Q: How can I fix a lamp when the on-off knob has broken off? Also, is there a way to lighten a lampshade that has yellowed on the inside...

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Q: How can I fix a lamp when the on-off knob has broken off? Also, is there a way to lighten a lampshade that has yellowed on the inside?

A: If possible, take the knob from the lamp (or the lamp itself) to your local hardware store. You should be able to find a replacement knob.

If not, contact a lamp repair shop. They’re listed under “Lamp and Shade Repair” in Yellow Page directories.

As for the lampshade, there are two types: shades with fabric inside and out, and shades that are fabric on the outside with a plastic or paper liner.

Yellowing typically occurs in the latter type, as heat from the bulb makes the liner more opaque. If cleaning the shade doesn’t help, it’s time to get a new shade.

For the best transmission of light from your lamp, try a light-colored, all-fabric shade and, if possible, use an appropriate three-way bulb.

Fix it is an occasional feature in digs. Send your questions to fixit@startribune.com. Sorry, no personal replies.