, crack, crevice, etc. I use my blower for all sorts of stuff. Keyboards, on low, computer towers for those that have them, I take the back off and you’d be surprised how much gets inside them. Portable fans get really grungy and so easy to blow that junk out of them. I use that blower for all sorts of stuff, upholstered chairs, pillows, electrons of all kinds, rugs, outdoor mats, car mats, even have used it on the inside of the car, especially the knobs and such that get a collection of dust that is so hard to get out, I have even taken my dryer outside and totally freaked out at the amount of lint that blew out of it, lint was everywhere inside the dryer, NOT just the vent area. Outside I have used it on things like my bbq grill to get it really clean, be careful with this one, blow back can create lots of dirt to fly all over you and into your eyes, nose, mouth, etc. Also the outside AC unit, to get spider webs or other debris off the house, clean table and chairs outside and yes, even to actually blow leaves! LOVE my yard blower!!
Are you talking about a leaf blower?
Yes, we got our from Sears years ago. Since it has all both low and high setting it makes it handy for lots of uses!
In just use the soft hand attachment on my shark vacuum and vacuum off the dust (dmseriously the quickest and easiest way I have found;)
Barbara Marrin says
I do the same thing as well and it does a great job! I use a soft toothbrush for stubborn dust in the seams if the vacuum doesn’t get it all out.
I do the same thing!!!! I clean my fans that way too.
You take your dryer outside? Your clothes dryer?
Paula Brock says
If your husband has an air compressor, take them off the lamp, and outside, and you can blow off all the dust. It does a wonderful job. My husband has his compressor hooked up all the time, and it is really handy, and I don’t have to buy anything to clean them with, However, the lint roller is a good idea, and also a small attachment to your vacuum hose will do the job, too.
jo urbaniak says
I use my leaf blower on the dirt cup from my bagless vacuum….perfect!!
E J Molder says
I will try this!!!
I am a very very skeptical buyer and I purchased a Mighty Go Sticky roller that never needs refills – AND IT WORKS – never needs refills – just wash and reuse!!!
I purchased it at a craft show.
Duat can be sticky, take some talc and sprinkle liberally, then take your soft paint brush and rub in. Then vaccum. If you live in a humid environment this works best
I use a 2″ angled paint brush that never sees any other duty but dusting the lamp shades. True, it throws the dust away but you can do them outdoors.
I also use a 3 or 4 inch wide paint brush and dust lampshades outside! I love dusting lampshades this way. They get real clean!
I clean my lampshades with a dedicated stiff paintbrush as well, works great. My cleaning lady also uses a barely damp microfiber cloth with a little bit of bleach solution. We live near the ocean and all shades had little brown spots on them. It does change the color of your lampshade, so be careful! We have mostly white shades, so no problem, the cream ones turned white as well, but beautifully clean now!
Do this while holding the vacuum hose (vacuum ON) and brush the dust towards the hose.
Donna Preston says
I use the end of a vacuum hose .works great. I will try a lint brush though.
I use canned air and clean paint brushes to clean lampshades, picture frames air vent on hair dryers, filters on vacuum cleaners, dusting the grooves on alarm clocks, all types of things.
I just take the shades outside and use a clean soft whisk broom (the sideways kind that looks like an oversize hair brush, not the kind that looks like a mini broom) and brush the dust off. The wood stove and fireplace generate lots of soot in addition to everyday dust, and this method only takes a couple of minutes and leaves my white lampshades perfectly clean.
Any tips to clean water stain/any stain from a plastic container? I was using my water dispenser for infused drinks ( apples, cucumber & lemons) and only to find out that these left stain at a few levels. Appreciate any tips. I have tried baking soda diluted in warm water and tooth paste but no results. Thanks.
I have taken out tomato sauce stains from plastic containers by putting them in direct sunlight.
To avoid stains all together spray Pam in them first!
Thanks, will try that certainly! ?
Erin Meyer says
I’m not sure about getting out stains that are already on the plastic, but I have heard that applying a thin coat of oil or cooking spray to plasticware will help prevent future stains (typically when used for tomato products). I haven’t tried the method myself, but seems like it would be worth a try.
Thanks Erin. Will remember this tip the next time I use plastics to store infused drinks!
Go to the dollar tree and buy some Efferdent tablets.
If it’s a large stained container use 2 tablets.
Also use in your glass coffee pot. Just one tablet works. Crystal clear.
Can also use one or two in toilet bowl overnight to clean water ring. It works for me. And it’s not expensive.
I use bleach diluted with water. Works for me.
I used denture cleaning tablets to clean a few plastic items that had stains.
You might try using one of those Mr. Clean magic erasers, they will remove many kinds of stains that other products will not. But don’t buy the Mr. Clean brand; buy them in bulk on Amazon, they’re MUCH less expensive. Look for melamine foam.
Debbie McLaughlin says
I clean my lampshades, by using the vacuum cleaner……..works great……..
Donna Preston says
that what I used with the vacuum hose though.
Me too! I use the small brush attachment and it works like a charm.
I didn’t read thru all the comments, so if this is a repeat, please forgive. I’ve found that using a clean paint brush works really well on fabric lamp shades as well as the shades that are pleated. Gets in the crevices like a dream. ?
Erin Meyer says
Thanks for the tip Neally. It seems others have also found that to work well. Who knew there were so many options to dusting off our lamp shades?
Victoria McKeen says
Any tips for cleaning pleated shades?
Erin Meyer says
Do you mean the shades that are almost like cloth covered mini blinds? If so, I’m looking into how to get those cleaned up because we have them in our office. Hoping to do a “blinds cleaning” post in the near future. Thanks for the question Victoria.
Geralin Thomas says
Try canned air spray (like you use to clean a computer keyboard)
That stuff is horrible to the environment. Please don’t use it if you help it
CFC’s (chlorofluorocarbons) have been banned here in the US in aerosols, so what makes canned air harmful?
If you are referring to the “regular” blinds, that are vinyl, plastic or metal there is a product on the market that is specifically designed to clean in between the slats. I have tried several methods in the past successfully. If just need dusting try a pair of small plastic tongs (Dollar Store type), adhere dust “cloth” material or dryer sheet. Going one by one squeeze, slide repeat. You’re able to get each blind but it can be time consuming. Also, try closing them buy turning down and using a duster and the carefully if needed Lysol wipes. Gently wipe down. Lastly if they really need a good cleaning, draw them all the way to the top so they are bundled. I’d suggest leaving them slightly loose but primarily bundled, remove and soak in bathtub w/ mild detergent or bleach diluted in water. Rinse and gently dry. Extend and allow them to throughly dry before rehanging. That’s just a few ideas I’ve used. Good luck.
I keep a small paintbrush handy that I purchased from Dollar Store to dust all my lamp shades. I always take the lampshades outside and brush them with the paintbrush. The bristles get deep down in all the crevices leaving my lampshades good as new!
How to you get to the crevices by the trim so nicely. I do this, but I have trouble getting those spots by the seams.
i just get a sheet in my hand from the roller packet with spare sheets and carefully just dab, magic!
Erin Meyer says
I was able to get the seams simply by rolling the lint roller across the shade, but I think Cassanda’s idea sounds like a great one. It would give you more control over the tape.
I’ve been using a lint roller for years but it only takes off surface dust. The vacuum brush attachment is the best way to clean the dust/dirt off of them. Lint roller for a quick job. I use it on my sofa and chairs also but again only for a quick dust job.
Lint rollers are also great for cleaning up glitter.
I have been using the lint roller on my lamp shades forever!
Leagh Hamilton says
I like you use my lint roller for so much more than clothes. I have found a lint roller is also good to help clean anything with a brushed velvet such as silver frames and photograph albums. Thank you for the lamp shade tip!
Erin Meyer says
Great ideas Leagh! Thanks for sharing.
I use a new (never used for paint) paint brush with soft bristles. It works really well if your lampshade has pleats or folds. If the shade is really dusty, take the shade off the lamp and either take it outside or hold it over the bathtub.and gently brush. This works really well!
I use the soft brush attachment on my vacuum cleaner, works every time!
Rena Kirk says
That’s what I’ve used for years – and it works great!
Don’t bother buy the lint rollers from the dollar stores. They are horrible to use and peel the sheets off when done. Trust me buy yourself a good roller!!!!
Erin Meyer says
Good to know LaVonne. I swear my lint roller has lasted years, but the tape is finally getting to the end. I’ll be sure to invest in another good one.
What a brilliant tip! Just the other day I was upset about all that dust on my lampshades and tried to rub it off, but this is just so much easier! Thanks!!!
Erin Meyer says
Glad I could help.
Lorraine Simmonds says
How do you remove fly dirt off the shade?
Erin Meyer says
Can you explain what you mean by fly dirt? I’m not familiar with that term.
Think she meant fly pooh.
I just use my vacuum cleaner to suck the dust off. Easy & clean.
I just use my vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment as well.
AMEN!!! Was wondering when someone would finally say that! 🙂
I’ve found that the soft brush attachment on my vacuum does a spectacular job!
I’ve used the paint brush technique and the lint tape roller but for dust that collects in the little seams, I like my blow dryer on just air (no heat). Blows the dust out so the seams don’t acquire that ‘dirty’ look. I stabilize the candlestick lamp with one hand and use the blow dryer with the other. Very effective.
I took mine out to the garage, and used my air compressor to blow all the dust off. Worked super and took 10 seconds!
I have done this for years. It really does a great job in just a few seconds. Inside and out and between layers in those little pleated ones.
Glow bright says
Use a dry stiff paint brush on lamp shades and fragile intricate picture framesto get into grooves to brush off dust
Buy the ikea lint roller…..
Cheap and strong
I just discovered this trick myself a couple of weeks ago! I used to use the vacuum brush, but I think it sometimes rubbed the dust in. The lint roller is a great invention!
Erin Meyer says
I know many people have said that their vacuum brushes worked well for removing dust from their lamp shades, but, like you, I felt is just rubbed it into the shade more. We must have some tough dust 🙂
You don’t rub the shade with the brush. Just lightly pass it over the shade every time you vacuum your room. Quick & works every time!
Didn’t read all of the Comments, so many useful ones too. Wanted to share this: If the lamp shade is smallish you can put it into a plastic bag with salt and shake it around this removes dust from plastic decorative flowers, and it might be a solution for the pleats mentioned above. The older red lint brush might work also, and therefore a microfiber cloth might work also. Swiffer?
I just use the vaccuum cleaner with the brush attachment. I actually don’t have a lint roller!
Erin Meyer says
That was my original thought, to use the brush attachment on my vacuum, but either my vacuum isn’t strong enough, or my dust is tougher than most, because it just didn’t pull the dust off for me. I’m wondering if different fabrics hold the dust more than others?
You need good suction with a vacuum, but remove lampshade and go over it several times!! I vacuum mine at least once a month. If that fails take it outside and dust it like crazy with an old cloth. There are a ton of ways to get them cleaned. Roller would be difficult to get in crevices and folds.
If you live in a humid environment, it can cause dust to stick like crazy to things. I know my window blinds don’t just get dust that can just be brushed or blown off, it has to be scrubbed off. I’m sure it would be the same or worse with lamp shades since most of them have a porous surface for dust to settle down into.
Jewell Martin says
What go you mean, you changed the tape on the lint roller? Do you mean I don’t have to throw mine away when it gets linty? I never knew that. Thanks for the lamp shade cleaning top. I never knew that either.
Erin Meyer says
Typically a lint roller has a sticky tape on it. When it fills with lint, you can peel off the outer layer and get a new layer of fresh “tape”. I do remember my mom having a lint brush that was more of a rough cloth. That would not have the peeling layer, and I’m not sure it would work in this situation. Glad to pass on a useful tip.
Linda Stone says
I’ve been using a lint roller on my lamp shades for quite a while. I LOVE it. I buy mine at one of those $ stores for $1. I usually have one here at home and one in the car. So useful. Thanks for sharing this tip with others.
There are some lint rollers that don’t employ sticky tape to peel off after use, but just a sticky surface that, when dirty, can be rinsed off and dried, ready to go again. Never have to replace anything.