When cleaning blinds, you’re likely to shed a lot of dust and debris onto the floor and possibly into the surrounding area, especially the windowsill. Be sure to clean this up with a vacuum. A microfiber dusting mitt is also a quick solution for picking up stray particles. You might also want to plan ahead for future blind-cleaning sessions. If your blinds haven’t been seen a blind cleaner for a while, and you see visible dust bunnies, consider putting a drop cloth down to catch any dust as it falls.
There’s no special trick to cleaning blinds. Professionals use the same tools and techniques that DIY homeowners have access to. Remember, many experts rely on workhorse tools like a microfiber cloth. They’re inexpensive, easy to care for, and you can keep multiple on hand for cleaning jobs. They’re ideal for cleaning blinds since they’re less likely to leave behind the debris that you might get with a regular duster or feather duster.
Most traditional blinds are plastic (also referred to as vinyl) and can be cleaned using the process outlined above. If you’re reaching for a cleaner, most all-purpose cleaners should work, says San Angelo. If you’re not sure if the solution is safe for your vinyl blinds, try it on a small area first, as certain cleaning agents can turn the material yellow.
For wood blinds, dust as outlined above. Then consider finishing with a bit of furniture polish. Spray some onto a microfiber cloth then wipe it on the slats. This will help preserve the wood and repel dust.
“Dusting once a week or two weeks is often enough to clean your blinds, but sometimes dust will stick to them, especially in the kitchen where grease will accumulate on the blinds,” San Angelo notes. For this type of grime, reach for a microfiber cloth dampened with warm water. If you have wooden blinds, be careful not to get them too wet.
Store-bought cleaners can also be helpful, and San Angelo often uses Dawn Powerwash Spray for tough jobs. But beware that this approach is more time consuming. “Cleaning blinds with any type of liquid cleaner can be a laborious task as you really need to clean each slat individually,” she says. Instead, consider soaking them. Here’s how:
Step 1: Take the blinds off the window and place them in a bathtub with warm water, a few generous squirts of dish soap, and a cup of baking soda (a natural stain fighter).
Step 2: Let the blinds soak for about an hour, and then rinse with clean water and let dry before rehanging.
Step 3: If white blinds are still looking dingy and yellowish, they’ve probably been stained by the UV rays of the sun. Don’t worry, though, because that can be fixed too. Pop the blinds into the tub with cold water and three cups of liquid bleach. Let the blinds soak for no more than 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and dry off. The bleach should revive the blinds.
If you have shutters, you can use the exact same process outlined above. If you have fabric shades—such as Roman or honeycomb shades—you can clean those at home too, but the process is a little different. Lower the shades, then use the soft brush attachment and the low suction setting on your vacuum cleaner to go over the shades, starting from the top. When you’re done with one side, maneuver behind the fabric shade and vacuum the other side.
If there are stains, spot-treat them with a mixture of clear liquid dish soap and warm water in a bowl (and a teaspoon of baking soda for a heavy stain). Wet a microfiber cloth with the solution and wring it out, so it is not soaking wet or dripping. Dab at the stain with the damp cloth. Do this multiple times depending on the stubbornness of the stain. Repeat with a clean cloth moistened with plain water and let the shade air dry. If spot cleaning is not enough to clear up the stain, you can take the fabric blinds to the dry cleaner for a thorough refresh.