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Cleaning Tips for Blinds

Is blind cleaning one of your pet peeves? Do you even know if you’re doing it right? Over time, blinds collect dust, pet hair, insect debris, grease, stains and dirt. Whether you like it or not, eventually they need cleaning!

Faux-wood blinds:

If your faux-wood blinds are dusty, use a vacuum with a dust brush attachment. Close the blinds, hold the bottom rail, vacuum carefully, turn the blinds the other way and vacuum the other side. Use caution to avoid twisting or warping the slats. A handheld duster works well too. If your blinds have collected grease and grime, mix one part vinegar to one part water. Using a microfiber cloth, close your blinds, wipe them while holding the bottom rail, turn them and clean the other side. 

Wood blinds are treated with a particular finish to repel dirt and stains. However, they too will eventually need cleaning. Spray a quality furniture polish on a clean sock or microfiber cloth and gently wipe each slat. Avoid touching the cords. For a heavier cleaning, mix a bit of dish soap in water and wipe each slat. Be careful not to saturate the wood. Open the blinds and let them air dry. 

Fabric Shades (Cellular, Pleated, Roman) can be cleaned similar to faux-wood blinds. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean the front and back of the shade. If there is dirt trapped in the creases or the honeycomb openings, set your hair dryer on cool and blow the debris free. If there is still grime or stains on your shade, blot the area with a sponge or microfiber cloth dampened with warm, soapy water. Be careful not to oversaturate the area. Rinse with a clean cloth moistened with plain water, then let the shade dry. Extremely soiled fabric shades may need to be taken to a professional dry cleaner. 

Vinyl or aluminum blinds can be cleaned several ways. Tilt the blinds without completely closing them. Vacuum both sides of the blinds, then wipe them with a cloth dipped in a mixture of water and vinegar. Or, take the blinds down and soak them in the tub with a bit of dish soap. Use a soft brush or sponge to wipe both sides of the slats. Drain the tub and rinse with clear water. Lay the blinds on towel to drain, then hang and allow to dry completely. Or, lay the blinds on your lawn, squirt on a bit of dish soap, spray gently with the garden hose, then flip and spray the other side. If needed, scrub with a soft brush. Rinse with clean water and let them drip dry before hanging. Consider treating them with a dusting spray to discourage dust and dirt from settling on them.

Further tips: 

  • Consult the manual that came with your blinds to determine if there are special care instructions.
  • Start at the top of the blinds when you clean or dust will fall on areas you’ve finished.
  • Clean blind cords with a cloth dipped in a mixture of warm water and bleach. Pull the cord to raise the blinds completely and expose the entire length. Grip your cloth around the string with light pressure and pull it down the length. 
  • When dusting vertical blinds, brush downward only to avoid unhooking slats as you brush. 
  • Make your own blind cleaning tool by attaching a couple microfiber cloths to a pair of tongs with clips or rubber bands. 
  • To avoid soiling your blinds when cleaning your windows, spray your glass cleaner on a cloth and then wipe the window clean.
  •  If you sweep or vacuum your blinds regularly you’ll only need to deep clean them once or twice a year. 
  • Change your heating and cooling filters often or clean regularly to reduce the dust levels in your home.
  • Clean your ceiling fans regularly to keep them from flinging dust on your blinds.

Whether they’re vinyl, wood, fabric or aluminum, blinds need an occasional cleaning. Don’t neglect your window coverings! With a few simple tools and tips, the household chore of cleaning and maintaining blinds can be a simple task.

For all your blind and shade needs, call Blinds West (403-270-9696), a division of West Hillhurst Paint and Design. Blinds West offers at home or in-store consultation, post-sales service, installation, and warranty service. They carry Hunter Douglas and Shadeomatic products. Schedule your consultation today!