Blinds are one of the objects in your house that you may gloss over when cleaning. Most people even forgo cleaning them when doing a round of deep cleaning or “spring cleaning.”
However, clean blinds can transform a room and even your entire house. Blinds are one of those home fixtures that can get overlooked, but cleaning window blinds are relatively straightforward, inexpensive, and you will notice an incredible difference.
Dust, dirt, and oils can quickly pile on any type of blind you have. Wood, faux wood, vinyl, and fabric blinds are all prone to attracting buildup.
If left alone, this buildup could lead to mold, deteriorating your blinds, or even contribute to musty smells. Cleaning your blinds consistently and effectively will reduce the chances of having to replace them in the future.
The reason many people don’t clean their blinds is that they don’t know how to go about it and think it is going to be tedious and time-consuming.
These presumptions aren’t entirely true. While not as easy as swiping a rag, cleaning your blinds doesn’t have to be a difficult process. This guide will help you figure out the best plan of attack when it comes to cleaning your blinds.
How To Clean Blinds By Type
The problem with any sort of blind cleaning is the variety of blinds out there. Obviously, there are two vastly different ways to clean horizontal vinyl blinds as opposed to fabric blinds. So you need to figure out what blinds you have first, and then approach your cleaning plan with that in mind.
Common types of blinds include:
How to clean vinyl blinds
Vinyl blinds can be some of the easiest to clean. From their durable nature to the fact that you can remove and replace them pretty quickly, they make an easy afternoon cleaning project.
Depending on how dirty they are, you can even clean them without removing them.
To clean your vinyl blinds without removing them, first, take a microfiber cloth or duster and try to remove as much of the surface-level dust as possible.
You can even use a vacuum hose if there are clumps of dust you want to remove. Just be careful with the hose, you don’t want to scratch or bend your blinds.
Some vacuums come with a brush attachment. I would recommend using this type of attachment to help protect your blinds help with dislodging dust.
The second step is to wet a rag with a mixture of warm water and antibacterial soap. Open your blinds and wipe down each slat with your cloth.
Make sure you scrub each slat well enough to remove any buildup stuck to the vinyl.
If you want a thorough cleaning, you can remove each slat of your blinds and place them in the bathtub. Fill the tub with warm water and mix in a combination of cleaner and degreaser of your choice. Let the blinds soak until the dirt and grease have started to break down.
Then, you can simply turn on the showerhead and rinse off the blinds. Let them dry out and voilá, you have shiny, freshly cleaned blinds.
If the weather is good, you can always take your blinds outside and use a garden hose to hose them down and or bucket of water to rinse them off.
This is a good middle of the road option that isn’t quite as effective as using a degreaser in the bathtub, but better at cleaning than using a rag.
How to clean wood blinds
If your blinds are wood, you should be dusting them weekly to start off with. They are more prone to dirt buildup and more difficult to thoroughly clean than vinyl or metal blinds.
Simply taking a feather duster to them once a week is enough to prevent too much dirt and grime stains.
However, about twice a year, you will need to give your wooden blinds a thorough cleaning.
First off, dust the blinds like normally, but then you will grab your rag and a bowl of warm water. In the bowl of water, mix a quarter cup of either olive oil or lemon oil.
Use this mixture to wipe down your blinds and get rid of dirty patches. The oil helps break down any residue that is stuck and leaves your wooden blinds with a shine that will make your room look that much cleaner.
One thing to note: do not leave your wooden blinds wet. Make sure to dry them with a microfiber cloth, or clean in the sun, so the heat dries them quickly. If left wet, your blinds could become discolored.
How to clean aluminum blinds
Aluminum blinds are one of the most durable blinds on the market. The only thing you need to be careful of is using too strong of a product that might strip away the top layer of metal. That being said, there is still a good process of cleaning the blinds.
You’ll want to use a vacuum at the beginning again to remove a lot of the loose dust. With metal blinds, however, you should use the brush attachment. The metal is studier, so using a brush attachment at the end of your vacuum’s hose won’t damage the blinds, but it will help break off more dust and dirt.
After you’ve gotten rid of the dust, you can move on to the next step to remove the dirt that is stuck to the blinds. You will want to grab a sponge, a bowl of warm water and some dish soap. Remove the blinds and place them on a towel, in the bathtub, or outside.
Once you’ve removed all of the blinds, you can start cleaning them off. Just like the rest of the materials, you will wet the sponge with your dish soap/warm water mixture and scrub the blinds lightly to remove the built-up dirt and grime.
Washing aluminum blinds should be easier as the dust won’t be able to get caked into the material. After washing the blinds, rinse them off with some clean water to get all the soap off.
How to clean fabric blinds
Fabric blinds, like wooden blinds, need to be maintained to avoid ruining them. It is much more challenging to remove stains or dirt from fabric blinds than it is from aluminum or vinyl ones.
To keep your fabric blinds clean, you need to dust them weekly, or at the very least bi-weekly. You can take a feather duster and lightly run it from side to side across the entirety of the blinds. Don’t forget to get the very top and bottom. These sections are easy to miss but can get the dirtiest.
You can also run a vacuum hose with a brush attachment across the blinds to remove dust. This is a little more difficult but helps get rid of some of the more stubborn patches of dirt.
If, by chance, you find a stain or spill on your blinds, don’t fret you can still clean fabric blinds. You will just need two lint-free towels and some spot cleaner.
First, you want to wet one of your towels with the spot cleaner. It doesn’t matter much what kind of spot cleaner.
There are tons of options out there for cleaning stains off clothes and carpet, and either of these would work just as well on your fabric blinds.
Wipe the stain with your stain remover until it is no longer visible, and then dab it dry with your dry towel. Once the fabric is dry, you can hang your curtains back up.
Some fabric blinds can be washed in water. Check your manufacturer’s recommendations to see if this is the case with your blinds. If they are water safe, you can fill a bathtub with warm water and a dish soap mixture, let your blinds soak, and then scrub them clean with a sponge.
Cleaning Blinds in a Bathtub
As I mentioned earlier, cleaning your blinds in a bathtub makes the process incredibly simple and easy. The tub allows you to soak your blinds without having to go outside, and you can get a deep clean without making too much of a mess.
1. You will want to remove all your blind slats and make sure they are dusted super well. You can use your vacuum if a hand duster doesn’t get everything. This ensures that you won’t have a bathtub full of dirty water while the blinds soak.
2. Next, you will want to fill the tub with warm water and mix in your cleaning solution. Dish soap, degreaser, or general-purpose cleaner all work, and the amount you mix in all depends on how dirty your blinds are. In general, don’t put more than a couple of cups of the solution in the tub. I recommend starting with two cups and going from there.
3. Now, put the blinds in the bathtub and let them soak for 20 minutes to half an hour. You might have to curve longer blinds just a bit to get them to fit in the tub, but as long as they are vinyl or aluminum, they will be fine.
4. After the 20 minutes have passed, you can empty the tub and either rinse the blinds off with bowls of water, or as I prefer, you can turn on the shower and use the showerhead to rinse all the solution off the blinds. The dirt and grime stains should wash right off with the soap after soaking.
5. Set the blinds outside to dry or use a towel. Once dry, replace the blinds, and you are finished.
Best Dusters for Blinds
If you want your blinds to stay clean, you need to be consistently dusting them, no matter what material they are made of. Dust that is left on the blinds can set and form stains or get stuck in the material.
Most dirty blinds just started as dusty blinds. You can avoid a lot of headaches and make your blinds shine by just keeping up on your dusting practice.
While you probably have a dusting tool in your house, buying a duster specifically for your blinds will help you remember to dust weekly, as well as make the process much more efficient and effective.
● Hiware Window Blind Cleaner $7.99 – While not really usable for other tasks, the Hiware blind cleaner is built specifically for your blinds and will make the job as painless as possible. It comes with five different microfiber clothes and can be used with cleaning sprays that will make your blinds the centerpiece of any room.
● Swiffer Duster Heavy Duty Starter Kit $11.97 – This duster is on the thicker side, so it isn’t great for blinds with small spaces or small blinds themselves, but it is still one of the best dusters out there. Swiffer products may be mainstream, but they do their job. The extendable arm of this duster also makes it useful for reaching the top or bottom sections of blinds.
● OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster $15.95 – A little more on the expensive side as far as dusters go, the OXO extendable duster is well worth the extra money. It is washable, heavy-duty, and built to last. It extends up to 54″ and has a large microfiber head.
● Guardsman Wood Furniture Dusting Cloths 5 pk $11.28 – These cloths are pre-treated with chemicals that help them trap dust and dirt. They are especially good for your wooden blinds but can be used to dust any sort of blinds you have.
Best Cleaning Solution For Blinds
When you are cleaning your blinds, water is a good choice to remove the dirt and dust, but there are a lot of better options that will not only get rid of the grime but also restore the color and shine to your blinds.
Blinds are often overlooked as room decoration, but when cleaned with the proper product, they can become a beautiful accent piece that people will notice. They will look good from the inside and from the outside. If you clean with these products or solutions, your blinds will be taken to the next level.
● Old English Furniture Polish $3.48 – Old English spray is going to be great, especially for your wooden blinds. It will add a nice shine to the wood that will make the wood shine, even more so if your blinds are in a sun-facing window.
● Oil Eater Degreaser $9.09 – This degreaser is a good choice if you are planning on using the tub method to clean your blinds. Add a little bit of this to the bathtub of water and the grime that has built up on your blinds will start to fall off on its own. When you rinse off the blinds, the rest of the dirt will come off, and your windows will look brand new.
● Dawn Dish Soap $2.99 – Simple, cheap, and effective. Dish soap has tons of practical uses, and cleaning blinds is one of them. Dish soap is useful on vinyl, wood, aluminum, and fabric blinds alike. While the actual application varies between the blind type, dish soap is able to remove stains and restore life to your blinds. All you need is a dishrag and some warm water, and you have the makings of a basic blind cleaning.
● OxiClean MaxForce Laundry Stain Remover Spray $3.89 – This spot remover is useful for fabric blinds that have stained patches. You will want to use it on an inconspicuous part of your blinds first to make sure the fabric doesn’t react badly, but after that, you can apply it liberally to the stain in question. After wiping it off and letting it dry (or using a hairdryer to speed up the process) your stain should be gone and your blinds just like new.
Good luck with your blind cleaning journey. Hopefully this guide provides you with the basics you needed to get started and enjoy a fresh set of blinds that shine like brand new and create a whole new look to your room.