While window blinds are a commonplace installation in almost every home, cleaning blinds is often an ignored task set aside for another day. Even though the grime build up isn’t too easily noticeable over time, the accumulation of dirt, skin cells, hair, and dust can tint white blinds to a murky grey and lead to an unhealthy home. Though the job is time consuming and tedious with little return in visual appeal for the work, cleaning window blinds is still a crucial part of home cleaning to remove dust, dirt, and allergens from the space.
Every time you clean your home, we recommend vacuuming the accumulated dust and dirt off the blinds. With this repeated quick clean, blinds should only need a deeper clean about twice a year. Be sure to completely clean each of the strips of the blinds (called slats) to prevent dust from hiding in crevices while cleaning, and go in the direction of the slats or honeycombs. Though this deep cleaning chore may not need to be done all too often, these biannual cleanings should be thorough and done properly based on the type of blinds. We’ve accumulated a list of ways to best clean specific types of window blinds to help turn this dreaded chore into a job well done.
Wood blinds are often too frail for traditional wood cleaners, and the harsh chemicals may cause stains and streaks. These blinds can be wiped down with a rag dipped in warm water and wrung out. If the blinds need an especially deep clean, vinegar can be used instead of water. Individually wipe down each of the slats in the blind on each side, adding a circular motion to get out any noticeable stains. Be sure to wipe all the crevices between the slats! Dry them with a dry rag or paper towel. After they’re dry, a wood conditioner can be used to protect the blinds from sun damage.
Faux-wood blinds are a bit more sturdy than wooden blinds, so they can handle a water and detergent mix. The strategy for cleaning these faux-wood blinds are the same as the wood blinds—dampen a paper towel with the water and detergent mix and wipe down the blinds on each side, paying special attention to areas with visible stains. A fabric softener sheet can be rubbed on the slats to prevent dust build up after the blinds have been wiped down to make future cleaning easier.
A deep clean for venetian blinds takes a bit more work than wood or faux-wood blinds. Venetian blinds can be most effectively cleaned by removing them from the window and let them soak in a bath with warm soapy water. After they’ve soaked for about 15 minutes, use a rag to gently scrub each side of the slabs to free any dirt and remove stains. Drain the soapy water, then use the shower to wash off any soap left on the blinds. Once the blinds have hung dry, they can be rehung.
For fabric blinds, a low-setting vacuum is usually enough to provide a full cleaning. If dirt is lodged in a hard to reach corner of the blinds where a vacuum can’t reach, a blow dryer can be used on cool to blow off the dirt. Stains can be treated with a standard microfiber cloth or a bit of fabric detergent.
The cleaning method for vertical blinds depends on the blinds themselves. Usually, they can be washed just like the faux-wood blinds; if they’re fabric blinds, wash them the same way as horizontal fabric blinds. Vertical blinds might pick up cobwebs and dust more than horizontal blinds, which can be easily taken care of using a lint roller up and down the blinds.