By: Dana

No one likes to daydream about cleaning their blinds and shades, but it is a necessary evil. Let these tips make cleaning your blinds and shades easy and fast, so you can get back to doing something you actually enjoy. There are different cleaning techniques for different shades and blinds, but as a general rule of thumb, most window coverings can be routinely cleaned with a brush vacuum attachment.

For most blinds, including vinyl, aluminum and PVC, dust will be your biggest enemy. In addition to a brush vacuum attachment, you can also use a damp cloth or a cotton glove to wipe the dust off of each slat, one side at a time. To prevent dust from building up, you can wipe your blinds down with a dryer sheet to fight static cling. If your blinds have really taken a beating, and have accumulated built up grime, you can take them off the window and soak them in a tub filled with warm soapy water.  Just be sure to keep the headrail (usually containing metal components) out of the water. For real wood blinds, you have to take a little more precaution. Never use any harsh chemicals, and try not to let them get soaked with water, as this can cause warping of the wood. Just regular dusting, a wipe down with a damp cloth and a periodic swipe of lemon oil are all you need to keep the natural beauty of your wood shades in good condition.

You always want to treat your fabric shades (cellular, pleated, roller etc.) as gently as possible. This means no harsh chemicals or abrasives. Before cleaning your whole shade with any cleaner or homemade mixture, be sure to test a small amount of the solution on a more inconspicuous part of the shade.  The best cleaning solution for shades with grind in dirt or stains is good old-fashioned dish detergent mixed with warm water. Use a sponge to blot off stains, rinse with a sponge soaked in clean water and dry completely before hanging them back up. Another tool that will help keep dust at by, especially for cellular shades is a hair dryer set to “cool”. Use this to blow away any dirt that has been trapped in creases or inside the honeycomb openings. If any little critters or bugs get caught inside these honeycombs, resist the urge to squish it (as this will end badly for everyone involved) and either use your handy hairdryer to blow them out or gently push them out of the shade.

To keep your shades looking new, be sure to lower and raise your shade using the appropriate controls; not the material itself. If you still feel unsure about cleaning your window coverings, especially very delicate sheer products, or if you just don’t have the time, there are many professional cleaning services available for hire.