Clera Windows + Doors Blinds

How to Clean Window Blinds

Have you or the people you live with been experiencing symptoms of allergies or more frequent asthmatic attacks – but are unsure why? Well, the perpetrator could be hiding in plain sight. When was the last time you inspected your window blinds or shades? 

Over time, window treatments collect dust, dust mites, pet fur, dead skin cells, and dander. Furthermore, if you regularly open the windows with the blinds or shades down, the dust and dirt from outside can find its way to your window treatments, ultimately affecting the air in your house. This is why it’s important to routinely clean your window blinds and shades at least once a month.

This blog will cover the safest and best cleaning techniques for all kinds of window blinds and shades to help you get your home looking its best. 

Let’s get started!

Close up of clean slatted plastic blinds with an indoor plant

What Chemicals/Tools Should I Be Careful With When Cleaning?

Harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia can have corrosive and staining effects on certain types of window treatments. This is why we strongly advise against using these chemicals unless you’re dealing with blinds that have yellowed or have a more persistent stain – in such cases, bleach might be necessary and we’ll discuss this later on. Additionally, avoid using tools that are too abrasive (e.g. steel wool) as this can scratch hard blinds or ruin the texture of fabric shades. 

How To Clean Window Blinds and Shades Routinely

Knowing the fastest and most effective way to routinely clean the different types of window blinds and shades will help you save time and allow you to easily sustain a regular cleaning schedule.

Cleaning Slatted Blinds Like Venetian Blinds or Vertical Blinds

  1. Start by lowering the blinds and shutting the slats to make them easier to clean.
  2. Wipe away larger debris or dust bunnies using a paper towel.
  3. Next, use cotton gloves, an old sock, or a dusting mitt to easily clean the individual slats. You can use feather dusters for higher and harder-to-reach places but keep in mind that this tool isn’t as effective as the other options in reaching the nooks and crannies of individual slats. 
  4. Make sure to wipe each slat from one edge to the other, passing through any strings or handles on the blinds. 
  5. Flip the slats of the blinds to clean the other side as well. 
  6. After getting rid of the dust from your blinds, you can now address any light stains that are forming on the slats. 
  • With very light stains, a wet rag will do the trick.
  • For tougher stains on wooden blinds, spray on some wood cleaner and wipe the solution across each of the slats.
  • For tougher stains on non-wooden blinds, you can use a solution of water and vinegar. Add ¼ cup of vinegar to a bucket of water and apply this solution to the blinds using a soft rag. (This is also an excellent way to prevent the buildup of mildew).
  1. Wipe your blinds dry/let them air dry completely. 

Cleaning Shades Made of Flat of Pleated Fabric

  1. Start by lowering the fabric shades.
  2. Use a vacuum cleaner with a duster brush or upholstery brush attached and go through the entire surface of your window shades. It is advisable to run through the entire surface at least twice and from both sides. Note: The lighter the fabric, the lower the vacuum setting needs to be.
  3. Next, you can spot-clean any light stains that have formed on the shades using a solution of dish soap and warm water. Apply this solution using a sponge on both sides of the fabric. 
  4. Use a soft brush to scrub at more stubborn stains. 
  5. Then, rinse the soapy solution using a wet rag.
  6. Allow your fabric shades to air dry.

Cleaning Cellular Shades

  1. Start by lowering your cellular shades.
  2. Use a vacuum cleaner with a duster brush or upholstery brush attached and go through the entire surface of your cellular shades twice and from both sides. Using the light to medium vacuum settings work well for cellular shades.
  3. To clean the inside of the “cells” or each individual honeycomb of your cellular shades, you can blow out the dust using a hairdryer set on cool. For tougher debris that needs more precision, a can of compressed air will do the trick.
  4. Next, you can spot-clean any light stains that have formed on the cellular shades using a mixture of dish soap and warm water. Using a sponge, apply this solution to both sides of your cellular shades. 
  5. Use a soft brush to scrub at more stubborn stains while supporting the cellular shades at the back using your hand. 
  6. Then, rinse the soapy solution using a wet rag and allow your cellular shades to air dry.

Closeup side-view of cellular shades

How Do I Clean White Slatted Blinds That are Yellowed or Fabric Blinds That are Heavily Stained?

White slatted blinds are prone to becoming yellow over time. Meanwhile, fabric shades are prone to spills and other forms of heavy staining. To address these problems, you need to take the blinds or shades off and have them soaked.

  1. Wear rubber gloves before proceeding.
  2. Fill a tub and add 2 cups of liquid bleach into it.
  3. Soak your blinds or shades into this mixture for 10 minutes.
  4. Next, drain the tub and refill it with water to rinse the blinds or shades. Do this process twice to make sure that no leftover bleach is left on the fabric or slats. 
  5. Drain the water. For slatted blinds, wipe each slat with an old rag. For fabric shades, leave it to drip over the tub for a few minutes before hanging it up against the window. 
  6. Reinstall your blinds or shades and leave them down so that they can air dry. For fabric shades, place two layers of towels underneath them to catch the water that drips from it as it dries. 

How Do I Clean Blinds or Shades That Have Mildew

White vinegar is naturally effective in killing mildew that can form on various types of blinds.

  1. Place your blinds or shades on a clean, waterproof surface that is not wooden.
  2. You can then either spray vinegar on affected areas of your blinds/shades or apply vinegar using a soft cloth.
  3. Leave the vinegar on for at least an hour. You can reapply vinegar at the half-hour mark for a deeper clean. 
  4. Next, scrub the affected areas using a soft brush.  
  5. Rinse off the excess vinegar using a wet rag. 
  6. Reinstall your blinds or shades and allow them to air dry. 

Clera Windows + Doors: Window Experts

That’s all for our tips on how to clean window blinds and shades, which of these tips were the most helpful for you? Let us know if you have any DIY tips and tricks to cleaning your windows – at Clera Windows + Doors, we’re experts at installing them; we’d love to hear how you maintain them!