The Fantastic Guide to Cleaning Blinds & Shades

Last update: 4 weeks ago

Many people in Australia choose blinds over curtains nowadays, and that’s not surprising. They’re far easier to maintain and so versatile! Whether you want a modern or a more cosy feel in your living room, they’ve got you covered. But if you don’t know the right way to take care of them, you might just end up ruining them.

Not all blinds are made equal, and different types and materials have different cleaning requirements. So, get ready as we dive deeper into how to clean blinds properly, be they wooden, plastic, or fabric!


How to clean wooden blinds


Wooden blinds are a fantastic choice of window covering! They can fit perfectly in pretty much any room and bring a more sophisticated look to your home. And while they are sturdier than aluminium, for example, they are a bit sensitive when it comes to cleaning.

Here are some things to keep in mind when cleaning wooden blinds:

  • Avoid harsh chemicals.
    Strong detergents can easily damage your wooden blinds’ finish. So, steer clear. You aren’t likely to need them, anyway.
  • Test your cleaning products.
    When cleaning your wooden blinds, always do a test on an inconspicuous spot first. This will make sure the material won’t get damaged or discoloured.
  • Choose detergents wisely.
    If you want to keep your wooden blinds safe and happy, and if you must use chemicals, stick to cleaning products specifically designed for wood.
  • Moisture is a no-no.
    Avoid getting wooden blinds wet at all costs! After cleaning, wipe them down with a clean, dry cloth to remove any leftover moisture and prevent water damage.

Now, let’s get down to business. Here’s how to clean wooden blinds the easy way:

Regular dusting

If you want to keep cleaning your blinds from becoming a tedious task, dusting them once a week is generally enough.

All you need to do is lay the slats flat and wipe any dust off them with a feather duster or a soft cloth. Then, turn them to the other side and repeat. We recommend moving the cloth or duster with the grain.

That’s all! If you want to prevent dust from flying everywhere, you can vacuum your wooden blinds with a soft brush attachment instead.

Removing stains from wooden blinds

If light dusting doesn’t get rid of any grime that might have built up, you’ll need to do some more heavy-duty cleaning.

The first thing you can try is lightly scraping the stain off with a paper towel. Don’t apply too much pressure; just gently scrape it off. If that doesn’t do the trick, a cleaning solution is in order.

Grab a wood cleaner or polish, and let’s get started:

  1. Spray.
    Spray the wood cleaner lightly on the blinds.
  2. Let it sit.
    Let the product sit and work its magic for a few minutes.
  3. Wipe.
    Take a slightly damp cloth and wipe away the cleaner along with the grime.
  4. Dry.
    Thoroughly dry each slat with a dry, soft cloth. Make sure no moisture is left.

If you’re looking for a more natural solution, you can try the method below instead:

  1. Prepare a cleaning solution.
    Mix a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice with some isopropyl alcohol.
  2. Clean.
    Dip a soft-bristle brush into the solution and dab it onto the slats to remove the stains.
  3. Dry.
    Again, use a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture from the blinds.

And there you go! Now you know how to clean wooden blinds the right way. With a bit of regular upkeep, they will live a long and happy life.


How to clean plastic blinds


When we talk about plastic blinds, we often refer to cafe (or bistro) blinds. These are made of clear PVC and are probably one of the easier kinds to clean. It’s not all fun and games, though, as even plastic blinds have some specifics to pay attention to.

  • Plastic blinds attract dust.
    Thanks to their high static build-up and the fact that it’s a porous material, plastic blinds attract lots of dirt and dust particles. So, cleaning them regularly is essential.
  • They can scratch easily.
    If you want to avoid scratches, cleaning your plastic blinds with a soft, non-abrasive cloth is a must.
  • Avoid strong detergents.
    As with wood, strong chemicals can ruin the look of your plastic blinds, too. Stick to gentle or natural cleaning solutions.

Plastic cafe blinds are waterproof, so you can go crazy with the hose! That should be your first step, anyway. Let’s take a look at how to clean outdoor plastic blinds:

  1. Wash.
    Grab a hose and wash the whole blind to get rid of any dust and rough, abrasive particles.
  2. Dry.
    Wipe the surface dry with a clean cloth.

That’s it, really. At least when it comes to light, regular cleaning.

You might want to use a cleaning product made specifically for plastic blinds for tougher stains or grime. Just make sure to read and follow the instructions of your chosen blind cleaner strictly. And, if you want streak-free results, you can let the blinds air dry if the weather allows it.

So, now you know how to clean plastic blinds. But what about maintaining them?

Just clean them often (on both sides)! Removing dust can keep your blinds looking great. And, of course, you’ll want to take care of any dirt, stains, etc., as soon as they get on the surface.

While a regular wash and wipe will generally be enough to keep your outdoor blinds clean, there are products you can use to help keep them in top condition. Blind care kits can prevent the plastic from going hazy and even create a protective film over it to avoid scratches and damage.


How to clean fabric blinds and shades


Fabric blinds are indeed beautiful. There are so many different options out there, you’re bound to find the perfect one for you! But getting a fabulous set of fabric blinds is not enough. You have to be prepared for the maintenance part, too.

When cleaning fabric blinds, be they vertical or roller, you’ll need to pay a little extra attention.

  • Regular maintenance is key.
    Your fabric blinds or shades need regular cleaning and dusting to keep their good looks. Fabric is more prone to trapping dust, too, so unless you’re fond of sneezing every time you walk past your window, spend a bit of extra time every week to clean them. Don’t forget to clean both sides, too.
  • Inspect your shades after cleaning.
    You might not notice if a thread has come loose right away, but that can quickly become a problem. So, take a closer look at your fabric blinds after each clean to check for damage.
  • Take care of stains immediately.
    You’ll want to clean any stains right after they happen to prevent them from setting and becoming hard to get out later on.
  • Avoid strong chemicals.
    Strong cleaning products can fade the colour of the fabric and even damage the fibres, so don’t use them if at all possible.

Now that we got the important stuff out of the way, let’s go over how to deep clean fabric blinds without damaging them:

  1. Remove the blinds.
    Take your fabric blinds down. You only need the panels themselves, so unstring them if you need to.
  2. Vacuum.
    Get rid of any loose dust and dirt with a vacuum, using the upholstery attachment. Vacuum both sides.
  3. Prepare water.
    Fill a clean container (your bathtub or a large basin) with warm, soapy water.
  4. Soak.
    Put your fabric blinds in the water and let them soak for a while.
  5. Clean.
    After the blinds have soaked well, gently scrub them with the non-abrasive part of a sponge.
  6. Rinse.
    Rinse the fabric blinds with clean water to get any remaining soap residue out.
  7. Let them dry.
    Lay the shades flat in a ventilated spot and let them dry out completely. This can take up to two days.

When washing your fabric blinds or shades, you might need to change the water from time to time, especially if you haven’t cleaned them in ages. If you notice the water turning brown or murky, change it. This will prevent any dirt from getting back onto the fabric.

So, that’s cleaning taken care of. Now let’s talk about fabric blind maintenance.

  • Dust regularly.
    To avoid attracting more dirt, which can end up in discolouration, dust or vacuum your fabric blinds often. At least once a month is recommended.
  • Pay attention to folds and creases.
    Your fabric blinds can be different types, like roman, pleated, or cellular. No matter which kind you have, pay close attention to any folds, pleat lines, creases, etc. These areas trap more dirt, so you’ll need to put in a bit more effort to remove it.
  • Don’t forget the back.
    Cleaning your fabric blinds is pretty much pointless if you only clean the front. The backside is not immune to stains and dust, so give it some tender loving care, too.

And there you have it! You now know how to clean blinds properly, be they plastic, fabric, or wooden. Plough forward with confidence, and enjoy your spotless window coverings!

Cleaning stained shades

If a spill happens, you need to act immediately. A bit of dish soap and warm water should do the trick. Using a sponge, blot the spot with the soapy solution, rinse it with clean water and another clean sponge and let it air dry. Just make sure to do a spot test in an inconspicuous area first, just in case. Taking care of stains right away will eliminate the need to give your shades a bath later on.

Cleaning mould off shades

Mouldy blinds not only look terrible but can pose a health risk, too. To remove mould from fabric blinds or shades, take a soft brush and scrub away as much of it as possible. If you want to avoid breathing it in, we recommend wearing a face mask or other protective equipment. You can also vacuum the mould off, but you’ll have to throw away the vacuum bag immediately, as it will be contaminated. Once the dry mould is taken care of, grab a clean cloth and some mild detergent and clean each panel, starting from the top and working your way down. Finally, let the blinds air dry.

Takeaways

  • Regular dusting and general upkeep is important, no matter the blind material.
  • When cleaning wooden blinds, avoid moisture, as that can damage them.
  • For wooden blinds, choose a cleaning product specifically for wood or a mixture of lemon juice and isopropyl alcohol.
  • Plastic blinds (also called bistro or cafe blinds) can be hosed down and wiped or left to air dry.
  • You can use a plastic blind cleaner to tackle tough stains.
  • Take care when cleaning fabric blinds or shades not to damage them.
  • Spot treat fabric blinds as soon as a stain happens to prevent it from setting.
  • If you haven’t cleaned your fabric blinds in a while, you can wash them with soapy water.

Need help cleaning your blinds?

Turn to the experts for fantastic results!

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