How to Clean an Old Yellowed Lampshade
When your lamp begins to cast a yellow glow, then it can have everything to do with the lampshade and not the bulb. Lampshades with age and use begin to turn yellow. If you’re tempted to replace a vintage shade, then it might surprise you to learn that much of this yellowing comes out of dirt. By giving your lampshades a bathroom in the bathtub, you can restore them to their former pristine appearance, saving you money and allowing you to continue with your favorite vintage shades.
Cotton or Synthetic Fabric
Wipe the lampshade with a microfiber cloth, roll it with a sticky-tape lint roller or vacuum it with an upholstery-brush attachment to get rid of loose dust and dirt.
Fill a bathtub or large basin with sufficient warm water to swish the shade around freely within the tub or basin.
Add 1 tsp of liquid laundry detergent, baby shampoo or dishwashing liquid to the water for synthetic or cotton lampshades. Swish the water with your hand to produce suds. For extra whitening, then choose a laundry detergent that contains oxygen bleach.
Hold the lampshade by the metal frame and then lower it to the water. If it is very dirty, allow it to soak for 15 minutes.
Dip a sponge or soft rag to the water and then wipe the lampshade clean from top to bottom. If certain areas are especially stained, then bathe them with a soft toothbrush or nylon-bristled scrub brush.
Pour from the soapy water and then refill the tub or basin with warm water. Pull the lampshade straight down and up to remove the soap.
Blot the shade with a towel to remove excess water. Place it outside in front of a fan to accelerate the drying process.
Plastic, Parchment, Fiberglass or Laminated Fabric
Pour 1/4 cup of delicate laundry detergent to a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of warm water.
Beat the detergent with a hand or electric mixture to make stiff suds that appear and feel just like whipped cream.
Dip a sponge or rag to the suds to scoop some up. Wipe the shade in the top to bottom, inside and outside. If the lamp has a reflector bowl inside, wipe it clean also.
Rinse and wring out the sponge or rag. Wipe the suds from the lampshade.
Blot the shade with a towel to remove the water. Place it outdoors or in the front of a fan to accelerate the drying process.