Let in the light! How to get your blinds sparkling clean

Posted on Feb. 11, 2016 by CPO in smartmoves

Blinds are an affordable and attractive window treatment, but they aren’t always easy to clean. From dust to heavy stains, here are a few tips to get your favorite window coverings back into sparkling condition. 

Since blinds can be made from a range of materials like wood, vinyl, fabric, metal or plastic, each may have different requirements for safe cleaning.  

Cotton socks, gloves, feather duster or dry sponge for dust

For a quick clean from dust, nothing works faster than slipping your hand in an old cotton sock and running it along each blind to remove the dust buildup. If you have a feather duster, run it between the slats to catch debris on both sides. For vinyl, plastic, metal or wood blinds this works well. If you have fabric blinds, you can purchase a “dry sponge” (rubber sponge). Just wipe it firmly along the blinds.

Windex or vinegar solution for significant dust

If the dust is significant on wood or vinyl blinds, close the blinds first, then give a quick spray of Windex. Then insert your hand in an old cotton sock or glove and wipe to pick up the dust. Don’t use spray on fabric blinds. For a natural alternative, make a solution of 50% water and 50% white vinegar.

Vacuum attachments for dusting

If you have large blinds, fabric blinds, or significant dust, use your vacuum. Most vacuums have a hose or brush attachments – it’s a great first step in cleaning heavily soiled blinds. Close your blinds first, and run the attachment over each blind separately. Close the blinds the opposite way and repeat on the other side.

Damp sponge and warm water

For vinyl, plastic, metal and wood blinds, you can also use a damp sponge with warm water. Close the blinds and run the sponge along each blind, and repeat the opposite way. Rinse frequently to remove dirt from the sponge. 

Be very sparing with water when using wood blinds to prevent staining, warping, or ruining the finish. If your blinds are quite soiled, add some detergent to the water when cleaning vinyl or plastic – soap is not always safe for wood blinds.

Wash outdoors

Really dirty vinyl, metal or plastic blinds can be washed outdoors. Simply remove them from your window, and lay them outside on a mat. With a bucket of soapy water and scrub brush, clean each slat on both sides and rinse clear with your garden hose. Let hang to dry outdoors.

A few prevention tips…

When you’re cleaning your blinds, keep in mind that not all blinds are created equally. 

Keep these tips in mind to prevent accidentally ruining your blinds:

  • Fabric blinds can’t be washed with soap and water, but you can take them to the dry cleaners for cleaning. 
  • Always test commercial cleaners on a small section of your blinds to make sure they don’t bleach, stain or warp the material. 
  • Be sparing with water on wooden blinds – they must never be saturated, or else the blinds may warp. Make sure to wipe any moisture off them right away with a dry cloth.
  • Always dry metal blinds thoroughly and right away to prevent any rust buildup.

Do you have blinds as window treatments in your home? How do you clean them? Share your answers in the comments below: