How To Clean Your Blinds and Shades

Dusting your shades and blinds is not a fun chore to do and you probably do not attempt it very often. Many times window treatments do not get cleaned because homeowners are not quite sure what to use or how to clean them. But it really only takes around 30 minutes to an hours, depending upon number of windows, to clear your conscience and your view. Below is a list of common window coverings and how best to clean them. *Important Note: for shades with delicate fabrics such as silk, you should contact the manufacturer for instructions on proper cleaning. A professional cleaner may be needed in this case.

Faux and Wood Blinds

How to clean blindsFaux-wood blinds are one of the most popular types of window coverings. If your faux-wood blinds are just dusty, using a vacuum with a dust brush attachment can make cleaning them a breeze. Simply close the blinds all the way, hold the bottom rail, vacuum one side, then turn the blinds the other way and vacuum the other side. When using the vacuum, make sure that the suction is on its lightest setting to avoid twisting or warping the slats. Handheld dusters like a Swiffer can also be effective here.

If your faux-wood blinds are in the kitchen however, they may have collected some grease and grime in addition to dust. This calls for a bit more thorough cleaning, but nothing that can’t be handled with some good ol’ white vinegar. Simply fill a small bowl with a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water, and then use a clean sock or microfiber cloth to dip in the bowl. Turn the blinds one way and wipe them while holding the bottom rail, then turn them the other way and clean the other side. The vinegar will take care of the grease and grime, and your blinds will be looking as clean as the day they were put up!

Most wood blinds are treated with a special finish to repel dirt and stains. Wood blinds can be cleaned with a good quality furniture polish and a soft cloth or clean sock. Spray the furniture polish on the cloth and wipe each slat individually. Avoid touching the cords.

For heavier cleaning, you can use plain water, but be careful not to saturate the wood. Wipe excess water immediately to prevent spotting, discoloration, or warping.

Insulating Blinds

Dust these with a hand-held vacuum brush on a low setting and spot-treat dirty areas with lukewarm water and a mild dish detergent. Dab, don’t rub, the fabric.

Panel Track Shades

These durable panels for large windows or doors are low-maintenance. Just glide your vacuum dust-brush tool over the panels to keep them fresh.

Roller shades

Roller shades now comes in a wide range of textures and fabrics. Give them a quick once-over with your vacuum’s soft brush tool and maybe a little spot cleaning. To clean classic vinyl roller shades, use a well-wrung cloth or sponge dipped in a solution of mild dishwashing detergent and lukewarm water and wipe the shade in sections. Start at the bottom, and continue working (washing and rinsing) upward until the entire shade is clean. Leave the shade fully extended to dry.

You can also give really dingy vinyl shades a bath. Cover them in warm water in the bathtub and add several squirts of mild dishwashing soap. Using a soft brush, clean the shades on both sides. Rinse, allow to air-dry, and re-hang.

Cellular Shades (honeycombs)

Cellular shade window treatments are a hot pick for their energy efficiency, but they have a secret cleaning advantage, too. Just use the dusting tool on your vacuum. Give them a once-over on low suction, and you’re done. After dusting, most stains can be lightly blotted with a sponge, lukewarm water, and mild dish detergent.

Cleaning Window Shades

Roman shades

Roman shades, whether they’re flat, pleated, or draped with swags need to be cleaned with your vacuum’s soft dusting brush attachment on low suction. If necessary, spot-clean any stains with a cloth dipped in mild suds. Do not saturate; rinse and blot dry.

Sheer shades

Sheer shades can be adjusted to diffuse the light. These trendy translucent window shadings look delicate but are fashioned from sturdy, knitted polyester. Vacuum with the brush attachment on the lowest suction setting.