You have finished your Spring/Fall Cleaning. Everything in the house sparkles. You even washed those filthy windows. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy looking out the window and watch the new season bloom.
As you open the blinds to let in the sunshine, you notice how dirty they appear. You have two options; replace them or wash them. Replacing them can become very expensive (Price times 2 times per year times the number of windows. Washing them can be very inexpensive. It’s about once a month for about an hour. The supplies are the same ones that you probably have on hand.
There are 3 major types of blinds; wooden, fabric and vinyl. The main chore in keeping them clean is to vacuum them often. You should use the brush attachment for your vacuum and go across the slats. If the blinds are vertical, vacuum downwards so that you don’t harm the blinds.
These types of blinds are usually used in the kitchen. Because of this, they tend to collect grease and dirt from the stove. A homemade solution of equal parts of vinegar and water and a clean sock will cut through the grease. With the slats turned the same way, wipe them down and then reverse the process for the other side. You can also use a microfiber cloth instead of a sock.
Wooden blinds usually are treated with a finish that repels dirt and stains. To clean them, spray a cloth with furniture polish. Wipe down each side of the slat. Do not get the polish on the cords, as they will become damaged. For very soiled blinds, use clean water but do not get the blinds too wet. Cry them completely after cleaning.
Vacuuming fabric blinds will assist you in keeping them clean. You should use the dust attachment of your vacuum on the lowest setting. If you don’t have one of these attachments, use the hair dryer. This will blow the dirt away from the creases. If there is a stain, a solution of detergent and water should work. Blot the area, let it dry completely and then they can be operated. If the fabric is heavily soiled or stained, you should take it to a professional cleaner.
Aluminum or Vinyl
There are multiple ways to clean these types of blinds. One way is to vacuum the slats and then spot clean the stain and spots. This is easy if you only have a few aluminum blinds. However, in a household full of blinds, this is time consuming and doesn’t always work. Any way is to fill your tub with water and dishwashing liquid. Use a scrub brush or sponge and wipe each slat. You can then hang them over the shower rack to rinse them and let them dry. If the tub is a whirlpool, your job of scrubbing is now eliminated. Turn on the jets for a few minutes, the dirt should be gone. Rinse them off and lay them on a towel and let them dry. The third way goes back to the olden days that your parents or grandparents like to talk about. Take the blinds outside. Lay them on the grass and squirt some detergent on them. Spray with a hose and then flip them over and repeat the process. Hang them on a clothesline and rinse with the hose. Everyone loves to get cooled off on those hot, summer days.
Vertical blinds can be cleaned in the same manner as the other types of blinds. However, instead of vacuuming the blinds between cleanings, use a lint roller to rid the blinds of dust and to keep them clean.
Other Helpful Hints
- Misplace your brush attachment for your vacuum? Use a set on large tongs, like the ones you use on the barbeque, place a microfiber cloth inside of the grabbers. To keep the cloth in place, use elastics or clothespins.
- Buy some S hooks. Hang the blinds in the shower and sponge them off with warm, soapy water. Turn on the shower to rinse. Let them dry. There won’t be any small puddles of water following you around.
- Did I or didn’t I do that slat? To keep track of where you left off when you are interrupted by the phone, doorbell or the kids place a clothespin on the last slat that you cleaned.
- Try not to spray window cleaner on the windows. Instead, spray it on the cloth so that the blinds do not become damaged.
- Feather dusters have the ability to spread the dust around the room instead of picking it up Use microfiber cloths instead.
- Treating the blinds with dusting cloths is an easy way to keep them clean between washings. Make your own by mixing 1 cup of hot water and 2 tablespoons of lemon oil. Soak the cloth and wring it out until it is almost completely dry. Another way is to use fabric softener sheets on the slats.
- For a quick clean, use your fingers. Open the slats all of the way. Pinch a slat between your thumb and pointer fingers. Run your fingers the length of the slat. Both sides of the blinds at the same time.
- Windex is safe to use on most types of blinds. Spray a cloth and not the blind.
Now that the whole house is clean; windows, blinds, curtains, etc. it should be easy to maintain them. Once a month, take a room and wash the windows and clean the blinds. Blinds are the best way to let the sun in your room but without the glare.
You can control your environment with the amount of sunlight that you want. You can see out without the public seeing into your home. You are now able to let the sunshine in without the nuisance of having totally open windows.