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Blinds & Shades Technical Tips



How To Clean Your Shades, Blinds and Shutters


Window coverings don't require frequent cleaning. They don't tend to get splashed frequently and they are not dust magnets. But splashes do happen and dust does collect. So here are a few handy tips on how to clean your real wood blinds, your faux wood blinds, your aluminum mini blinds and your honeycomb or cellular shades.

Cleaning your aluminum mini blinds

If you hate cleaning, buy aluminum blinds. They are the easiest to clean. They are painted smoothly with a dust resistant formula. Most of the time, you simply need to occasionally brush off the dust with any typical household duster or rag (such as a soft feather duster, a clean cloth or a dusting mitt). You might never need to do more than this to keep them clean.

If for whatever reason you notice that they are especially dirty, use warm water to clean them. Do NOT use hot water. Tilt your blinds at a 45 degree angle for best access. If you try cleaning them when they are shut, you will miss some areas. The best formula to clean with is to add a couple squirts of dish-cleaning liquid to a spray bottle of warm water, making sure to mix it very well (shake it up a bit). Using a lint-free cloth or towel, wipe the surfaces of the slats, taking special care not to bend them; a bent slat is worse than a dirty slat. Then tilt the blinds 45 degrees in the other direction, and clean them from the other side.

If your aluminum blinds are so dirty that this does not clean them, you can take down the blinds and let them soak in a warm (NOT hot) bath, once again with a nice mild mixture of dish soap. Once the debris is loosened, you can wipe it off, rinse the blinds and wipe dry. Be careful not to soak the head rail section.

Pro tip: You can reduce the natural static on faux wood blinds by wiping them down with dryer sheets or by applying a thin film of detergent to the surfaces.

Cleaning your faux wood blinds

Faux wood is generally easier to clean than real wood blind. As with aluminum blinds, you can dust off faux wood blinds with any typical household duster or rag. Or you can use the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner.

When they need deeper cleaning, faux wood blinds can be cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge and the same warm (NOT hot) water and soap mix as recommended for aluminum blinds above - just make sure that it is a mild mixture. VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT use abrasive cleaners or chemical solvents; these can damage the surface of your faux wood blinds, and they will never be the same again. Whereas faux wood is much more forgiving than real wood, abrasive cleaners and chemical solvents must be avoided. You can easily clean the entire surface by tilting the slats 45 degrees, first one way then the other. If you try cleaning the slats when the blinds are shut, you will miss some of the surface area, which will remain dirty.

If you have embossed faux wood blinds - the ones that replicate real wood grain - you might find them slightly harder to clean. These are not recommended in areas where children, pets or food might easily dirty them.

Pro tip: You can reduce the natural static on faux wood blinds by wiping them down with dryer sheets or by applying a thin film of detergent to the surfaces.

Cleaning your wood blinds

We do NOT recommend washing real wood blinds, so it is very important not to install real wood blinds in high traffic areas, such as where children or pets might frequently touch them. Even though they are well treated, water can damage them.

We do NOT recommend washing with water, ultrasonic cleaning or chemical solvents, because:
  • Water can warp the wood.
  • Water can cause discoloration.
  • Ultrasonic cleaning can damage the surface.
  • Chemicals can also damage the surface.

Their smooth finish protects the surface from most dirt, so a light dusting should be all they normally need.

As with aluminum and faux wood blinds, real wood blinds can easily be dusted with any typical household duster or rag. Or you can use the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. As with aluminum and faux wood blinds, it is best to tilt the slats 45 degrees, first one way then the other, so as to remove dust from the full surface. Remember that if you try dusting the wooden slats when the blinds are shut, some of the surface area will remain covered and it will remain dirty.

WARNING: You should always protect real wood blinds from moisture. That means not to install them in windows that suffer from condensation or near any steam. Take precaution when washing windows, it is better to spray your cleaning solution on a cloth and then wipe down the windows than to spray the windows directly and risk spraying on your blinds.

Cleaning cloth tapes

Fabric cleaning wipes are best for spot-cleaning cloth tapes. Although these rarely leave stains or discoloration, it is recommended to test the fabric wipes first on a section of the blind that is hidden, such as the underside, just to make sure they don't discolor your fabric.

If you are working with 100% polyester tapes, they can be spot-cleaned using cool distilled water on a clean white cloth. It is also safe to use Woolite® on polyester cloth tapes.

If your tape is made of acetate or rayon, giving a shiny, luster appearance, do NOT use water at all. Water stains rayon and acetate, and it will damage your tape permanently.

Cleaning your honeycomb or cellular shades

Honeycomb (or "cellular") shades are very stain resistant. Most of the shades are manufactured to be anti-static, so even dust is rarely a problem. As with other types of shades, they can be carefully dusted with any typical household duster; a soft feather duster or the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner will work best

If your honeycomb shades need a more intense cleaning, you might try treating spots or stains with warm water (NOT hot water). However, this is risky because water can cause discoloration. If necessary, you can add a mild detergent, such as dish soap to the water, but make sure it is very mild. When spot cleaning, BE CAREFUL not to rub too hard; if you roughen up the fabric, your honeycomb shades will no longer look as nice.

WARNING: Magnetic cleaners damage the room-darkening backing on room-darkening fabrics. Dusting mitts and other magnetic cleaners should be avoided on these.
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