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How to Clean Horizontal Mini Blinds

Mini blinds are an inexpensive and attractive addition to any home.

Horizontal mini-blinds can collect a lot of dirt and grime if left hanging neglected in your windows too long.

This, combined with the fact that they stand in the hot sunny windows only bakes that dirt on, making it even harder to get off. That may leave you wondering if those dirty mini-blinds can be saved.

Of course they can! But there is no quick fix to remove the dirt and dust that has been allowed to accumulated over the years.

The good news is that you don't need to use a special (or expensive) service to clean your mini blinds properly.

Mini-blinds take time to clean, but cleaning is relatively easy if you use the proper techniques. Besides, it is well worth it if you have allergies or just want your home looking and smelling clean and fresh.

Here are the tricks of the trade to get your mini blinds looking brand new and that will save you time and make the job as simple and effective as possible.

So, let's get busy cleaning!

Cleaning Plastic, Vinyl or Metal Mini-Blinds:

Horizontal mini-blinds that are not made from wood can include, but are not limited to: metal, aluminum, vinyl, PVC and faux wood.

These materials are easy to clean and don't require an in depth or specialized process.

Tip: Collect used fabric softener sheets in a small box next to your dryer and use them to wipe off dust. This will create an anti-static reaction on the blinds so dust will not settle or stick.

Method 1: Complete Cleaning

Taking the blinds completely down and cleaning them in the bathtub is the most thorough way to clean them.

Water sodden blinds are heavy, so take care to let water drain from them as much as possible before moving them carefully. If you have been dusting your mini blinds regularly, cleaning will be much easier.

  1. Roll the blinds completely up in order to secure slats prior to removing them.
  2. Take the blinds down.
  3. Place the rolled up assembly in a bathtub and fill with enough warm water to fully cover the blinds.
  4. Add a capful of dish soap. (like dawn dishwashing liquid).
  5. Add a gallon of plain white vinegar (helps to cut grease).
  6. Move the mini blinds around the tub a bit to agitate the caked on dust and dirt.
  7. Drain the tub.
  8. Rinse the blinds with warm water or by using a handheld shower attachment.
  9. Shake the mini blinds gently to remove as much water as possible. Leave them in the tub drain further if the blinds are still heavy with water.
  10. Hang blinds back up, and release them to full their extension.
  11. Run your hands over them to neaten and straighten their appearance.
  12. Wipe slats down with a clean dry towel.
  13. Allow to dry completely at least 24 hours before rolling the blinds back up.
Sunny day option: Another option is rinse off your mini blinds using a garden hose and then leave them outside to dry. Only do this if it is a sunny day and the ground is dry.

Method 2: Quick Cleaning

If you don't want to take the blinds down to do the bathtub method above, you can use the following method.

This will not be as thorough as taking the blinds down and cleaning them in the bathtub, but it is much less labor intensive.

  1. Take a bucket and fill it with warm water and add a capful of dish soap.
  2. Draw the blinds and turn all slats downward.
  3. Start at the top, and working from left to right and wipe each slat down with the soapy water. I do one slat at a time because if you do more it will "skip over" the top of the next slat.
  4. Turn the slats in the opposite position and repeat
  5. Follow behind with a clean, cotton cloth to remove any left behind dirt and liquid as it will leave to spotting.
  6. Wipe each slat completely dry.

Cleaning Wood Horizontal Mini Blinds:

If you have real wood mini blinds in your home, you have to handle these a bit differently.

You shouldn't use a lot of water or other liquid to wood mini blinds. This can cause the wood to warp and will ultimately ruin them.

Start by using a high quality furniture polish as directed, or you can make a homemade furniture polish.

Homemade Furniture Polish Recipe:

  • 1 cup mineral oil
  • 1/4 cup plain white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

In a spray bottle mix the cleaning solution. You can use baby oil in place of plain mineral oil to add that baby fresh scent. Do not use vegetable oil or olive oil as these oils will oxidize and get rancid (and stink!).

It's as easy as that!

Cleaning Process:

  1. Draw blinds and make slats point downward.
  2. Use a cotton or terry cloth or a specially made cleaning "glove".
  3. Spray the cloth or glove with the polish. Do not spray the wood directly.
  4. Make sure not to get this spray on wood floors to avoid making it slick.
  5. Thoroughly wipe each slat reapplying the spray as needed.
  6. Move blind slats to upward position and repeat.

Cleaning Fabric Mini-Blinds:

Fabric mini-blinds are the most difficult blinds to clean.

You should not apply any water to them, especially if they are silk. Check with the manufacturer for specific cleaning instructions by fabric type. When in doubt, contact a professional.

Removing Dust:

  1. Start at the top with a brush attachment and work your way down.
  2. Use the crevice tool to get into tight spots.

Removing Spots:

  1. Use household strength 3% hydrogen peroxide and pour some into a container.
  2. Do a "test" in an inconspicuous place. Make sure that the hydrogen peroxide does not discolor your fabric.
  3. Using clean white cloth, dip a small section into the solution and squeeze out excess.
  4. Dab the stain starting at the outer edge working your way inward.
  5. You may have to repeat several times for the stain to totally disappear.
  6. No need to rinse out the hydrogen peroxide because it turns to water when exposed to sunlight.

Now you have some excellent, money saving alternatives to taking your horizontal mini-blinds to the professionals, while still achieving professional results.

Be sure to dust and clean your mini blinds regularly so that they are always looking their best!

Image Courtesy of Bach Tran, CC BY-SA.


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Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Mrs Clean (Corina Wilson) is not only the owner of the company, but a very busy mother of 3 children.

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Mrs Clean realized long ago, that a clean home is a necessity, not a luxury when we are struggling to find the time in our day to cover the very basic levels of work and/or family obligations. The battle seems to never end... (but that's why we're here to help!)

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