Brush the dust and dirt off lampshades with a clean makeup brush or microfiber cloth, or vacuum them with a brush attachment. For a washable fabric lampshade stitched to the frame, dip the shade in cool, soapy water. Dip the shade in clean water until the soap is gone, and allow to air dry.
Lampshades that are glued to the frame or are made from a nonwashable material such as parchment or paper should not be dipped in water. These nonwashable lampshades are best cleaned with a cloth or sponge. A piece of white bread is an option for cleaning parchment lampshades. Wipe the piece of bread on the shade to remove dirt.
For washable shades, use a tub or sink that is deep enough to submerge the entire shade if possible. If it won't fit upright in the tub, turn it on its side and rotate the shade in the water. If the water becomes dirty, drain and refill it with more soapy water. Continue dipping the shade until it appears clean. Rinse the shade thoroughly until suds no longer come out of it.
Remove as much excess water as possible by spinning or shaking the shade carefully. You can also blot it carefully with a towel. To dry the shade, hang it, place it outside or set it in front of a fan.