A good lamp for a reasonable price can be hard to find with the multiple factors of height, width, lampshade preference.
But when thrifting lamps it can be even easier because you can mix and match bases and shades. But sometimes those lampshades that are piled
up in a basket look a little less than desirable. In fact, a lot of them look … let’s just call it antique off-white. But all hope is not lost. Our friend bleach can help us out!
Not every lampshade can be helped by bleach, but fabric and paper blend ones can, basically porous materials, take best to this method. But since we’re at Goodwill and the lampshades are inexpensive, it can be salvaged in other ways if it doesn’t take to bleaching
as well as it should.
To prepare, you’ll need the lampshades, rubber gloves, a spray bottle, bleach, water, and a bathtub or shower enclosure. Carefully mix 3 parts bleach to one part water in the spray bottle (alternatively, you can use spray bleach). Set the lampshades in the tub or shower, making sure the area is clear of any other fabrics you don’t want bleached, like your towels or shower curtain, and evenly spray the bleach mixture on the lampshade. Wear the gloves to turn the shade over and get the underside too. Leave the lampshades in the tub or shower for a while, and come back to check on them in several hours, or overnight.
If they are a desirable shade of white, just make sure they are completely dry before attaching them to the lamp base. If not, repeat the bleach spray application process again. If it doesn’t work after the second time, it may be time to consider going in a different
direction and painting or dyeing your lampshade a darker color instead.