Well, it’s been a rough weather year, but it looks like Spring is finally here. For some of us, the arrival of Spring brings on the urge to clean every inanimate object we own. As always, our focus is on lamps, so here are a few suggestions:
1) Unplug every lamp, remove every lampshade from every lamp you own, and give the shade a good look-over. If the shade has a soft fabric liner (a softback), make sure there are no tears. If there IS a tear, do NOT put the shade back on. Take the lamp to your nearest lamp store and replace it. Those tears quickly become rips, the rips start to shred, the fabric can fall on a hot bulb, and catastrophe can occur. If the shade has a hard, plastic liner (a hardback), check its color. If it has become yellow and brittle, it’s time for a new shade. If the shade, either softback or hardback, is in good condition, dust both the outside and inside with a dry, soft cloth.
2) While the shade is off the lamp, thoroughly dust the lamp’s base. Don’t forget to dust the harp (the piece of hardware the shade sits on, if there is one), the saddle (the piece that holds the harp), and the finial (the knob that screws onto the harp and holds the shade in place). We recommend using a clean, dry, soft cloth for all of this – do NOT use any household cleaner of any kind, since that could ruin the lamp base’s finish.
3) Now’s also a good time to check out the light bulb. We strongly recommend converting over to CFL bulbs (those curly-que shaped bulbs), not only because of their energy efficiency, but because the CFL bulbs don’t generate heat, and their use prolongs the life of the shade enormously. If you’re not replacing a bulb, don’t forget to dust the bulb that’s been in the lamp (bulbs get VERY dusty!).
4) Before you re-plug the lamp, run your hand over the lamp’s cord and make sure the cords are soft, flexible and COMPLETELY free of any nicks, tears or abrasions (or chewed spots if you have cats, dogs, rabbits, unwieldy vacuum cleaners or ravenous children). If any are present, do NOT replug the lamp – it should be rewired.
5) Remember that now that your lamps are spotless, other items in the room will be more visible, so either get busy or go take a long bath.