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Why Does My White Lampshade Look Yellow? [And how to reverse the effect]

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You’ve switched from one colored light bulb to the next, all in a bid to get rid of that annoying yellowish glow from your white lampshade. Have you stopped to consider if the issue could go beyond your light bulb? In this post, we’ll help you restore that white radiance through some helpful, well-researched methods. 

When your white lampshade develops a yellow shade, it’s because you haven’t cleaned it in a while. The accumulated dust is often projected through the yellow appearance. A sure way to restore its white condition is through some good, old-fashioned cleaning. 

If you were planning on replacing your lampshade, ditch the idea and put on your cleaning gloves. Keep reading for clearer, more in-depth pointers on how to clean your lampshade properly. Also included are a range of other relevant points to give you ideas on how you should clean and maintain your lampshade.

Classic lamp with turned on bulb under lampshade against wall in bedroom, Why Does My Lampshade Look Yellow? [And how to reverse the effect]

Why Does My White Lampshade Look Yellow When Lit?

Sometimes, white lampshades have a yellow glow when the bulb used is of a color other than white. LED lights are perfect options for lampshades since they produce white light that brings out the actual color of your lampshade. 

A dirty lampshade mostly causes a yellowish appearance. A good number of homeowners often realize the yellow shade when the lampshade has gathered insane amounts of dirt and dust. The unwanted color can have a serious and negative impact on your bedroom or living room décor. 

If you love experimenting with different living room designs, read 21 Wall Décor Ideas For Your Living Room for fresh and new inspirations. 

Between pet hair, household dust, and grubby hands, white lampshades can get grimy. When you notice this, your last resort should be replacing them with new ones. Some white shades cost more than the lamps they cover. Instead, look into how you’ll clean it up real good and restore its initial pristine, bright glow.

Washing a lampshade is as easy as it gets. It’s a relatively straightforward process that you can do in half an hour or less. It’s also an economical way of solving the problem since you won’t have to spend your hard-earned money on a new shade. 

Can You Wash A Lampshade?

In case you didn’t know, you can wash lamp shades. Mere vacuuming, dusting or wiping won’t do much to get rid of the accumulated dirt. Clean your fabric shade the right way, and you will restore it to a pristine white.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Standard vacuum cleaner/sticky-tape lint roller
  • Mild detergent
  • Soft brush
  • Sponge/soft rug

Step 1: 

Dismount the lampshade from the base of the lamp. How you do it will depend on the design of your lamp. Typically, you should be able to remove it after unscrewing the bulb.

Step 2: 

Rid the shade of any loose dirt by either vacuuming it or rolling it using a sticky-tape lint roller. A debris-free lampshade will lessen the chances of the lampshade developing stains during washing. 

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Step 3:

Fill your sink or bathtub with warm water until it reaches a point where it will fully submerge the shade. Take the detergent, measure half a cup, and mix it with the warm water until it gets lathery. 

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Step 4:

Dunk your fabric shade into the sink/bathtub repeatedly until the water turns color. Brush off any stains gently using the soft brush. Drain the dirty water and replace it with clean water, add soap, and dip it once more. Repeat the process until the water becomes clear.

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Step 5: 

Air-dry the fabric shade and remount it onto the lamp once it’s dried completely. You could alternatively wipe it dry with the help of a lint-free cloth. And voila! A bright white glow should now replace the yellow glow.

Can You Bleach A Lampshade?

White lampshades tend to lose their brightness and get a tad dingy after a while. That’s where some good old-fashioned bleach comes in. Bleaching your fabric lampshade helps bring back the white shade and maintain its brightness in your room. 

Here are three essential points you should know about bleach before changing your lampshade’s color:

1. What Is Bleach?

Household cleaning supplies

Bleach is a chemical solvent used to clean stains and also doubles as a disinfectant. It’s safe to use on all fabrics except silk, mohair, spandex, and wool. Bleach is potent, fast-acting, and can severely damage/weaken materials when misused. 

2. Use It According To Instructions

It might seem pretty obvious but always refer to the label instructions before or during use. Various bleaches come with their own set of instructions. Adhere to these rules; else, you’ll end up with issues such as color loss, rips, or holes on your lampshade.

3. Use It In The Right Conditions

Never use bleach with water that has a high iron content. Use it in evenly concentrated warm water and avoid using it with ammonia all at once. The result can easily generate dangerous fumes.

How Do You Whiten A Yellow Lampshade?

Bleaching fabric lampshades is quite similar to bleaching clothes, except you shouldn’t put them inside a washing machine. If your yellow-colored lampshade doesn’t match your living room or bedroom wall décor, you can change it accordingly to suit your taste. 

Read more about 35 Two-Color Combinations For Bedroom Walls [That Can Work For You] for excellent ideas for your bedroom makeover. 

How to Bleach a Lampshade

However, if you’re not careful enough, bleach can do more harm than good on your shade.

What you’ll need:

  • Clorox bleach
  • Water
  • Sink or a large basin
  • Gloves

Step 1: 

If your yellow lampshade is dirty, soak it in a bathtub or sink of warm water and half a cup of detergent. This will ensure the bleaching spreads to all parts of the fabric. Drain the water after 15 minutes and rinse the lampshade thoroughly.

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Step 2:

Pour a ¼ cup of bleach into a separate sink of warm water. Ensure the sink surface is good enough for bleaching purposes. Some sinks such as marble can suffer damage from contact with bleach.

Step 3: 

Dunk the lampshade into the bleach mixture and allow it to soak for 15 minutes or more. Glove your hands and swirl the fabric shade around until every part of it is saturated with the bleach.

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Step 4:

Once the 15 minutes are up, drain the water and transfer the shade to a different sink for rinsing. Hold it under cold running water to rid the shade of all the chemicals. 

Step 5: 

Leave it to air-dry and hang it back up to your lamp. Your lampshade should now be whiter than ever!

Can Yellowed Plastic Be Whitened?

Plastic lampshades turn yellow with age due to the chemical reaction that occurs when it comes into contact with oils, light, etc. You can quickly whiten your shade with a reliable brand of bleach. 

What you’ll need:

  • Clorox bleach
  • Water
  • Water vessel
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle

Step 1:

Fill your vessel with water to a depth that you can submerge your lampshade. Mix it with a ¼ cup of Clorox bleach and dip your shade into the mixture. 

Step 2: 

If you can’t submerge your shade, put your gloves on, and soak enough paper towels to cover the surface that could not be submerged. Press the towels against the plastic and leave them there till the shade whitens. 

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Step 3:

Soak the submerged shade for at least half an hour until it regains its original white color. 

Step 4: 

When the shade achieves your preferred level of white, remove it from the solution and rinse it clean with running water. Get rid of the chemicals completely by washing it with a mild detergent and allow it to dry. 

Final Thoughts

In case you’re wondering, it’s very much possible to wash your glass lampshade in your dishwasher. Rather than using dishwasher detergent for the glass lampshades, use vinegar. You’ll be satisfied with the results!

bobber

Wednesday 4th of November 2020

My lampshade is brand freaking new, it's the material it's made out of not that it's dirty. Have some options.