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Lampshade Care Survey | Sizing | FAQs | Tips | Testimonials | Shipping

Excessive Heat

The proper care of your lampshade will allow it to continue to look great for 15-20 years or more. The number one cause for a lampshade to discolor or start to disintegrate is excessive heat, which normally means you are using a bulb or bulbs with too much wattage.

With a large end table lamp using a drum shade you may use up to a 150 watt bulb. With most other smaller table lamps it is recommend that a 100 watt bulb be the maximum. Very small lamps using a clip over the bulb type of the shade stay with 75 watt or less.

For a large floor lamp with three or more bulbs do not use more than a 150 watt bulb in the center socket, and 75 watts in the other sockets. To accommodate the higher wattage on your floor lamp always use a shade with a large opening at the top.

Chandelier shades should not be used on more than a 40 watt bulb.


Do not leave the plastic wrapping on your new lampshade once you've decided to keep it. Although keeping the plastic on a shade might seem like it will help keep it clean, it will do more harm than good to the shade material.

Keeping Shade Straight

Make sure to keep your lamp shade from becoming off balance on the lamp. An old harp which sometimes wears out and becomes loose at the top is the biggest culprit of the shade getting off center. When this happens, not only does the shade wear out sooner but a fire hazard does exist if the bulb actually touches the shade.

Routine Cleaning

Very little care is needed for most lampshades. However a light dusting with a brush or vacuum periodically, will help preserve the original look of a fabric shade. With a proper shade simply wipe the shade with a soft cloth with a slight bit of glass cleaner or similar product.

Sport or Stain Removal

Spot and stain removal from a silk or fabric shade can be a tricky proposition. Success, regardless of the method used is never guaranteed. A small spot or stain can sometimes be removed or at least minimized by using a fabric cleaner you might find at your local grocery store. Use a small clean cloth or cue tips to gently apply cleaner.

People sometime ask, "Can I wash my lampshade in the sink or bathtub?" It can be done with some success, but must be done very gently. The outcome of this can be very mixed. With older shades that are starting to wear thin it can cause more harm than good.


Using the guidelines and helpful tips I guarantee that any shade you purchase from will last on average 15-20 years or more!

David Brown
"The Lampshade Guy"