How to Clean Blinds

Wooden blinds

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What is it about blinds that make them so difficult to clean? These seemingly simple window treatments are made up 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. So, what is required to keep blinds clean and beautiful?

Tools for Cleaning Blinds

  • Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  • Sponge
  • Bathtub or another large area
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth or old towel
  • Shoe polish

Here's How to Clean Blinds

  1. Vacuum blinds. Whether your blinds are metal, wood, or plastic, vacuuming weekly with a brush attachment will go a long way toward keeping them clean. If you try to vacuum with anything other than the brush attachment, it won't be nearly as effective, and you run the risk of scratching or denting your blinds. For best results, close the slats all the way to reach more surface area of the blinds as you vacuum.
  2. Spot clean. Finger marks and dirt buildup may need some extra help after vacuuming. Try wiping small dirty sections with a damp sponge. To avoid water spotting, gently wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth or an old towel.
  3. Bathe blinds. When only a deep cleaning will do, vacuum blinds first to remove as much dirt as possible. Remove metal, plastic, and painted blinds, dipping them in water mixed with a few drops of mild dish soap. The bathtub works well for this type of chore. Never immerse wooden blinds or blinds with decorative tapes in water. Carefully towel-dry each slat, front and back, to avoid streaking. This cleaning only needs to be done at most yearly. Regular vacuuming and spot cleaning will extend the amount of time between these bathing sessions for your blinds.
  4. Whiten dingy ropes and tapes. On many blinds with white cording, ropes, and taped areas, dinginess can be an issue. If washing doesn't help, try touching up the white areas with some white shoe polish. It's a nice temporary fix that will cover up most of the dinginess.

Homemade Cleaners for Blinds

For wet cleaning, you usually only need water to clean your blinds effectively. If you want something with 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. If you are concerned, you should always test any cleaning solution on a hidden spot first to make sure the results look okay to you.

For dry cleaning, the best tools are the vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a microfiber cleaning cloth. Avoid using sprays or cleaners.