How to Clean Blinds
By Steve Gillman
The instructions here cover how to clean several different
types of blinds. These are the most common kinds. You might also
get additional instructions on how to clean your blinds from
the dealer where you purchased them. As you're cleaning your
blinds, check your windows and seals to see if they are up to
date and in good condition. If you find cracks, air leaks, or
other issues, be sure to fix those too.
Horizontal Aluminum and Vinyl Blinds
Start by vacuuming the blinds using a soft brush attachment.
For a quick cleanup this may be enough, especially if there are
no smokers in the house. Vacuum back and forth, not up and down,
so the brush bristles get between the slats.
If there is still dust and residue on the blinds you can use
a rubber sponge, which is also known as a dry sponge. You can
buy one at a hardware or paint store. Rub the dirty spots with
the sponge to remove as much dirt as you can. If there is still
dirt or stains remaining you can use any all-purpose cleaner.
Don't spray it directly on the blinds. Instead apply it to a
clean cloth and wipe the stained area with that.
For a more thorough cleaning you can remove the blinds and
bring them outside to a driveway or other open area. Lay them
out on a piece of carpet. Using warm water with a few drops of
dish soap in it, wash them with a soft brush on both sides. Rinse
them with a garden hose. Tap them gently and/or run a clean finger
along each slat to remove excess water, which should prevent
water-spots. Hang them over a clean piece of lawn furniture to
dry completely before reinstalling them.
Another Method: You can also clean blinds (metal and vinyl)
using a sock or glove on your hand, and vinegar. Wet the mitt
with vinegar, squeeze out the excess, and using your fingers
wipe the slats on both sides. Rinse the dirt out of the glove
or sock as necessary, and apply more vinegar.
Horizontal Wooden Blinds
Window blinds made of wood should not be wetted. You can vacuum
and clean them as described above, but don't remove them and
don't get them wet. A damp cloth is okay if you are not leaving
moisture on the slats when finished. Vinegar is usually safe
for wood is you are careful to use it on a damp--but not wet--cloth.
Pleated Cloth Blinds
Fabric blinds are not easy to clean. Vacuuming may be enough
for a light cleaning, and you can remove some dirt or stains
using a dry sponge. Beyond that it is best to check with the
manufacturer or the dealer where you bought the blinds.
Vertical Vinyl Blinds
In general vertical blinds do not get as dirty as horizontal
ones, because dust tends to fall off of them more easily. Vacuuming
may be sufficient. Vacuum in a downward direction or you might
knock the slats off their hooks. You can clean them more thoroughly
with a damp cloth as well, again being careful to wipe in a downward
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