How to Clean Window Blinds

Just like anything else around the house, your window treatments can also get dirty. Window blinds are often the last things you think about when cleaning, but it also deserves a little TLC. Cleaning the blinds can only take 30 minutes, so if yours are already dirty, take some time off from your day and do it!

Before you get down to the nitty-gritty details, you need to figure out what you own. Blinds can be made of metal, wood, fabric, etc. With the right cleaning methods and proper maintenance, you can definitely extend the lifespan of your blinds.

Here are some of the general cleaning tips and maintenance for blinds:

  1. Don’t allow moisture to settle on blinds. If you live in humid areas, it pays to have a working dehumidifier in the room where there are blinds.
  2. Follow the care instructions included with the blinds that you have. Each type comes with its own unique care and cleaning requirements, so make sure you follow those.
  3. Use a clean, damp cloth in wiping slats of blinds.
  4. Don’t use detergent for cleaning. This can leave a residue on the slats.
  5. Do not oil or lubricate any part of the blind mechanism. You just need to clean it.
  6. Ensure that there is adequate ventilation in the room to prevent the formation of molds.

How to Clean Each Type of Blinds

Once your blinds are fitted in the windows, it will take some time for dust, debris, and grease to land the slats and its other parts, especially in a non-air-conditioned area.

Wood Blinds

Wood blinds are finished with a special finish to prevent stains and dirt. It doesn’t need to be cleaned often, and when they do, the cleaning you have to do is very minimal. All you need is to use a dry, clean cloth, dust cloth, or dusting mitt and lightly wipe or brush the top of each slat. As you dust, tilt each blind slat to a 45-degree angle to help knock the dust loose, making it instantly cleaner. You can also use a vacuum cleaner using a soft brush attachment to get rid of any spider webs and dust bunnies.

Do not wash your blinds with water. Though the wood has been sealed, too much moisture can lead to warping, bowing, discoloration, or bubbling. Chemical solvents and ultrasonic cleaners can also damage wood slats. If the blinds need heavy cleaning, wipe it up using a slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Use plain water to dampen the cloth. Do not use a wet cloth.

Faux Wood Blinds

Faux wood blinds are more popular than real wood blinds because they are cheaper and easier to produce. Faux wood blinds are also more durable and moisture-resistant than real wood, so you can clean it with a little bit of water to remove grime and smudges, especially if it’s placed in the kitchen. You can also use white vinegar – just fill a small bowl with a mixture of one part water and one part vinegar, then use a clean microfiber cloth (lint-free cloth or old sock will also do) and dip it in the bowl. Turn the blinds one way and wipe them while holding the bottom rail. After that, turn it the other way and clean the other side. The vinegar can help take care of the grease and grime.

You can also use a small amount of dish soap to a warm, damp cloth to get rid of grease. Then, go back over the slats again using a piece of clean damp cloth to remove any soap residue.

If it’s only ridden with dust, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a dust brush attachment. Simply close the blinds all the way, hold the bottom rail, and vacuum one side. After that, turn the blinds the other way and vacuum the other side. When using it, make sure that the suction is on the highest setting to avoid twisting or warping the slats.

Bamboo Blinds

As with wooden blinds, excess moisture can also warp or discolor the bamboo slats. Avoid using water to clean bamboo blinds because these natural materials can weaken or break down when they get wet. Also, rougher natural fibers can also be snagged, pulled or broken off, so keep the cleaning light and gentle. Clean from side to side and ensure that you follow the natural direction of the bamboo fibers to avoid damaging the blinds.

For removing dust and dirt, tilt slats up and down when cleaning. Use a feather duster, a soft dust cloth, or a vacuum brush. Gently sweep across the natural coverings. You can also add wood preservatives when cleaning these blinds.

Vinyl and Aluminum Blinds

Vinyl and aluminum blinds are the easiest to clean. Since they are durable and are not made of materials that may get damaged with water, you have more options to clean these kinds of blinds. If you need a quick buffing up, just dust and wipe with a feather duster or a simple dry rug. If you need a deeper clean, you can use cold or warm water in a spray bottle mixed with a tiny amount of soap. Spray on a lint-free towel and use it to wipe each slat. Be careful not to bend or twist the slats as you clean.

To make sure you are cleaning your blinds properly, lower the blinds and tilt the slats down. With your hand on the bottom rail, pull the blinds slightly away from the window to keep it taut. Use the soft dusting brush tool to your vacuum cleaner and vacuum a few slats at a time using a top-to-bottom or side-to-side motion. Use a damp microfiber cloth with water and wipe the slats again.

If you choose to take each set of blinds down one at a time, let it soak in a bathtub with a bit of dish soap. Use a soft brush, soft mop or sponge to go over both sides of the slats. This will make it easier for you to remove the dirt from the blinds. After soaking, drain the dirty water and refill the tub with clean water to rinse. Make sure to rinse thoroughly so that no soap suds will be left. Then, hang the blinds back up to let it dry completely.

Roller Blinds

With fabric shades, your vacuum cleaner will come in handy. To clean roller blinds made of fabric, dust it frequently and use a vacuum cleaner brush or soft cloth. You can spot clean stains using a mild detergent mixed with warm water. Then, blot the area dry afterward. Immersing the blinds in water might damage the blinds, so avoid washing them. You can also use a sponge to remove the worst of the dirt or a soft toothbrush for stubborn marks. The best thing you can do is dust it at least once a weak and spot clean any stains immediately to prevent it from drying.

If your roller blinds are extremely soiled, you may need to take it to a cleaner for professional cleaning.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds need to be cleaned the same ways as mentioned above, depending on what material they are made of. You can use mild detergents with warm water when spot cleaning stains, then make sure you blot the blinds dry after cleaning. To clean, tilt slats left and then right. Follow the direction of the slats as you clean to avoid damaging the fabric. Use a soft dust cloth, a feather duster or vacuum brush to remove dust and dirt.

If your vertical blinds are made of fabric, you can use a lint roller to pick up dust and cobwebs along the way. Fabric vertical blinds can be washed, if the instructions allow so.