How to Properly Clean Your 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
  • Estimated Cost: $5

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. Dusty blinds make even the freshest spaces seem musty, and while it can be a bit tedious, dusting your blinds is really quite easy.

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.

To get your blinds beautiful, you'll need a small handheld vacuum, a microfiber cloth, and your favorite all-purpose cleaner. While there are many other methods for dusting your blinds, we find that these three tools are the secret ingredients to getting the most efficient and effective clean possible. You can find any of these supplies online or in the cleaning section of your local superstore.

How Often Should You Clean Window Blinds?

Whether your blinds are metal, wood, or plastic, weekly vacuuming with a brush attachment goes a long way towards keeping them clean. As blinds accumulate dust and dirt, they should be deep cleaned every month to two months to help keep them clean and dust-free. If they're located in the kitchen near cooking spaces, if you have pets, or if you regularly leave your windows open, you should clean them once a month to keep the blinds free from grease and dirt buildup.

Plus, cleaning your blinds doesn't just make them look nice—it helps them last longer. Follow these steps, and your blinds should last you for many years to come.

Choosing the Right Vacuum to Clean Blinds

To get the most thorough and effective clean, you'll want to use a vacuum on your blinds, so choose a vacuum that works for your cleaning routine. Small handheld vacuums are easy to use, but sometimes are less effective than more standard canister vacuums. You'll want a vacuum that you could easily lift off the ground, and if it comes with a shoulder strap, all the better.

Most importantly, when dusting blinds, try to find a vacuum that either comes with a HEPA filter or can easily have a HEPA filter attached to it. HEPA filters help trap fine dust that often is found on surfaces like windowsills and blinds. Without a HEPA filter, it's much more likely that the fine dust will be kicked back somewhere else in the room, making your cleaning much less effective and efficient.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  • 1 non-abrasive sponge
  • Bathtub or large washing area (optional)
  • 2 microfiber cloths


  • 1 bottle of all-purpose cleaner
  • Water
  • 1 container of white shoe polish (optional)


materials for cleaning blinds

The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

How to Properly Clean Window Blinds

  1. Prep Blinds for Cleaning

    Adjust your blinds so that they lay flat with the widest part of the blind facing you. You'll want to create a smooth, flat surface that is easy to vacuum.

  2. Vacuum the Blinds

    Grab a lightweight or handheld vacuum and slowly work your way across each blind in horizontal strokes. To do this efficiently, you'll need a vacuum that is lightweight and easy to lift over your head. It's also a good idea to invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter, or buy one that you can attach to the vacuum you currently have.

    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

  3. Spot Clean

    Once you've thoroughly vacuumed your blinds, switch the position so they are parallel to each other (with the most narrow edge of the blind facing you). Look for finger marks and dirt buildup that may need some extra attention. Then, grab a damp non-abrasive sponge or microfiber cloth, lather with soapy water, and get to wiping.


    We highly recommend using microfiber instead of a standard feather duster. Microfiber is specially made to actually physically pick up each speck of dust and catch it in the fabric. Many other dusters just push the dust off of the blinds and onto the floor, which doesn't make for a very efficient clean.

    spot cleaning blinds with a sponge

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

  4. 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.


    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

  5. Whiten Dingy Cords

    On many blinds with white cording, ropes, and taped areas, dinginess can be an issue. But, we have a simple solution for dinginess. Wipe cords with some soap and water to remove greasy dirt.

    towel drying blind cords

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

Tips to Keep Your Window Blinds Clean Longer

  • Dust blinds weekly by vacuuming them using the vacuum brush attachment or a duster.
  • Wipe the blinds with used dryer sheets to help lift dust off and repel any future dust.
  • Avoid using wood spray cleaner on wood or faux wood blinds, as it can cause a sticky build-up that attracts dust.
  • 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.