Silk lamp shades may be an elegant way to accent a light fixture or lamp. These shades, whether patterned or plain, expensive, or moderately priced, will need to be cared for. Keeping the shade clean and polished will help extend the life of the shade, as well maintain its beauty.
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Begin by filling a large sink or bathtub with warm water and a bit of detergent. Using a mild detergent such as Dreft, Woolite, or Ivory is a must. The delicate silk shade may become damaged by a more harsh cleaning agent.
Using a soft brush, or clean towel, gently rub any spots in a circular motion. If the shade is free from spots and stains, you may be able to effectively clean it by simply dredging it in the detergent and water mixture. When you have saturated the entire shade, and cleansed all areas, drain the water. Running the shade under fresh warm water will rinse away the excess soap.
Drying the shade may be done with a hair dryer on high heat. The shade may appear to be misshapen at first as the fabric sags- but should retain the original shape as it dries.
Not all shades will be safe to wash. Vacuuming the shades regularly with a brush or hose attachment will help remove dust and debris, and may prevent the need for washing. Frames that are glued, or made of non-washable materials may be best treated by a dry cleaner.