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How to clean a lamp shade by premier lampshades, we get dozens of calls each week about lamp shades that simply need a clean. Below are a few simple tips on how to clean a lamp shade
Removing dust and animal hair from a fabric lampshade can be achieved with something as simple as your hair dryer set on full speed, however when using an hair dryer it is very important to hold it approximately 8 to 10 inches away from the lamp shades. This is so you don’t scorch the fabric. You can also use an Hoover with tools that can be placed on to the lamp shade using a very gentle up and down movement taking care not to press on to the fabric to hard. Another way is to use some very sticky tape, like masking tape, pressing it on to the fabric firmly but making sure you don't damage the fabric. You have to remember that silk fabric etc becomes quite brittle over a period of time due to the heat from the bulb; this is why it’s imperative to always use the correct wattage bulb, which will prolong the life of your fabric lamp shade. Pulling the sticky tape off will remove most hair and dust. Another alternative is brushing your lamp shades with a clothes brush giving it a quick brush every couple of weeks, keeping the lamp shades looking smart and clean.
We have seen lamp shades with grubby hand marks or stains on them, when the light bulb is turned on this really shows the horrible smudges in all their glory. It is extremely important that you always handle your lamp shade by the fitting (or if you want the correct terminology the Gimble) inside of the lamp shade, this will prevent any hand marks and indentations where your fingers might dent or stain the fabric when handling the shade. To remove hand marks, smudges etc you can try face wipes or kiddie wipes because we guessed if they were kind enough for our face they will not stain the lamp shades. The best way to prevent those little grubby fingerprints etc is to keep your lamp shades out of reach of your children. Easier said than done
You might find that your fabric lamp shade is heavily stained and will not come clean using the above methods, however all is not lost. This method is a little trickier; you will need to fill up your bath or a wide deep container with warm, not too hot water adding delicate fabric cleaner, creating nice bubbly warm water. Bear in mind you need enough room to turn the lamp shade over when you are gently washing it; this is why we use our bath because of its size. Once you are happy with washing it you will need to empty the bath/container and then fill it back up with lukewarm clean water without any cleaning fluids. By submerging your lamp shade in the now clean water gently move it up and down removing all the soap. Most fabric lamp shades will go a little baggy washing them this way but don`t worry because when left to dry the fabric will become taut again, however if you find that parts of the lamp shades are still a little baggy after totally drying them, use an hair dryer holding it approximately 8 to 10 inches away from the lamp shade being very careful not to scorch the fabric. This will make the lamp shades taut again. We use an electric Bosch paint stripper, but you need years of experience in lamp shade making to use this extremely hot method, we did scorch several lamp shades before we mastered the art of this. A good tip is to wash your lamp shades on a hot sunny day, if you don`t have enough room to hang your lamp shades up somewhere with a constant heat. You can hang your lamp shades outside on your clothes line allowing them to dry for several hours. However this way you do run the risk of our little feathered friends from above leaving you a present stuck to it!. The art of drying a soaking wet lamp shade is to allow it to dry evenly; this will prevent the dye in the fabric from running and staining your lamp shades. If you only wet a small part of your lamp shade it will definitely stain it.
If a simple dusting is not enough, PVC or plastic lamp shades are easy to wash. However you will find that if they are turning yellowish or discoloured in any way then it is not worth trying to clean them because you will not remove the staining that has penetrated the plastic etc.
With paper lamp shades only dusting can be employed as a cleaning method. Those that have been heavily soiled are really not worth trying to clean because they normally end up looking worse than they did in the 1st place and are relatively cheaper than fabric lamp shades to buy.
We really do hope this information helps you in cleaning your lamp shades, however we can`t 100% guarantee it will work every time because all fabric are different, but it does seem to work for us on most occasions.
If all the above fails, everything’s not lost. At Premier Lampshades we specialise in recovering and restoring lampshades.