"How to clean blinds and shades properly" is a question that troubles even the savviest of homemakers. But the task is easier to accomplish than you might think. Keeping your window shades and blinds clean will make a significant difference in the lighting and overall cleanliness of your place. It can eliminate all the sneaky dust and bacteria lurking in corners to ensure a healthy and happy home.
How Often Should You Clean Your Blinds and Shades?
As tedious as it seems, cleaning your shades and blinds can be a relatively quick and easy task—as long as you do it regularly. Leaving the dirt and dust to build up will only make the chore worse, so keeping on top of it will make it more efficient for you. A good rule of thumb is to deep clean your windows and blinds once a month. Weekly dusting and dry wipes will help prevent dust buildup and keep your window treatments in tip top shape.
How to Clean Blinds
In terms of cleaning, each blind needs to be treated differently. They’re made from different materials, so the process for cleaning each can be surprisingly varied. How to clean your blinds properly can depend on what type you have:
1. Wooden Blinds
Real wood needs to be taken care of to ensure no damage comes to the material. Properly cleaning wooden blinds can protect them from deterioration and even extend their life. You should never soak these blinds, and instead only use a damp cloth to wipe them down. Wooden blinds should be treated like wooden furniture: use mild wood cleaners instead of harsh soaps, or vinegar to clean difficult spots. After cleaning, wipe slats down with a dry cloth to get rid of any remaining moisture that can damage the wood over time.
2. Faux-wood Blinds
Since faux-wood blinds are made out of a plastic composite material, you can clean them more thoroughly without worrying about ruining them. To deep clean the blinds, remove them from the windows and place them in a bathtub filled with warm, soapy water. Let them soak for 10 minutes and then wipe down with a cloth, soaking up most of the liquid. Hang them back up with the slats open to air dry. For quicker cleaning, spray slats down with a gentle cleaning solution and wipe them clean.
3. Honeycomb Blinds
Honeycomb blinds have a cloth-like texture, so they’re much easier to clean. Turn your vacuum on a low setting, and go to town on the blinds. If there are any stains, you can spot clean them with a sponge and some gentle dish detergent.
4. Roman Blinds
Pleated Roman shades surprisingly easy to clean, which is one of their many selling points. Use your vacuum on both sides of the blind, and blot with a damp cloth if there are any stains.
5. Roller Blinds
Roller blinds are made from a thickly coated material that can withstand heavy cleaning. To deep clean, you can submerge the shade in a tub of warm water filled with dish detergent and wipe down with a cloth. Allow the blind to air dry and then hang it back up with the blind pulled completely down—to dry out any remaining moisture. Otherwise, you can use a cleaning spray and wipe the shade down for more frequent cleanings.
Curtains are surprisingly durable and can handle a bit of water. You can soak them in a tub of water and wipe clean. Make sure the tub is clean, or else the curtains could soak up any remaining dirt and grime.
How to Dust Blinds and Shades
Dusting your blinds and shades weekly is a quick task that can cut down on your monthly cleaning. It also helps keep the air in your home fresh, because dust buildup can worsen allergies and asthma. There are tons of ways to clean your blinds and shades, but here are some of the most useful options:
Use the dusting tool on your vacuum and run it downwards and lengthwise on blinds.
Cover your hand in a sock or cloth and run your hand along the length of each slat. Be sure to include the back of blind and slats as well to get rid of any dust lurking behind.
Lint rollers work well on fabric blinds to pick up dust and stray hairs.
A creative way to quickly reach all areas on the slats of your blinds is to take a pair of tongs and wrap each end in a microfiber cloth. Secure with rubber bands, and you have a handy tool that slides between slats to soak up dust.
Quick Tips for Cleaning
When vacuuming blinds, use the soft brush, or you could risk damaging the slats. Wooden slats are particularly delicate, and small dents and cracks over time will wreck the wood.
Even after thoroughly drying blinds and shades, keep them pulled down with the slats tilted open for a few hours. This process ensures that any remaining moisture dries out, instead of wrecking the finish of your blinds and shades.
Be careful of the cleaning sprays you choose: many products use bleach, which can stain your fabrics and wreck wood. Opt for a gentle and natural cleaning solution, or make your own.
Consider yearly professional cleanings for your blinds and shades to rid them of subtle yellowing and smells that you might not notice.
Invest in a handheld vacuum cleaner to quickly and easily dust blinds and shades.
Cleaning your ceiling fan regularly can help eliminate much of the dust that settles on blinds and shades.
Dedicating just a half hour each week to cleaning your window shades and blinds will go a long way to ensuring your house is free of unhealthy allergens and bacteria. You’ll also extend the life of your blinds and shades so that you get the most value for your money. Push up your sleeves and give those window treatments some elbow grease for a bright and tidy home.