Window blinds should be attractive and functional, complementing your windows and décor while providing privacy and shade. However, as your vinyl, wood, or aluminum blinds collect dirt, grime, and pet hair, they become unpleasant to look at and operate.
If you’re preparing for a window replacement or recently installed new windows, clean blinds are essential to showcase these updates. But no matter the age or condition of your windows, you can keep them looking their best by washing blinds regularly using the following how-to tips and suggestions from Opal Enterprises.
Why Do Blinds Need to Be Cleaned?
Blind cleaning is one of those chores that most people don’t think about. As a result, you may not look closely at your blinds, and by the time you do, there could be substantial buildup marring their look and functionality.
All blind styles require cleaning eventually; however, Venetian blinds with horizontal slats are especially quick to collect particles that settle on their flat surfaces. Your blinds could become covered in:
- Dust and dirt
- Cooking grease
- Pet hair
- Oil from your fingers
Over time, this buildup will corrode your blinds and diminish their appearance, making it harder to open and close them. It may also expose your family to unhealthy particles that can trigger asthma or allergies.
You should wash your blinds regularly to ensure you keep them working correctly and prevent unhealthy particles from being released into the air every time you operate them.
What Is the Best Way to Clean Blinds?
Blind cleaning doesn’t have to be an all-day task, and in most cases, blinds can be left on the windows while you clean them. Follow these steps to quickly freshen up your dirty shades without taking them off your windows:
Gather Your Cleaning Supplies
Regardless of how dirty your blinds are, there are specific tools and supplies you’ll want to have on hand to make the job easier.
- Vacuum cleaner: Hook up the soft brush attachment, if you have one, to your vacuum’s hose. This will allow you to suction off loose dust and dirt without scratching or damaging your blinds.
- Blind duster brush: This is a tool made especially for removing debris from standard vertical window blinds. It has three cloth-covered tines that fit perfectly between the slats.
- Bucket of warm, soapy water: A small amount of dish soap in a warm water bucket will help remove stubborn debris. For wood blinds, you can substitute Murphy’s Oil Soap for regular dish soap.
- Microfiber cloth: Regular rags or towels can release lint, so it’s best to use a lint-free microfiber cloth that will leave your surfaces completely clean.
Prepare Your Blinds
Before attempting to clean your blinds, you will want to make sure all surfaces are exposed. Lower your horizontal blinds or extend your vertical blinds, spreading them out in front of the windows.
Then, partially open overlapping vinyl or aluminum slats to separate them. Wood or faux wood blinds do not overlap so that they can remain closed.
Remove Loose Particles
Use your vacuum, dry microfiber cloth, or blind duster brush to first wipe away the easy-to-remove dirt and dust from both sides of each slat. If you are using your vacuum, be sure to set the suction level to low at first and only increase it as much as necessary.
This is especially important for thinner flexible materials like vinyl and aluminum.
Swipe from one side to the other for horizontal blinds starting at the top and working your way down. That way, if debris falls onto lower slats, it won’t land on surfaces already cleaned.
With vertical blinds, swipe from top to bottom so that the slats don’t come unhooked and fall off the window. Focus on a single slat at a time, working systematically from one end of the window to the other. Hold the blind with one hand for stability while you vacuum or wipe its surface using your other hand.
Wipe Your Blinds With a Damp Cloth if Necessary
Often, wiping with a dry cloth or vacuum will be enough to get your blinds looking as good as new. However, more heavily soiled blinds will need extra attention. Dip your microfiber cloth in warm, sudsy water, and gently scrub your blinds as necessary to remove persistent debris.
Make sure the cloth is damp but not dripping wet. Too much water can puddle on your floor or, if you have real wood blinds, cause the slats to warp.
Wait for Your Blinds to Dry
If you cleaned your blinds with water, leave them extended and open until they have had time to dry completely. Then run your vacuum, dry cloth, or duster over them again one last time, and vacuum the windowsill and floor to clean up any dirt that fell.
What if My Blinds Are Still Dirty?
A vast majority of blinds will be clean after following the above method. However, blinds hanging in your kitchen can become coated with a greasy residue because of their proximity to cooking oils. This residue may remain no matter how much you scrub your blinds.
In this case, you can try taking your aluminum or vinyl blinds down off the windows and soak them in your bathtub.
- Start by partially filling your tub with warm water.
- Squirt liquid dish soap into the water and add about a cup of baking soda.
- Swish the water until the soap is foamy and the baking soda has dissolved.
- Place your blinds in the water, making sure they are completely submerged.
- Leave them there to soak for about an hour.
- Rinse with warm, clean water and wipe off any dirt or oil that remains.
- Allow your blinds to dry completely before putting them back up on your windows.
Additionally, white blinds that have been discolored by the sun can be brightened up in the bathtub using bleach. Use cold water and around two or three cups of liquid bleach, letting the blinds soak for about 10 minutes before rinsing them thoroughly.
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Enjoy New Replacement Windows From Opal Enterprises
Cleaning your window blinds is a task most of us try to avoid. However, a regular monthly scrub can help reduce dirt, pet hair, and dander and brighten up your home. If your home still feels lackluster after cleaning your blinds, consider a total or partial window replacement in Des Plaines and Naperville from Opal Enterprises.
New windows can help improve the look and energy efficiency of your home while improving its value. Contact Opal Enterprises today for a free estimate and to learn about the types of windows we offer.