How to Clean Blinds Correctly

There are two kinds of homeowners in this world: those who clean their blinds and those who don’t. For DIYers who do brave the task of cleaning window blinds themselves, learning how to clean blinds correctly is the difficult part.

Over time, the window treatments throughout any home are bound to collect dead bugs, pet hair, allergy-inducing dander, possible smoke discoloration, and other unsavory bits of residue. To make matters worse, the majority of blinds are white, making stains stand out like an embarrassing sore thumb.

When you’re ready to give your blinds a deep clean, our tips can help you get started.

Best Way to Clean Drapery and Blinds Without Taking Them Down

Taking down your blinds is sometimes going to be necessary. However, everyday drapery and blind cleaning for homes doesn’t involve going through the hassle of taking them down.

Always vacuum or wipe down the blinds prior to cleaning. This will clear off dust and other loose particles. When you apply a wet cloth without first vacuuming or wiping them off, residue could spread and only be made worse.

Dust the individual slats using a wool duster or microfiber cloth. If you don’t have a duster or microfiber cloth handy, use a clean sock instead. You might be surprised how much dust it will pick up. Just remember, plastic dusters are a bad idea, as you definitely don’t want to scratch the blinds.

If you’re going to vacuum traditional blinds or plantation shutters, attach the brush extension and vacuum horizontally. If your blinds are vertical, then brush in an up and down motion. Don’t forget to clean both sides of the blinds too!

Keep in mind, when COIT cleans blinds, we expertly remove the blinds, take them to our plant, and clean them properly. Then we will return and rehang the blinds.

Easiest Way to Clean Wooden or Faux Wood Blinds

The easiest way to clean faux wood blinds is to leave them in place rather than go through the trouble of removing them slat by slat. Submerging Venetian wooden blinds or even faux wood blinds in water could easily ruin them. Instead use a little bit of water after you’ve already vacuumed or wiped them down—just enough to get them slightly damp and remove stains. For plastic blinds that are only mildly dirty, this method is also the easiest to carry out.

How to Clean Fabric Window Blinds and Drapes

When cleaning fabric drapes, dry sponges are useful for removing dust and other debris. For stains, though, window curtains and drapery may require either dry cleaning or the professional equipment of someone like a COIT technician. When cleaning yourself is your only option, skip the washing machine and hand-wash them in a little bit of water—a temperature somewhere between cool to lukewarm is fine—mixed with a sparing amount of detergent.

However, be warned that washing drapes can cause shrinkage. This is the exact reason COIT created and patented a technologically advanced machine that cleans blinds yet also prevents them from shrinking. This is another reason why cleaning blinds yourself can be dangerous for their longevity.

Spot Cleaning Window Treatments

For effectively spot cleaning window treatments, take a clean rag, preferably dry, and spray it with some all-purpose cleaner. Just as when applying water, it’s much better if you only spray the cloth with chemicals rather than apply solutions directly on the blinds. Holding the slats individually will allow you to target specific stains and use enough force to remove silt.

Here’s a tip: to avoid getting fingerprint smudges on the blinds, wear a pair of gloves when you clean. We recommend either nitrile or latex disposable gloves that are powder free. In addition to providing greater mobility than thicker reusable gloves, buying a box is low-cost and will last you for dozens of future cleaning sessions.

When to Clean Blinds in a Bathtub

For either metal or vinyl blinds that are sticky or greasy from the buildup of oil and heavy steam—kitchen blinds are a prime example of this—you’ll probably want to remove the blinds from the window, fill up a little bit of warm water in a bathtub and soak them for around an hour or so to soften the grime. After wiping them down, pat the moisture off the blinds and leave them to continue drying off before you rehang them on the windows.

Note: only perform this step if your blinds are either aluminum/metal or plastic/vinyl.

Now What? Keeping Your Blinds Clean

Going forward, the best solution is to vacuum and spot-clean the blinds on a regular basis so they don’t have to be soaked. Motorized blinds, woven wood shades, aluminum blinds, or even Roman or Nantucket shades can require a serious investment to install and care for, so it only makes sense to prolong their life by keeping them clean and shimmering.

If calling COIT isn’t an option, these DIY tricks can potentially help restore your window coverings and drapes back to their original beauty.

Of course, if you want a 100% guarantee that your blinds will be cleaned as thoroughly as possible, you can contact your local COIT cleaner to check availability and request immediate service.
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