April 3

Cleaning Different Types of Window Blinds

New window blinds look so incredible. If chosen correctly, they let in just the right amount of light, they block unwanted peeping toms, and the entire room gets a boost from their decorative elements. Old window blinds or improperly cleaned ones look horrible. The light filtering through picks up each little dust mote and puts it on display, they are drab and no longer enhance the room, and they often hang poorly and function improperly. So, the solution…learning how to clean different types of window blinds and perform routine cleanings.

Wood Blinds

If you have actual wood blinds, not to be confused with faux wood, then a little extra care must be taken so you don’t cause warping and discoloration. The best way to clean your wood blinds is with a soft dust cloth, a feather duster, or even a damp cloth. If you need to give them a thorough cleaning and want to restore their luster you can try lemon oil or other wood preservatives. If they’re painted, stick to a wood-safe, detergent spray and a soft cloth.

Faux Wood Blinds

These are much more durable than wood blinds and can take a bit more scrubbing. A regular cleaning with a vacuum with the brush attachment, a feather duster or damp cloth is recommended, but if you’re more of a stickler you can use a mild detergent and a soft cloth or sponge. If a really serious cleaning is necessary, you can actually wash these blinds in the bathtub with soap and water, give them a pretty good scrub with a nonabrasive sponge or brush and then dry them immediately. This shouldn’t be a frequent task as it can damage the cords, but it can be done in worst cases.

Woven Wood Blinds

These blinds should be treated the same as regular wood blinds but with perhaps a little more care. They tend to be more prone to warping, so water and other fluids should be used very sparingly.

Vinyl Blinds

Again, dusting and vacuuming is essential but spot cleaning can be done with a mild detergent and warm water. Don’t use hot water as it can leave stains or change the color of the fabric. Blot dry, as you would any special fabric.

Aluminum Blinds

These durable blinds will take a lot of cleaning, which is good because they tend to attract dust. Wipe them regularly with a damp cloth and feel free to give them a good old fashioned bath tub soak and let them air dry. Using hot water and a heavy detergent may wear out the cords so stay away from these agents.

vaccuuming blinds

Fabric Blinds

Dusting and vacuuming is key to keeping these delicate (and usually expensive) window treatments looking great. You can spot clean stains with mild detergent and warm water and then blot them dry, but never try dry cleaning or immersing them in water.

The real key to keeping your blinds looking clean and new is regular dusting and/or vacuuming and removing the dust before it gets a chance to build up and turn into heavy dirt or stains.

For more great cleaning tips read How to Make a Disinfecting Floor Cleaner with Just 2 Ingredients

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How often should I be cleaning my window blinds?

    While it’s easy to overlook dusting window blinds in favor of more visible surfaces, regular blind cleaning every 1-3 months keeps them free of dust, allergens and grime that gradually builds in slats and hardware over time.

    Set reminders on your calendar to cleaning blinds each season as you transition decor or do spring and fall cleaning routines. Consistent quarterly attention prevents heavy buildup in between deeper annual washings.

    In kitchens, family rooms, bedrooms and other lived-in spaces seeing daily activity and traffic, aim to dust blinds thoroughly every 4-6 weeks before dust bunnies accumulate. High use areas show soil faster.

    For lesser used formal living rooms or dining spaces mostly kept closed up, a thorough dusting every 8-12 weeks sufficiently captures most airborne dust and particulates settling while not in use.

    Especially dirty rooms like garages, basements and mudrooms benefit from more frequent cleanings every 2-4 weeks to keep heavy grit and cobwebs at bay given their exposures. Dirt has more opportunity to infiltrate blind slats.

    Outdoor blinds and shutter systems need special attention 2-4 times per year including before and after peak pollen seasons. Tree debris and water stains abound otherwise.

    Check all blinds periodically even if not due for cleaning. If visible dirt, sticky fingerprints or other grime has appeared, go ahead and spot clean right away to restore neat appearances.

    Ultimately the exact timing varies based on climate, room usage and sunlight exposure. But remembering to regularly wipe down every few months prevents major accumulation.

  • What is the easiest way to clean vinyl or plastic blinds?

    Vinyl and plastic window blinds prone to attracting dust require periodic cleaning to keep them looking fresh and residue-free. Luckily, a simple cleaning solution and soft cloth make maintenance easy.

    The best approach relies on a mild soap and water mixture to lift dirt without damaging vinyl slats the way harsher cleaners could over time. To prepare the solution, add a small squirt of dish soap or delicate laundry detergent into a bucket of lukewarm water.

    Use either a soft microfiber cloth, sponge lined with microfiber, or lint-free cloth rag dedicated just to household cleaning projects. These options provide plenty of light scrubbing power without abrasive textures that could scratch plastic blind surfaces.

    Working in sections, dip your cleaning cloth into the sudsy solution before gently scrubbing along each vinyl slat. Try wiping in one consistent direction rather than back and forth rubbing which just pushes dirt around. The key is lifting debris away.

    Pay special attention to the top and bottom edges of blinds which gather the most buildup of grime. Use slightly firmer pressure in these areas but not enough to warp thinner plastic at stress points.

    For stained or sticky spots, allow the soap solution to penetrate briefly before gentle scrubbing. Avoid harsh chemicals or strong pressure when addressing heavy soiled areas which could discolor or damage vinyl.

    Rinse cleaned vinyl blinds using a separate clean, damp cloth to remove all suds residue. Wipe any drips from windowsills or floors to prevent slippery puddles. Allow blinds to completely air dry before closing again.

    With this simple, non-toxic cleaning method, vinyl and plastic blinds easily refresh for streak-free visibility and crisp appearance again.

  • What’s the best method for cleaning wood blinds?

    Dusty wood blinds require gentle yet effective cleaning to avoid damaging the delicate wooden slats, headrails or woven ladders prone to warping when saturated. A cautious approach preserves real wood beauty.

    Assemble a few lint-free microfiber cloths, a small bowl of lukewarm water, and a soft bristle cleaning brush. Avoid abrasive textures like paper towels that could scratch wood surfaces when agitated.

    Dampen a cloth lightly in the water, wringing out any excess dripping moisture. Lightly damp is key rather than fully wetting the wood. Use a barely moist towel to prevent watermarks or residue.

    Gently wipe down each wooden slat using minimal pressure in the direction of the wood grain. Matching the wipe direction to the grain pattern ensures dust gets lifted without catching on natural ridges in the wood.

    For stubborn debris or stuck-on dust clumps, very lightly scrub the affected area using the wet soft bristle brush, again following wood grain pattern movements rather than broad circular rubbing.

    Be extra cautious cleaning woven ladder components or ornate carved slat ends prone to snagging. Check ladders for loose join points suggesting the blind requires repair before attempting cleaning.

    Once the entire blind face has been lightly wiped and scrubbed as needed, take a fresh dry microfiber cloth and gently buff away any last moisture, again across the wood grain till the surface no longer feels cool or damp.

    Avoid home remedies like vinegar, soap or oils which could strip protective finishes or stain real wood over time. With deliberate moisture caution, dust lifts effectively without risk of warping.

  • How can I easily reach and clean blinds high up?

    Reaching to dust overhead blinds stretched well above countertops or furniture poses difficulty, especially for tall window treatments several feet off the floor. But several handy tools extend your cleaning access.

    Telescoping dusters with soft brush or microfiber pads on the end allow easy dusting of ceiling fan blades, crown molding corners and high window treatments. Adjust handle extensions to customize hard-to-reach spots.

    For added height, affix telescoping poles to paint roller frames with clips. Wrap the roller cage snugly with a lint-free cloth secured using painters tape. Now swipe high blinds without relying solely on your arm reach.

    Use lightweight step stools or small stepladders properly stabilized on flooring (not furniture) to gain you just enough extra height for cleaning blind spots overhead. This lifts you safely in range of the highest corners once out of regular arm stretch.

    When cleaning second story blinds from inside, open windows fully and lean out cautiously to reach tops of blinds for wiping rather than risking unstable chairs. But only attempt if securely braced on window frames without falling risk.

    Try flooding upstairs rooms with natural light during the cleaning process. Bright illumination lets you spot dust and corners not as easily viewed in shadowed artificial lighting. Natural light exposes missed grime.

    For especially tall vertical blinds, slide the uppermost slats down in sections to meet your reachable height during cleaning before returning them to the top position again once fully cleaned top to bottom. This hand-over-hand lowering in portions makes washing possible.

    No matter which approach you implement safely, regularly addressing ceiling-height blinds prevents a gradual stealth buildup of hair, dust and grime out of your typical sightline but still irritating atmospherically.

  • Is there an effective way of cleaning blinds without taking them down?

    While deep cleaning blinds periodically does require total removal from windows for most thorough washing, convenient tools allow occasional surface dusting maintenance without time-consuming uninstalling.

    Blind vacuums designed specifically for in-place dusting feature narrow suction heads fitting right into blinds channels. The crevice tools capture debris, pet hair and dust streaking down at angles you can’t reach by hand.

    Mini vacuum attachments like wand extensions, soft dusting brushes and retractable crevice tools slip right into louver gaps to draw out dirt. Use the soft brush end lightly along slats to lift dust into the vacuum suction.

    Disposable dusting sheets made specifically for blinds contain inner fuzz ridges that contour perfectly to blind channels. Simply slide sheets over entire louver length trapping dust and dirt within the textured fabric for easy disposal.

    For gently wiping slats, wrap microfiber cloths snugly over paint stir sticks using rubber bands to secure tightly. Then angle the covered stick edge to “floss” in between each slat while avoiding fingers that fall short of reaching fully into rear corners.

    Shower squeeze mops with retractable microfiber fringe heads lift away dust as you pump the compression lever, causing the mop fringe to squeeze open and closed while worked along inside blind channels.

    Baby safety magnetic lock straps also secure small microfiber cloths across standard blind wands converted to dusters perfect for swiping away ceiling height debris beyondreachable areas.

    With the right specialty blind cleaning tools, most dust and dirt lift without requiring full removal or risky climbing expeditions balanced precariously across countertops and furniture.

  • How do I clean fabric or cloth blinds?

    Delicate fabric window blinds require special care and mild cleaning methods to lift dust without damaging the woven material or causing fabrics to shrink, warp or discolor over time.

    Start by vacuuming fabric blinds using the soft brush attachment and lowest suction setting on your vacuum cleaner. This avoids loose threads getting pulled or tangled in the beater bar rollers. Carefully run the brush nozzle over both sides of fabric slats to draw out light dust.

    For deeper cleaning, remove fabric blinds from windows and lay over a table or countertop padded with towels to avoid scratches. Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild laundry detergent, wool-safe cleanser or baby shampoo.

    Using a soft lint-free cloth dipped in the mild soap solution, gently wipe down the fabric slats. Avoid vigorous side-to-side scrubbing motions. Delicately blot stained or soiled areas instead.

    Rinse wiping cloths frequently as they accumulate dirt residue. Refill bucket with clean water for a final wiping to remove all suds after washing. Be careful not to oversaturate fabric in excess water weight.

    Blot damp blind fabric using dry sections of cloth to lift remaining moisture rather than wringing out material. Allow blinds ample time to fully air dry draped over towels before rehanging near heat vents or sunlight.

    Avoid using bleach, vinegar solutions, or commercial cleaners on window fabric which could degrade threads or strip protective coatings over time with repeated use. Check tags for fiber-specific care recommendations.

    With some mild soap and gentle elbow grease, fabric blinds come out looking revived, touched-up and ready to reinstall dust-free.

  • What about cleaning delicate bamboo or grass woven window blinds?

    As a natural fiber blind option, bamboo slat blinds and woven grass shades add organic texture but require very gentle care not to damage the fragile plant materials prone to fraying and water marks.

    Rather than fully immersing or directly wiping bamboo and grass blinds with cleaning solutions, the ideal method relies on cautious dust removal alone to refresh most builds up.

    Use a specialty duster designed specifically for delicates like ostrich feather wands or chamois cloth mitts to carefully capture dust without pulling or snagging the sensitive fibers. Unlike harsher microfiber, soft natural fibers won’t catch.

    Very lightly sweep each slat or section using only the feather or cloth’s own weight to lift away debris rather than added pressure which could tug on materials. The goal is dusting over, not digging into woven textures.

    For deeper debris lodged inside the weave, try wrapping painter’s tape lightly around the ends of a wide-toothed plastic pick to prevent scratches. Very carefully dislodge stuck dust and direct it towards the bottom with the shielded pick.

    Avoid attempts to wipe down bamboo reed or woven grass with any amount of water or liquid solutions which will quickly lead to water marks, residue, discoloration, expansion damage and mold issues over time. Keep all moisture away.

    Vacuum these shades using only narrow suction attachments on the lowest fan setting. Keep beater bar brushes turned off and pull slowly across the surface instead to avoid trapped threads wrapping around the bristles with force.

    With light handling and specialty soft dusting tools, thorough dust removal keeps bamboo and grass blinds revived without risk of scrubbing away fragile protective coatings or finishing oils over time.

  • Can I wash aluminum window blinds in my bathtub?

    While cleaning aluminum blinds still attached to windows works for surface dust removal between deep cleanings, periodically washing blinds fully immersed allows access to all edges and crevices accumulating extra grime. And bathtubs provide the perfect vessel!

    Before washing, assess if blinds require full removal based on hardware connectivity. Most aluminum blinds lift out of brackets easily once the tilt wand is disconnected and detached from spool lifts where applicable. This prevents mechanical damage during cleaning.

    Lay a non-slip pad or towels in the bottom of an empty bathtub to avoid scratching surfaces. Fill tub with several inches of lukewarm water and add a small splash of gentle dish soap. Swirl water gently to create suds.

    Fully submerge blinds to soak either vertically with slats stacked or horizontally resting on ridges allowing water flow between layers. Let soak 5-10 minutes so water penetrates corners. Weight down with a plate if wanting to soak while upright.

    Scrub gently using a soft cloth, sponge lined with microfiber, or soft cleaning brush over each slat, wood ladders and metal housing components to lift residue loosened by water. Avoid sharp scrubbers or stiff brushes.

    Rinse thoroughly with a removable shower nozzle, moving water across all blind parts above and below waterline where soap contact rests. Repeat additional rinses until water runs clear and stops bubbling from trapped residue.

    Remove freshly washed blinds carefully without bumping and allow to fully air dry draped over plastic lined countertops or tables to catch residual dripping. Point fans to accelerate.

    By harnessing your bathtub for cleaning, aluminum blinds receive the occasional thorough refresh needed between routine dustings for streak-free visibility.

  • What is the easiest way to clean dusty horizontal window blinds?

    As classic window dressing, horizontal blinds attract both visual appeal along with plenty of visible dust and dirt buildup between the vanes if not cleaned routinely. Luckily, a simple tool makes maintenance effective and effortless.

    Start by gathering a few key supplies: microfiber cloths, rubber bands or tape, and a smooth, cylindrical object like a paint stirring stick or thin cardboard mailing tube. These components assemble into the perfect blind cleaning wand.

    Take the stick or tube object and snugly wrap a thick microfiber cloth completely around the full length, encompassing the circumference without sagging. Secure the cloth by tightly wrapping rubber bands or painters tape around each end to bind it firmly in place.

    With cloth-wrapped stick in hand, angle the edges perpendicular to individual horizontal blind vanes, working incrementally across the full slat width. Apply light pressure as you slide the covered stick back and forth between the vanes.

    The texture of the microfiber grabs and collects dust and debris lodged on both sides of each vane in a single swipe. Move methodically across all slats, periodically unrolling fresh sections of the cloth wrap to reveal clean surfaces for optimal dirt lifting.

    For upper slats out of comfortable overhead arm reach, attach the cloth-covered stick to telescoping poles, swim pool skimmers or painter’s extension poles for extra extension when swiping downward. Use a gentle touch to avoid leaning weight onto delicate vanes.

    The smooth round edges of the wrapped stick floss easily into narrow blind gaps without causing scratches or dislodging hardware. Compressing and releasing the cloth leaves vanes dust-free in seconds!

    With this efficient cleaning wand adapting items found around the home, horizontal blinds regain their transparent crispness and flawless operation quickly and safely whenever dust accumulates.

  • How can I prevent future dirt buildup between window blinds slats?

    No matter how thorough the cleaning, dust inevitably resets between window blind slats in days. While regular maintenance helps, adjusting how blinds sit within windows prevents accumulations.

    Open blind vanes so slats seal tightly together rather than resting at varied angles when light control isn’t essential. Closed stacks deter dust settling on edges and top ridges since flat, flush surfaces don’t catch particles.

    Angle upper blinds downward to discourage debris landing on top ledges rather than sitting horizontally. Positioning upper slats in a partially rotated down tilt causes dust to harmlessly fall past lower slats without catching on overlapping ridges.

    Consider framing out window openings further past the actual glass to allow mounting window treatments more recessed from the outer wall rather than right against it. An air gap deters some dust and dirt transfers from settling surfaces.

    Use deduction when identifying and eliminating the exact dust source, whether from attics, walls or outdoors. Extra caulking, filtered vents, landscaping barriers or other preventative measures targeted to the root address overall air quality.

    Tacky chintz or flexible rubberized vent filters installed above blind hardware keep insulation fibers, soot and overhead construction debris settling out of circulating sightlines before reaching delicate slats below.

    Swapping actual blind styles to versions with tighter fixed slats, concealed channels or sliding panels without overlapping ridges all limit ledges for dust to cling to long term when exposed to open air environments.

    While no solution prevents dust entirely, taking proactive installation measures tailored to your climate and traffic flow deters deposits from accumulating quite as quickly between cleanings.

  • What supplies do I need on hand to effectively window blinds cleaning?

    Tackling various blind cleaning chores requires having the right gear, tools, and accessories within reach to handle delicate to heavy duty materials using suitable techniques.

    Keep an ample supply of lint-free and microfiber cloths ideal for capturing dust without leaving behind fibers or scratching delicate surfaces like wood, vinyl and aluminium blinds prone to fine scratches.

    A set of soft bristle hand brushes offers light scrubbing power for textured surfaces when basic dusting cloths needs some extra dirt lifting assistance targeting stuck-on debris and grime buildup on blinds.

    Use rubber bands or painters masking tape to quickly configure specialty blind cleaning attachments like wrapping cloths snugly around paint stir sticks, posting notes, pole extensions or more for customized reaching and maneuvering of cleaning fabrics.

    Mild cleaning solutions rounded out with grease cutting dish soap, gentle laundry detergent, white vinegar and unscented baby shampoo cover cleaning needs across metal, wood, plastic, fabric or outdoor blind materials via handy spray bottles.

    Set aside old white towels and bed sheets specifically for below blind spread containment while cleaning above to prevent drips, dust and excess debris from scattering onto surrounding floors and furnishings.

    Have specialty blind cleaning vacuums, dusters, wand attachments, micro tools and crevice accessories ready for convenient in-place dust removal between deeper cleaning and washing sessions requiring full blind removal.

    Stocking the right handy mix of fabrics, brushes, customized accessories, cleaning mixtures and protective linens makes every blind cleaning session proceed smoothly no matter the slat material.

  • How do I clean greasy kitchen or dirty outdoor window blinds

    Kitchen blinds and outdoor shades see some of the heaviest soiling extending beyond basic dust. Luckily, the addition of degreasers to typical cleaning solutions lifts even sticky grease buildup and weathered grime easily.

    Start by vacuuming window blinds using brush and crevice tools to remove surface-level debris and spiderwebs before applying any moisture. This prevents globs of grime spreading around during the wet cleaning process.

    Fill a large bucket with warm water and mix in 1 cup of powdered laundry detergent, 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup white vinegar. The combination of detergent, abrasive baking soda and acetic vinegar dissolves caked-on grease.

    For especially sooty outdoor blinds, create a paste using 2 tablespoons cream of tartar mixed into 1 cup hydrogen peroxide. Lightly spray blinds with water first before gently scrubbing paste onto affected areas using a soft bristle brush. Let bubble briefly.

    Use a soft sponge lined with microfiber cloth or lint-free towel dipped into cleaning solutions to wipe each blind slat, carefully scrubbing any cooked-on debris. Rinse repeatedly using fresh towels each time to prevent redepositing grease residue.

    Follow grease-cutting solvent pastes with diluted isopropyl alcohol rinsed over blinds using spray bottles to eliminate any last oily film left behind interfering with water beading. This prevents rapid re-soiling after cleaning outdoors.

    Thoroughly rinse all parts with clean water and dry completely with fans accelerating evaporation. Harsh chemical residues left sitting invite damage to blinds if moisture gets trapped underneath metal or vinyl blind slat crimps.


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