Dusting, Vacuuming and Cleaning Horizontal Blinds
If you're really up on today's home decorating lingo, you don't have "blinds", "mini-blinds", or "shades" - you have "window treatments".
However, for those of us who still have plain old blinds (like me!), we know that they get dirty and we need some easy tips on how to clean them.
You seldom see the old variety of roll-up or roll-down window blinds anymore. As I recall, they were spring loaded and required a lot of coaxing to be returned to the up position.
Pulling those old fashioned blinds down was also a treat as they were usually covered with dust and the air would look almost alive with lint particles that were dislodged and released from their resting place.
Today's blinds or window treatments come in a variety of materials, fabrics and colors. However, they still harbor dust and lint, and acquire stains from moisture and dirt.
Dusting Horizontal Blinds:
Whatever the type of blinds you have, all blinds are dust and dirt magnets. You might not even notice how dirty your blinds are until you raise or lower them and see the air full of dust particles.
Using a Feather Duster
- Pull the blinds down, as far as they will go.
- Turn the slats so they are curved away from you, and as flat as possible.
- Always begin at the top when dusting.
- Dust from one side to the other, making sure that the surface of each slat is touched.
There are also anti-static spray products that you can use to treat your duster with. This will help the dust and lint attract and attach to your duster.
Using a Cotton Sock and a Dryer Sheet
Another "cheap trick" in dusting blinds by hand is to use a sock.
- Grab a clean cotton sock and put it on your hand; this is a great use for those miss-matched socks.
- Then run your hand back and forth over and under the slat.
- When the dust has been removed to your satisfaction, go back over the slats with an anti-static sheet that you use in your clothes dryer. The anti-static properties contained in the sheet will help repel and prevent dust and lint from settling on the slats of the blinds.
Vacuuming Horizontal Blinds:
Metal, Vinyl and Wood: If you don't have a whole lot of metal or vinyl mini-blinds to do, you can use the tip of your vacuum wand to vacuum up the dust on your blinds.
Most vacuums also have a brush attachment that works pretty well on lifting the dust and dirt from the slats and in between mini-blinds and then sucking it into the vacuum.
Fabric Blinds: Vacuuming is the most efficient way you can clean fabric covered blinds at home. In this case, we suggest removing the blinds from the window frames, then spreading the blinds flat on a clean floor.
If you want to try this in a garage, spread clean sheets on the garage floor before placing the blinds on the floor. By removing the blinds to vacuum them, you will also have a sturdy backing that will allow you to use a little more pressure against them making better contact with the vacuum wand.
Tip: If you are cleaning blinds while performing your regular cleaning and vacuuming, vacuum the blinds first, then the carpet.
Cleaning Plastic, Metal or Vinyl Horizontal Blinds
If your blinds are really grimy, you'll need to take them down and toss them into the tub.
- Fill the tub with just enough warm water to cover the blinds.
- Next, add two to three cups of distilled white vinegar and stir well.
- Open the slats to their horizontal position and release the blind cord so the blind hangs at its full length
- Remove it from the wall mount
- Lay it in the tub
- Let the blind soak for 5 – 10 minutes on each side, depending on how dirty it is
- Use a damp sponge to wipe the top and bottom of all of the slats
- Remove the blind from the tub and shake it to remove excess water.
- Hang the blind from a towel rack or other type of hook.
- Wipe it dry with a clean cloth or chamois.
- If you can't hang it up to dry it, lay it on a tile floor.
Cleaning Wood Horizontal Blinds
Even though most wood blinds are treated so they won't be damaged by water, don't use water to clean them. Over time, water will damage the wood.
Unless the manufacturer of your wood blinds recommended a different way to clean them, it's usually best to use furniture polish.
The beauty of wood blinds is that you never really have to remove them from the mounts to clean them.
- Spray a soft cloth with a small amount of polish
- Dust the top, bottom and side of each wood slat
Blind Cleaning Schedule:
A rule of thumb is to clean your blinds about once a season. How often you should perform a regular cleaning will depend on how much dust is in your home and factors such as:
- Allergy sufferers
You can start with a once a month cleaning and adjust to cleaning more or less frequently by the amount of dust accumulation you see.
Using these tips to remove dust and dirt on a regular basis will help keep your blinds clean and you can avoid a heavy build up that will be much harder to remove later.