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How to clean a Tiffany Lamp. A step by step guide, Zazzy Home

How to clean a Tiffany Lamp. A step by step guide

A Tiffany lamp can add beauty and style to your home while also making the room lit in a subtle yet beautiful way. It’s an old-fashioned kind of lighting that many people find attractive.

However, you might be surprised at just how much dust accumulates inside each glass panel over time. These lamps are actually sealed units that prevent dust from getting in or air from getting out. You can clean up most of the grime with no problems, but if you want to get rid of all the dirt without disassembling it, you’ll need to get some specialized tools.

How to clean a Tiffany Lamp. A step by step guide, Zazzy Home

Tiffany lamp cleansing is not as complicated as you would think. You can restore your Tiffany lamps by yourself and save a lot of money compared to hiring a professional cleaner to do the task for you. All you need is lots of patience and dedication to spend some time cleaning up these fantastic pieces of art, which will shine again after proper care has been put into restoring them.


Remove all lightbulbs and place them safely out of reach by setting them on top of a sturdy portable ladder. Next, use a rag to wipe down the shade and outer surface of the base and cord assembly.

Make sure you get rid of all dust, dirt, and cobwebs that might have accumulated on those surfaces and any other materials that are part of the lamp, such as the metal housing for the lightbulb itself or any decorative elements as flowers or leaves. If there is any marking on these areas, such as scuff marks, streaks, or anything else, it should be cleaned off using a non-abrasive cleaner made specifically for cleaning stained glass so as not to damage it.

Once you’ve cleaned both sides of all panels with your rag and removed everything from them, please take out your cloth and dry them entirely by holding each one over a low flame from your gas stove, electric burner, or even a candle. Once they’re all dry, take out an inspection mirror and look inside each one to see if there is any grime still left in the corners or other hard-to-reach places. If so, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe away anything that remains carefully.

Once you have removed everything from all panels and cleaned them thoroughly on both sides as well as the front and backside of each, take out a can of compressed air meant for electronics and carefully spray down both inner surfaces to remove any fine particles that might be stuck behind the glass. Take special care not to touch or fog up the glass panels at this time since doing so will require you to go through the entire cleaning process again.

Once you have vacuumed up all particles from behind the glass, use a microfiber cloth or paper towel to wipe down both sides of the outer surface of the panels as well as any other materials on them such as metal trim and textured surfaces. Take care not to scratch these delicate materials by using too much pressure. Make sure that your applicator is free of any dirt before proceeding with this part of the task since those specks can leave scratches on otherwise pristine surfaces if they aren’t removed beforehand.

With all grime now cleaned off every part of your lamp, take out some masking tape and carefully secure it around each panel to prevent them from being accidentally bumped or moved. Next, take out a clean rag and wipe down the metal housing, cord assembly, and anything else that might have gotten dusty while you were busy cleaning the lamp’s panels. If there are any grime marks on these parts of your lamp, use a non-abrasive cleaner to remove them before securing the tape around each panel.

Restore light to your lamp by screwing in new lightbulbs and plugging it back in where it’s kept. Make sure all screws and nuts used for repairs are tightened firmly by using a small screwdriver to tighten them one at a time until they won’t turn anymore without too much effort.

With your lamp now wholly restored, place it back on its pedestal or shelf and admire how clean it now looks.


Some tiffany lamps might have lead or mercury in them, so be sure to wear protective gear when cleaning these materials off the lamp’s surfaces.

Those with tiffany lamps made before 1945 should also consult an expert on how best to clean them since they are scarce and can’t be treated like other less valuable ones would. Try your best not to use too much pressure when wiping down delicate textured parts of your lamp since those will scratch easily if you aren’t careful enough.

When using compressed air to dry the inside surface of each panel, make sure that you do this one at a time since adding moisture back into one can cause mold or stains on others if done incorrectly. Also, ensure that compressed air is at least two feet away from the surface of panels when used to dry them since doing this too close can crack delicate surfaces.

Finally, it would help if you only used brass or stainless steel cleaner on metals parts of your lamp while using non-abrasive cleaners for everything else. If you’re unsure what kind of cleaner to use on any portion of your tiffany lamp, ask an expert before proceeding with anything yourself.


Do this at your own risk since improper restoration may cause damage such as discoloration, loss of shape, or other changes in the appearance of your item so make sure that if one step seems confusing or is beyond your capability, either consult a professional or don’t try to do it yourself.

Author: Claire Claire is a blogger, writer, and designer with a passion for making the most out of any space. She's worked in interior design and maintenance for over a decade, and has learned how to make the most of even the smallest room. Claire shares her expertise, where she offers tips and tricks for creating beautiful, functional spaces on any budget. When she's not blogging or designing, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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