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How to Clean Blinds

Jennifer L. Betts
Blinds Cleaning

Cleaning your blinds isn't really a task that you think about too much in your weekly chores. That is until the dust has collected pretty heavily or you've had a spill. Get tips to quickly clean your horizontal and vertical blinds without taking them down, along with deep cleaning different types of blinds like wood, vinyl and fabric.

Cleaning Blinds Without Taking Them Down

Horizontal or vertical blinds add a cozy quality to your interior décor. However, when it comes to everyday or weekly cleaning of your horizontal, vertical and mini blinds, you don't need to break out the big guns just yet. You don't need to take them down for a basic cleaning, instead grab:

Most of the time, dirt and dust are what has accumulated on your blinds. This generally goes unnoticed until it is quite extensive, especially if you aren't an everyday duster. While cleaning your blinds can be intimidating, it just needs a gentle touch.

Step 1: Remove Dust

Take the vacuum brush attachment or dust buster and gently sweep the dust from the blinds. No vacuum? No problem, you can use your hair dryer on the cool setting to blow the dust off the blinds.

Woman Dusting Window Blinds

Step 2: Wipe Each Slat

To remove that stubborn dust, take the duster or microfiber cloth and gently wipe down the blinds, pulling off the remainder of the dust. For horizontal blinds, work from left to right. For a vertical blind, work from top to bottom.

  • In place of a duster or microfiber cloth, you can use an old clean sock. Simply put your hand in the sock and run it along the blind.
  • For particularly dirty blinds, go over the dusted blind with a damp cloth or sock.

Step 3: Clean up Dirt

Use your vacuum, dust buster or cloth to run along the base of the window or floor where all the dust has fallen as well. You might even want to give it a good wipe down since you're there already anyway.

Deep Cleaning Wooden or Bamboo Blinds

Moisture will not be kind to your wooden and bamboo blinds. Additionally, abrasive cleaners can damage the finish. Therefore, when cleaning wooden blinds avoid excess water and scouring pads or abrasive cleaners. This means that when they need a deep clean, you'll need:

  • Mild detergent or vinegar
  • Cloth (microfiber cloth or an old sock)
  • Towel or newspaper
  • Dryer sheet

If you're using vinegar, you'll want to mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. When you are going the detergent route, you'll add a drop to about 3-4 cups of water.

  1. If possible, remove each individual slat and lay them on the towel. If this is not possible, you'll have to work around the strings by tilting the blinds.
  2. Wet your cloth or a sock and wring it out really well.
  3. Wipe down each side of the slat, running from one end to the other in a smooth swipe.
  4. For stuck on particles or stubborn stains, go over a few times gently scrubbing with the cloth.
  5. Allow the slats to dry.
  6. Rub a dryer sheet along them to repel dust.

This method will also work for plastic, aluminum and vinyl blinds that have stuck on dirt that requires a bit more than water.

cleaning wooden blinds

Cleaning Venetian Blinds in a Bathtub

Vinyl, plastic or aluminum Venetian blinds are a whole different ball game in the cleaning game. These bad lads can actually be thrown right in the tub. For this method, you'll need:

  • Dish soap (something with a grease or grim fighter works great)
  • Bathtub
  • Cloth
  • Clothespins

Before you can even start, you're going to need to take the blinds down and get all the individual slats. If they don't come apart, you can take the whole blind down from the window sill. Then you will:

  1. Fill your tub with warm water.
  2. Add a tablespoon of dish soap and swirl it around.
  3. Add the blinds to the water individually or the whole thing. You want to fully submerge them if possible. If you have long vertical blinds, you'll need to soak them in sections.
  4. Allow them to soak for at least 20 minutes to an hour.
  5. Rinse each blind.
  6. Use the cloth to wipe them down and remove any stuck-on gunk.
  7. Hang them to dry using the clothes pins from your curtain rod or even outside on the line.

Cleaning Window Shades

Blinds and shades are often times confused and sometimes even interchangeable. However, fabric blinds are typically known as shades. These can come in cellular shapes or even roll down shades. Regardless of the name, while you can use the vacuum and microfiber cloth to remove dust, when it comes to deep cleaning, you'll want to look for a fabric cleaner like Scotchgard and a cloth.

  1. Remove the shades from the window and lay them flat.
  2. Use the vacuum, duster or blow dryer to remove loose dust along creases. You want to pay special attention to any creases because this is where dust collects.
  3. Use the fabric cleaner on soiled areas.
  4. You can also run a damp cloth along shades that look dingy. Simply wipe to refresh, never scrub.
  5. Allow the areas to dry and rehang.

Cleaning Your Blinds

When it comes to cleaning your blinds, the type definitely matters. Wooden blinds are going to take a more delicate touch than your standard vinyl covers. Now that you are thinking about it, add cleaning blinds to your housecleaning schedule so a deep cleaning won't be necessary.

How to Clean Blinds