How to Clean Window Blinds

window blinds

The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 mins - 1 hr, 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

What is it about window blinds that make them so difficult to clean? These seemingly simple window treatments consist of many smaller pieces that all attract dirt and dust. The different parts of the blinds require different cleaning methods. Cleaning and properly maintaining blinds isn't just about beauty, either. Dusty and grungy blinds wear out more quickly and don't open and close as they should.

How Often to Clean Window Blinds

Whether your blinds are metal, wood, or plastic, a weekly vacuuming with a brush attachment goes a long way towards keeping them clean. Dust blinds once a month using a dry method of rubbing both sides of each slat from end to end with a microfiber cloth or sock. The best way to deep clean your blinds is by using a wet method once or twice a year.

DIY Cleaning Solution for Window Blinds

To wet clean your blinds deeper, you usually only need water to clean your slats effectively. If you want a little more cleaning power, put a few drops of mild dish soap in a 1/2 gallon of water. You can also add a few teaspoons of glass cleaner to the mix to help the blinds dry streak-free. Always test any cleaning solution on a hidden spot first to review the results.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Bathtub or large washing area (optional)
  • Microfiber cloth or old towel

Materials

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Water
  • White shoe polish (optional)

Instructions

materials for cleaning blinds

The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  1. Vacuum the Blinds

    Vacuum the blinds using the brush attachment to avoid scratching or denting the slats. For best results, close the slats all the way in one direction to reach more surface area of the blinds as you vacuum. Open and close the slats in the opposite direction and vacuum the entire surface, as well.

    vacuuming the blinds

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  2. Spot Clean

    After vacuuming, look for finger marks and dirt buildup that may need some extra attention. Wipe small dirty sections with a damp non-abrasive sponge. To avoid water spotting, gently wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth or an old towel.

    spot cleaning blinds with a sponge

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  3. Bathe and Air-Dry Non-Wooden Blinds

    If you plan to bathe your blinds, first thoroughly vacuum them to remove as much dirt as possible. Fill a bathtub or large washing sink with warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. Submerge the blinds in the sudsy water. Let the blinds sit in the water for about an hour to help release more dirt. Rinse blinds with clean warm water and remove them from the tub.

    For thick wood blinds, carefully towel-dry each slat, front and back, to avoid streaking. If your blinds are aluminum or minis, it's preferable to remove them from the water, shake them out, and hang them back up to air-dry. They will air-dry quickly and you will have avoided possibly bending the slats by drying them with a towel.

    Warning

    Never immerse wooden or fabric blinds, or blinds with decorative tapes in water. Read the manufacturer's cleaning instructions for best results.

    mixing a dish soap solution

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  4. Whiten Dingy Cords

    On many blinds with white cording, ropes, and taped areas, dinginess can be an issue. If washing these items doesn't help, try touching up the white areas with white shoe polish. It's an effective fix that will brighten up your blinds.

    towel drying blind cords

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

Tips to Keep Your Window Blinds Clean Longer

  • Use dryer sheets to dust blinds because it can help repel dust from settling on the slats.
  • Avoid using wood spray cleaner on wood or faux wood blinds because it can cause a sticky build-up that attracts dust.
  • Avoid cleaning aluminum blinds with hot water or else you could feel the heat while sponging them clean.
  • Loosen up and blast dust away in hard-to-reach or hidden places, such as the header of your blinds, using a powerful blow-dryer on a cool setting.
  • If you are doing a quick cleaning using a sock, add a bit of vinegar and water to the material as you are working each slat.