How to Repair & Clean Lamp Shades

Updated March 23, 2017

Lampshades are one piece of furniture in the house that many people neglect. Surprisingly, these thin pieces of fabric or paper attract large amounts of dust and grime and do require regular cleaning. Accidents also happen in the home and you may need to repair your lampshade. Thankfully, you can clean or repair lampshades that are dirty or damaged to make them look as good as new.

Remove the lampshade from the lamp.

Fill the bathtub with cold water and mild detergent.

Roll the lampshade in the detergent water until it is clean.

Drain the bathtub completely.

Rinse the lampshade in cold water from the faucet. Use the same rolling motions to rinse out the soap.

Sit the lampshade upright to dry.

Attach your brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner.

Rub the brush attachment from top to bottom on the outside of the lampshade.

Flip the lampshade over and repeat to the inside.

Rub the top and bottom with the attachment to remove any accumulated dust.

Warm up the glue gun.

Wrap matching-coloured bias tape and cut it so that it will fit perfectly around the top ring of the lampshade.

Place a long stream of glue across the lampshade ring and press the bias tape firmly into position.

Turn the lampshade over and glue the bias tape to the inside as well.


Vacuum your lampshades biweekly to avoid grime build-up.


Never get paper lampshades wet.

Things You'll Need

  • Gentle detergent
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Brush attachment
  • Glue gun
  • Bias tape
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer and efficiency analyst. He has more than five years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. Along with his technology background, White enjoys carpentry and plumbing.