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How to Clean Blinds: Everything You Need to Know

Blinds are good at keeping the heat and light out, but if you’re not careful, a ton of dirt and grime also get settled on their slats. As a result, you get a whiff of dust and allergens every time you pull them up or down. 

Luckily cleaning blinds isn’t as difficult as it seems; you don’t have to wipe clean each slat separately. And, YES, you can clean your blinds without taking them off the windows. 

We’re about to show you the best and the quickest ways to easily clean any type of blinds using common household tools and materials. In fact, if you regularly clean your blinds following our instructions, you wouldn’t need to spend hours and hours cleaning blinds around the house. 

Regular cleaning also increases the life of your blinds and keep them bright and shiny as new.  

Materials for Cleaning Blinds

You don’t need any complex tools or harsh chemicals to clean your blinds. No matter what your blinds are made of, the tools you need depend on how dirty your blinds are. Mostly, you’ll only need the following basic tools and materials. 

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Hair Dryer
  • Furniture Polish/Wood Cleaner (Optional)

Note: Please read the instructions manual that comes with your blinds before submerging blinds in water or using any household chemicals on them. Unapproved usage can damage your blinds and can also void the warranty. 

Light Blinds Cleaning 

Cleaning blinds as a part of your weekly cleaning routine can prevent dust buildup. This light cleaning method is so easy you won’t dread cleaning your blinds and shades anymore and putting it off till clouds of dust form on the slats.

Step 1: Position Slats Face Down

Like we said earlier, you don’t need to clean slats one by one. Position the slats such that the concave side of all the slats is facing you. If the slats overlap, don’t rotate them all the way down.

Step 2: Remove Dust 

Use a microfiber cloth or duster and remove the dust from the slats. Move horizontally from left to right or vice versa as you work your way from top to bottom of the blinds. This way, the dirt from the top slats won’t settle on the lower slats.

Now position the slats such that the convex side is facing you and remove the dust as mentioned above. 

Note: You can also vacuum the slats to remove the dust. Use the vacuum brush attachment, set it to the lowest suction, and open the air vent to reduce vacuum pressure. 

Step 3: Vacuum

Now open the slats and vacuum any remaining dust on the slats, window sill, or on the floor. 

Deep Blinds Cleaning

If you haven’t cleaned your blinds in a while or if they are heavily soiled, you’ll need to clean them deeply. You can add our deep cleaning procedure to your spring or biannual cleaning routine. 

Step 1: Perform Light Cleaning

It’s not a good idea to use water or any chemical directly on dusty blinds. So before you deep dive into cleaning, follow the light cleaning steps described above. Dust your blinds thoroughly using vacuum or microfiber duster or cloths. 

Step 2: Deep Cleaning

Rotate the slats once again such that the concave side of all the slats is facing you. Make a 50/50 solution of warm water and vinegar. Dampen a sponge with this solution and wipe the slats moving horizontally, starting from top slat to the bottom. 

If you encounter baked dirt or grime, you can also add a few drops of mild dishwashing soap to the concoction. Once you’re done, rotate the slats once again and clean the convex side in the same manner. 

Step 3: Spot Cleaning

Some tough stains don’t go away with vinegar and soap. Try leaving a mixture of baking soda and vinegar on such stains for a while and then wipe them clean. Do not rub in or apply too much pressure, or you might end up damaging the slats.

Finally, wipe the entire surface with a sponge dampened by fresh, clean water. 

Step 4: Drying

It’s a good practice to dry the slats as soon as you’re done to avoid water stains or rusting. You can use a clean, dry towel or a hairdryer on the cold setting. Make sure to dry the hard to reach areas that may stay wet and humid for a longer time. 

Humidity can result in rusting and can also interfere in the smooth working of your blinds. 

How to Clean Faux Wood and Vinyl Blinds

Faux wood and plastic are the most popular materials because they are affordable and easy to maintain. You can clean them easily with water and detergent and then wipe them dry. Even if grime and grease settle on these blinds, you can gently rub the stains without fearing discoloration or corrosion of the material. 

Dampness is not a problem for both of these materials. You can wash the vinyl blinds with running water if you wish and hang them out to dry.

How to Clean Wood Blinds

Nothing can beat natural wood in style, sophistication, and beauty. Still, they also cost more and need special care and maintenance. Wooden blinds shouldn’t be washed because excessive water can discolor them and weaken the wood. 

As long as you don’t soak them wet, you can use a damp cloth to wipe the blinds. You can use vinegar and water solution with a little bit of soap for most natural woods. However, for baked dirt and grime, it’s better to use a wood cleaner. Polish the blinds afterward to preserve their shine and seal the surface.

How to Clean Fabric Blinds

Fabric blinds such as Roman blinds are best cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. Use the brush tool and vacuum the fabric thoroughly. You can also use a hairdryer to blow away dust and bugs. If you notice any stains, try dabbing them with a damp cloth but avoid rubbing. 

If the fabric blinds are too dirty, it’s best to take them for dry cleaning.

How to Clean Metal Blinds

Cleaning metal blinds is as easy as cleaning vinyl or faux wood blinds. Usually, metal blinds are dust resistant and you can wipe them with a rag to keep them shining. If required, you can also clean them with a sponge damp with gentle soap and cold water. 

Make sure to clean the blinds with clean water afterward and dry them thoroughly as soon as possible. 

How to Clean Mini Blinds

Cleaning miniblinds isn’t much different from regular blinds. The slats in miniblinds are way smaller than regular ones, and so they are larger in number. Although they look cute, they are a dust magnet, and the small surface area makes cleaning a bit of a hassle. 

Open the blinds and pull the lower edge down to expand all the slats. Most people put an old clean sock on their hand to clean the individual slats of heavily soiled miniblinds. 

How to Clean Venetian Blinds

Venetian blinds are very easy to clean. Contrary to the miniblinds, Venetian blinds have slats broader than usual. Although they get a lot of dust, the larger surface area makes cleaning them a breeze.

Usually, Venetian blinds are made of faux wood so you can follow the deep cleaning steps described above. If you encounter a resistant stain, put a few drops of mild dishwashing soap on the cloth and wipe it away.   

How to Clean Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds don’t gather as much dust and dirt as the horizontal blinds. If you clean them regularly, you may never need a deep cleaning session for your vertical blinds

All you need is to use is a microfiber duster or cloth and run it along the length of the slats. You can also vacuum the slats using the brush attachment. However, make sure to vacuum from top to bottom and keep the settings to the lowest or the slats may detach. 

Vertical blinds are usually made of easy to maintain materials. Some slats can be washed in the machine as well, but you should always check that with the manufacturer first. 

Quick Tips and Tricks

Now that you know how to clean blinds quickly and easily, here are a few additional tips to make the task even simpler for you. These tried and tested tips will not only save you time but will also make sure your blinds don’t get damaged during the cleaning process.  

  1. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth or duster, you can use an old clean sock instead. Avoid feather or plastic duster as the static can make the dust cling even more.
  2. If the fabric blinds are too dirty, it’s best to let the dry cleaners handle it. Otherwise, you might wrinkle the fabric or may even cause pilling.
  3. Usually, kitchen blinds gather a lot of grease and grime that is hard to remove with household cleaner. You can use a good quality degreaser to remove tough dirt.
  4. Wipe and vacuum horizontal blinds across the slats, not up or down. Similarly, dust or vacuum vertical blinds from top to bottom; otherwise, the blinds can unhook from the bottom.
  5. When using a cleaner or degreaser, spray the chemical on the sponge instead of spraying it directly on the slats.
  6. Always use a dry cloth to remove as much dust as possible before applying any wet treatment. Otherwise, the cloth will get muddy, push dirt into the corners, and leave dirt marks.
  7. Wipe firmly yet do not use too much pressure. Slats form dents easily, and it’s difficult to remove them. Wooden blinds can even break if you end up pressing them too hard.
  8. Once cleaned, wipe the blinds with clean water to remove any chemical residue. Then dry the slats immediately to prevent watermarks and rust.
  9. You can spray the slats with liquid fabric softener to make them dust, dirt, and dander repellent. 
  10. If you have sensitive skin or don’t want to submerge your hands in chemicals, you can wear rubber gloves and then wear a sock over them for improved grip.

How to Brighten Old Blinds

After you’ve spent hours cleaning your blinds, you deserve bright and beautiful blinds. But the truth is, grime, mold, dirt, and sunlight, all can leave your blinds looking dull and yellow. All’s not lost though. You can still brighten and re-whiten your blinds easily at home. 

  • Plastic and Aluminum Blinds: Soak your plastic or aluminum blinds in diluted bleach (2-3 cups bleach in a full bathtub) to restore their color and shine. Alternatively, you can spray them with the bleach solution and wash them with a generous amount of water.  
  • Discolored Wooden Blinds: Bleach can damage wooden blinds, so use a wood cleaner instead if there are only a few discolored spots. Otherwise, you can use wood polish to even out the color and improve the look of your precious blinds. 

If the blinds are discolored beyond saving, you can consider repainting them. 

When to Replace Blinds

Knowing how to clean or brighten your blinds will be of no use if your blinds are beyond saving. 

So before you spend your time dusting and wiping those slats, here are a few signs to know it’s time to replace your blinds.

  • Slats are broken or bent
  • Slats won’t close properly
  • Blinds are hard to pull up or down
  • Cords are broken or frayed
  • Pilled and frayed fabric blinds
  • The design is outdated
  • You’ve got kids or pets, and corded blinds aren’t safe anymore
  • You’ve changed your windows, and the old blinds don’t fit anymore

So that’s everything there is to know about how to clean blinds of every material and style. With regular care and proper maintenance, your blinds can last you for many years. And, when you’re ready to buy new blinds, visit our store in NYC or shop online to choose from our vast collection of blinds across various colors and categories.

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A Note from Horizon

Here at Horizon, we pride ourselves in being the foremost window treatment experts in all of New York City. We appreciate you for taking the time to check out this entry in The Journal, and if you have any further questions about anything, feel free to contact us here.

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