How to Clean Lamp Shades with Pleats?

Dust sits between the pleats of your lampshade with the passage of a few weeks or months.

Ultimately, the lampshade’s beauty starts fading, and that’s when it pops into your head: how to clean lamp shades with pleats, right?

Today, you’ll learn the quick and easy methods to clean a pleated lamp shade without damaging it.

Read till the end to know how you can clean one with the supplies available at your home.

How to Clean Lamp Shades with Pleats?

Besides silk pleated shades, paper lamp shades are also there. No new, fragile materials like paper cannot be dumped into the water for cleaning.

Keeping certain conditions in view, we have divided the pleated lampshade cleaning into two sections. Dust cleaning of lampshades is mentioned below, while how to clean pleated fabric lampshades with water is stated afterward.

How to Dust Pleated Lampshade?

Supplies Required

  • 2-4 inch makeup or paintbrush
  • Toothbrush
  • Vacuum cleaner or blow dryer
  • Pieces of bread
  • Spare container or bucket
  • A small tray
  • Dry baking soda


how to clean lamp shades with pleats

Method # 01: Shedding Dust Using Paintbrush

  • To start cleaning your pleated lampshade, take it off from the lamp’s pole
  • Keep your 2 to 4 inches paintbrush or spare makeup brush along (since makeup brushes are small enough, we used one from the BS-MALL makeup brushes set)
  • Take it outside of the home or area where you can shed the dust
  • Keep it a foot or two away from your face
  • Start brushing pleats one by one
  • Remember to move the brush up and down and not in a circular motion
  • Move in a rotational motion to not to miss any pleat
  • And, just like that, you are done.

Method # 02: Vacuuming

  • For this method, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner or blow dryer (both of them are easily available at home)
  • Start with separating the pleated lampshade from the base of the lamp
  • Move to a place where dust can be easily cleaned
  • Maintain a distance between your face and the dusty lampshade
  • With a blow dryer, set the lowest degrees on the coolest settings (the blow dryer should be at a distance of 8 to 10 inches from the lampshade)
  • Rub the blow dryer against the shade in up and down motion (and not in the circular)
  • In the case of a vacuum cleaner, fix the upholstery brush at the front
  • Keep moving this brush to and fro vertically against each pleat
  • When you’ll do it in a uniform motion, the lampshade will be cleaned

Method # 03: Rubbing Pieces of Bread

  • Pieces of bread are required to clean through this method
  • Commence the cleaning process by detaching the shade from the base of the lamp and pole
  • Place a container below to prevent spillage and sit in a way to have a lampshade in one hand and bread in the other
  • Gently rub the piece of bread vertically on the shade in a uniform motion
  • Do it on every single pleat on your lampshade
  • Let the bread sit for a couple of hours on the lampshade
  • After that, have a paintbrush or makeup brush to dust it off (No water will be used in the entire process)
  • You’ll see your lampshade clean and charming again

Method # 04: Sprinkling Baking Soda

  • Simply take off the shade from the harp or the bulb of your lamp
  • Bring a little amount of dry baking soda to a small tray
  • Set a container or choose a place to prevent spillage
  • Sprinkle this baking soda on your pleated lampshade
  • With your brush, scrub the shade gently to prevent damage
  • Apply the same up and down scrubbing technique on the entire lampshade
  • Use another brush to shed off all the baking soda (neither it requires a damp cloth nor water)
  • And, tadaaa, you have a brand new pleated lampshade

Also Read: How to Clean a Lampshade without Damaging It

How to Clean a Pleated Silk/Fabric Lampshade with Water?

Dusting the Lampshade

The first step to involve deep cleaning of the pleated lampshade is dusting. For that, you can pick a toothbrush, makeup brush, or paintbrush, while spare makeup brushes are the best option you can go for.

Shedding Dust Using Vacuum Cleaner

Other than that, you can apply a blow dryer or vacuum cleaner to shed off the dust as described above. Once you are done pulling off the dust, follow the steps below. Make sure your lampshade is not glued or of paper to avoid damage.

Fill the Tub with Lukewarm Water

Take a container or go to the bathtub and fill it with lukewarm water. The water should be filled to enough level for submerging the entire lampshade.

Pour Silk Detergent

Pour a cap full of silk detergent into the water. With ordinary detergents, your silk shade can attain ugly marks, while the silk detergent prevents any damage. Other than silk, you can also use it for other delicate fabrics.

Stir Water and Soap

Mix the soap and water properly. Put a cloth into this soapy water and soak it in the water. Rub this cloth gently on the surface of the lampshade.

Soak the Lampshade

When done scrubbing the entire lampshade, throw it into the soapy water. Splash this soapy water on the lampshade for a few minutes.

Move Your Brush Up and Down

Move your paintbrush, toothbrush, or makeup brush against the lampshade pleats. Remember, the motion should be to and fro in the vertical direction. This will release the dust hidden between two pleats.

Fill Fresh Water in the Tub Again

As the water will be dirty up till now, dispose of it off. Fill the tub again with clean water and rinse the shade with it. You can repeat the rinsing cycle if you find the water and the lampshade dirty again.

Set the Lampshade for Drying

Place the lampshade in a room with good airflow. Let it set on drying for a couple of hours or until it dries up completely.

Put the Lampshade On

Attach the lampshade again to the pole of the lamp. Now, enjoy the new feel and environment with the washed pleated lampshade for months to come.


We addressed this question: how to clean lamp shades with pleats today.

Well, doing it is all easy. All you need is a paintbrush, makeup brush, or toothbrush for dusting it off. For deep cleaning, you can also use a vacuum cleaner and move it to and fro.

If you want to make it look as good as new, you can also submerge it in soapy water. After that, take a cloth or a brush and scrub against the lamp shade gently. Change the water, rinse your lamp shade, and set it for drying.

Remember, a silk detergent is best for rinsing the lampshade and keeping its look intact.

Happy Lampshade Cleaning.


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