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How to Clean a Lamp Shade in 2 Seconds – Without a Vacuum

I’m not one of those people who can ignore a mess.  Somehow I could, though, when I was in Budapest, – and it was liberating.  I was so much more productive in my research and had more time to live.  Hubby called me Bizarro Tanya and he watched in awe as heaps of stuff piled up on the coffee table, but I didn’t bat an eyelash.  Back in the townhouse, though, I cannot concentrate with mess.  Even though Hubby was a super star cleaner when left to his own devices for those three and a half months, the dust still piled up.  Bills weren’t filed.  Then my suitcase exploded and made every single room a disaster (how?).  I’ve been chipping away at it.  I have DIY plans (and research deadlines), but I just couldn’t start anything until the townhouse looked tidy.  It’s almost there.

Maybe my obsessive tidiness is why I get reader a lot of reader questions about cleaning a lot?  Lots of readers write in, asking for my cleaning “secrets,” but I’m not sure I do anything super special, which is why I almost never write about cleaning.  I shared a fun tip ages ago because it changed my life, but that’s about it.  But how can I say no to you?  You’re all so great.  So I’m wracking my brain for any cleaning tips and tricks you might not have heard before.

First up: cleaning lampshades.  We have lots of ambient lighting, with many-a-lampshade just begging to be coated in dust.

How to clean a lamp shade

The dark shades in the bedroom (above) have really caught readers’ eyes and a few have written in, specifically asking if those show the dust.


How to remove dust from a lamp shade

As you can imagine, after four months away they got a wee bit dusty.

But it takes two seconds to clean ’em.  This is my secret: our vacuum cleaner died a year ago, and we haven’t bought a new one, so I have to be creative.  I know the newer ones that aren’t found in the trash have fancy cleaning attachments and all that jazz, but even if we had one I’d be worried about knocking over my lamps in the cleaning kerfuffle.

I use . . . wait for it . . . a lint roller to clean my lamp shades in two seconds!  Not super environmentally friendly, I know, but I use one sheet, a couple of times a year, to de-dust these babies.

Creative Uses for Lint Rollers

Quick and Dirty Cleaning Tips

That’s my hot tip.  I’ll have to think deeply about my cleaning habits to see if I have any other secrets.  Did you know there’s a raging debate about Murphy’s Soap and hardwood floors?  It’s gripping.



  1. Rachelle Falcon
    January 9, 2013 / 4:17 pm

    What a smart idea! My shades could could a good clean up. Thanks for the tip and have a Happy New Year!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 9, 2013 / 6:44 pm

      Happy new year to you too! And happy cleaning 🙂

  2. Sheila @sZinteriors
    January 9, 2013 / 4:32 pm

    Love it! Who knew, and yay for you for being the dusting genius! I am SO going to get the lint roller out!!! Oh, and I'm team Murphy, too. Have used it for years…

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 9, 2013 / 6:44 pm

      Yay Team Murphy – I love it for my wood floors.

  3. Michelle @ AM Dolce Vita
    January 9, 2013 / 6:58 pm

    I even use lint rollers for hair and small particles on the floor. 🙂 They are my best friends and I keep a few of them at all times. Btw I am hosting a giveaway for a free pair of designer pillows (value up to $140) so don't forget to check it out. 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 9, 2013 / 7:17 pm

      They sure are handy! Sounds like a great giveaway, I'll be sure to check it out!

  4. Rebecca Gonzalez
    January 10, 2013 / 6:01 am

    Okay, super hot tip. Have the same problem as well and it didn't occur to me that the clothes cat hair removers could remove dusty problems. Gracias. And thanks for stopping by my blog and voting for a masthead. Your feedback was very helpful!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 11, 2013 / 5:04 am

      It was so hard to chose between the mastheads – they ALL looked lovely!

  5. betinahluna
    January 10, 2013 / 12:24 pm

    Good tip hear! Will try this asap! Thanks for this and may you post more helpful tips on your blog.

  6. Rachael
    January 10, 2013 / 6:48 pm

    This is a great tip, but do you ever get dust on the inside of the shade? I guess you could just stick a lint roller up there (although I would probably take the shade off first in fear of breaking the whole thing!).Also, random but I found a lighting giveaway if anyone wants free light. Looks like its going til next Monday.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 11, 2013 / 5:05 am

      The inside of this lampshade is kind of shiny and smooth, so a feather duster or swiffer duster cleans it quickly (even the light bulb gets dusty sometimes, lol). But I think with lampshades that are the same material on the inside, the same trick can work.

  7. betinahluna
    January 13, 2013 / 12:15 pm

    This tip is really helpful!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 14, 2013 / 9:26 pm

      Happy to help!

  8. cred
    January 14, 2013 / 3:26 pm

    of course, great idea. Plus you can compost those papers in the municipal compost. They're not plastic, more like waxed paper and the roll is refillable. No need to feel guilty.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 14, 2013 / 9:26 pm

      I never even thought that these would be compost-able because they feel so synthetic. Thanks for the tip!! 🙂

  9. Ruthy D
    October 2, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    Thanks for the tip. I use a New sponge, I wet it and squeeze it as dry as I can and wipe my lampshades down. When the sponge gets dirty I rinse it out clean and continue.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      October 3, 2018 / 12:25 am

      I will have to try that! Thanks 🙂

  10. Susan Ramsay
    August 6, 2019 / 2:10 pm

    “Mr. Clean” erasers are like a very, very fine sandpaper. So the combination of that plus “Barkeeper’s Friend” is abrasive. You really, REALLY have to be careful.

    • August 8, 2019 / 11:11 am

      It’s so true! A light touch is key, but sometimes it’s all that will work.

  11. February 14, 2021 / 10:43 am

    I use lint rollers to dust curtains that would otherwise need to go to dry cleaners… good.

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