how to clean a stained glass lamp shade
Kristina Davis

You may not have any idea how to clean a stained glass lamp shade if you haven’t done so before.

But never fear! I have found myself with a stained glass lampshade that needed cleaning in the past. And I’m here to guide you!

All it takes is the right process, a few supplies, and some elbow grease.

So if you need to clean a stained glass lampshade, I will show you exactly how.

Use a commercial glass cleaner, to clean glass lamp shades by first, trying the product in an area that won’t be seen. Then spray the lampshade lightly and dry it with a cotton cloth that doesn’t have any lint on it.

What Causes Stains On A Glass Lamp Shade

causes of stains

It turns out that glass is made out of sand, which acts as a natural cleaning agent when it’s exposed to air and water. 

As a result, when water gets into the cracks and crevices of a glass lampshade, it will begin to dissolve into those areas.

Then it’ll leave behind residue that attracts dirt particles. 

This can cause stains over time if you don’t take steps to prevent them from forming in the first place!

Tip: When water gets into a glass lamp shade that has any pieces missing or broken, it'll definitely cause stains over time 

Best Way To Clean Lamp Shades

Whether it’s a serious stain or a light one, there are a few best ways to clean lamp shade. And these methods are listed below: 

best way to clean

Method #1: Use A Feather Duster

If you’ve got the time, it’s best to use a feather duster with an old toothbrush.

Simply brush lightly over the surface of the stained area, then let it sit for about 20 minutes. 

Tip: At this point, go ahead to wipe off with a damp cloth or sponge.

Method #2: Use Rubbing Alcohol

It’s also possible to use rubbing alcohol to clean your lampshades.

Just pour some alcohol into a spray bottle and mist your lampshade with it until you see the stains disappear.

Method #3: Use Specified Cleaning Products

There are products specifically designed for cleaning stained glass lampshades that can be bought at most hardware stores.

They’re usually meant for windows and mirrors but they’ll work just fine on your lampshades too!

How To Avoid Future Stains On A Glass Lamp Shade

avoid stains in lamp shade

Stained glass lampshades are one of the most beautiful and elegant ways to decorate a home.

Unfortunately, they can also be one of the most difficult things to keep looking clean.

It’s easy to see why: glass is delicate, and it’s hard to find an all-purpose cleaner that works on it.

There are many things you can do to help prevent future stains from occurring on your stained glass lampshade. 

But first, let’s talk about a few tips for maintaining glass lamp shade.

Precautions For Maintaining Your Glass Lamp Shade

When you want to clean your glass lampshade, here are some things you should remember.

  • Be cautious to disconnect the light before cleaning it.
  • avoid using any abrasive materials or cleaners on the glass, 
  • Be sure to dry the glass thoroughly before replacing the shade on the lamp. 

By following these simple tips, you can keep your glass lampshade looking like new for years to come!

dust lamp shade

Here are some tips for maintaining your glass lampshade:

Dust It Regularly

Dust can build up on your glass lampshade, making it look dull. To keep it looking its best, dust it using a soft feather duster or cloth regularly.

Clean It With Vinegar

If your glass lampshade has stubborn dirt or stains, you can clean it with vinegar and water.

Next, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl, and then use a soft cloth to wipe down the glass lampshade.

Tip: Make sure to rinse with clear water afterward.

Polish It With Baby Oil

If you want to give your glass lampshade a little extra shine, you can polish it with baby oil. 

Simply put some baby oil on a soft cloth and rub it over the glass surface in a circular motion, then wipe off any excess oil afterward.

Factors That Can Cause The Colors Of Your Stained Glass Lamp To Fade

factors affecting fade color

Stained glass is a beautiful way to add color and light to your home, but it can be a bit of a hassle to keep it looking its best. 

One of the biggest problems you might face is stained glass lamps that fade over time.

There are a few different factors that can cause the colors of your stained glass lamp to fade. 

Factor #1: Exposure To Sunlight

Sunlight is the number one enemy of all things colorfast, and stained glass is no exception. If your lamp is in a sunny spot, the colors will slowly start to fade.

lamp exposed to sun

Factor #2: Dust And Dirt Buildup On The Glass

This can happen even if your lamp is not in a sunny spot, as dust can build up over time and cause the colors to become duller. 

To prevent this, make sure to clean your lamp regularly with a soft, dry cloth.

Factor #3: Some Chemicals Can Also Cause Fading

If you use cleaning products or other chemicals near your lamp, they may seep into the glass and cause the colors to fade. 

To avoid this, always wipe up any spills immediately, and be careful when using any chemicals near your lamp.

Tip: If you take care of your stained glass lamp and avoid these common causes of fading, it should stay looking beautiful for many years.

Materials To Avoid When Cleaning A Stained Glass Lamp Shade

what materials to avoid

Stained glass lamp shades can be delicate and require special care when cleaning. Here are some materials to avoid when cleaning a stained glass lampshade:

Harsh Chemicals

Chemicals that are harsh can damage delicate stained glass and lead to fading or discoloration.

Always use gentle, and pH-neutral cleaners each time you are cleaning your stained glass lampshade

Abrasive Materials 

This can be scrub steel wool or pads that can scratch the glass and dull the finish. Use a soft, microfiber cloth to gently wipe away dirt and debris.

Hot Water

This can cause the glass to expand and crack, you shouldn’t use hot water at all.

Always use cool or room temperature water each time you’re cleaning your stained glass lampshade.

hot water

Glass Cleaners 

Glass cleaners can streak the glass and make it more difficult to clean. 


Vinegar can etch the glass and make it more difficult to clean. 


Soap can leave a film on the glass and make it more difficult to clean.

How To Clean A Stained Glass Lamp Shade?

how to use bleach and water

If you have a stained glass lampshade, there are a few things you can do to try and clean it. 

Step #1: Remove Any Obstructions

Completely remove any obstructions that could be preventing light from entering the room through the stained glass. 

This may include things like ornaments, novels, and even living plants.

Step #2: Wet A Cloth Or Sponge In Warm Water

Wring out a washcloth or sponge that has been soaked with warm water and soap. Use a wet cloth or sponge to wipe the stained glass until it is clean. 

It is essential that the rims and corners of the glass be cleaned as well.

stained glass lampshade

Step #3: Use A Diluted Bleach Solution To Clean The Glass

If the stain is still visible after completing step 2, clean the glass using a solution of bleach that has been diluted.

If you decide to use this procedure, you should protect your hands by using gloves. 

This is because bleach will eliminate any grease or oil that may be present on them.

Note: Let the glass dry completely before using it again.


That’s it on how to clean a stained glass lamp shade.

Cleaning stained glass is an art. The methods are simple, but the process requires a skilled hand and an experienced eye to prevent the breakage of delicate glass pieces.

After following these simple steps you should be able to effectively clean your stained glass lampshade and make it look as good as new.