The arrival of spring is the perfect time to clean shutters and blinds of any built-up dirt and debris. It is a good practice to clean your window coverings as needed throughout the year. However, executing a thorough, deep-cleaning of your shutters and blinds in the spring improves your health and home’s appearance.
Dust and grime can trigger allergies if not removed. Harsh chemical agents and aggressive cleaning techniques risk warping louvers or even causing discoloration. Read on to learn how to handle yellowing on blinds, tips to reduce dust build-up, and non-toxic cleaners for blinds and shutters without breaking the bank.
1. Avoid Harsh Cleaners
If you want to know the best way to clean blinds and shutters, avoid harsh cleaning agents. Unless necessary, don't use a more aggressive cleaner to get rid of yellowing or remove grime.
Instead, choose non-toxic cleaners like white distilled vinegar, a liquid dish detergent, or mild soap to restore your window coverings. You can use a wet sponge, cleaning cloth, or microfiber glove soaked in a diluted soapy water solution or use vinegar directly.
Using oils, alcohol, or even cleansing wipes could potentially destroy the finish on blinds and shutters. Poorly chosen cleaning solutions may risk attracting more dirt and dust later. If you use a robust commercial product, review the ingredients, follow the directions, and do a test to reduce the risk of staining, discoloration, or warping.
2. Work Damp, Not Overly Wet
Excess moisture is not your friend and can warp or damage blinds and shutters, especially with wooden louvers. When possible, use soapy water, diluted vinegar, or plain water. Window coverings that are metal, vinyl, PVC, or fabric should be okay when cleaned with a slightly damp sponge or cloth.
If you need to:
- Hang up your blinds in the bathroom to be cleaned.
- Work carefully, moving from the top to the bottom as you clean each louver individually.
- Try using a solution of one cup of white vinegar diluted with one cup of water. If you have a sprayer in the shower, move quickly, rinsing off the louvers, especially after applying soap or a commercial cleaner.
Don’t have a sponge or cleaning cloth around? Use an old sock that is cotton, polyester, or acrylic. A microfiber glove allows you to use multiple fingers to clean off louvers easily. If you are pressed for time, you can safely spray Windex on most blinds and shutters without causing problems.
3. Remove Dust First
Remove dust first before soaking your blinds in the tub to get rid of yellowing or loosen up deep-set grease or grime. For best maintenance of your shutters and blinds, try vacuuming or wiping them clean of dust weekly.
If needed, put down some old newspapers, dirty sheets, or a drop cloth to catch heavy dust particles. Run a dry or slightly moist old sock, microfiber gloves, or a sponge over your lovers to capture dust. If you wish, remove heavy dust with a vacuum attachment.
Make sure to wear a mask and gloves to reduce exposure to floating debris in the air, which may cause respiratory irritation. Open up windows and increase the ventilation in the room you are working in for good measure.
For best results, dust the blinds in the direction of the slats, working from top to bottom, while the louvers are at a 90-degree angle. Do one side, and then adjust the louvers to clean the other side. Also, vacuum or mop up your space surrounding the cleaned blinds or shutters when finished.
4. Air Dry Is Better
If you choose to re-hang blinds after giving them a soak in the bath, open the louvers or drapery so air can circulate and help it dry faster. Remove excess water with a towel or cloth. Be careful about stretching your blinds which can cause warping.
It is better to allow cleaned window coverings to lie flat and unstretched before putting them back over the windows. Try to leave the louvers as open as possible to promote faster drying. Do not place your blinds or shutters in the dryer, which can cause discoloration, warping, or other damage.
5. Test First
Test a small area of your blinds or curtains with your choice of cleaning solution. Make sure to watch out for staining, discoloration, or other damages. If it is safe and poses no risks, clean your louvers as directed.
For heavily soiled areas, gradually lift stains and spot clean using an appropriate cleaner. Avoid aggressively scrubbing at fabric shutters and blinds, unintentionally removing any protective coatings.
6. Work With Your Window Coverings
Clean in the direction of your louvers for shutters and blinds, moving from top to bottom, allowing dust and debris to fall downward. If you are cleaning blinds with vinegar in the shower or using soapy water, use a sprayer to clean off the louvers. You can use a hose if cleaning blinds outdoors.
Work carefully to avoid damaging your shutters or blinds, using a dampened sock, sponge, microfiber gloves, or cloth to remove dust and grime. If you need to scrub your louvers with a sponge or durable cloth, reduce excess moisture. Allow blinds to air dry flat or fully open shutters to promote air circulation.
7. Get Rid Of Yellowing
Remove any metal or plastic pieces, cords, pulls, and not immerse the mounting hardware. Place louvers in a bathtub filled with water diluted with a capful or two of bleach. Let the louvers soak for 10 minutes before removing and rinsing off with plain water.
If louvers are visibly caked with dust and grease, remove as much as you can before soaking. Repeat the soaking process to help loosen and remove debris if needed. The bleach should help re-whiten and brighten yellowed louvers.
8. Dust Regularly
Ideally, vacuum your louvers once a week for maintenance; for heavy dust, use a vacuum attachment with a brush on a gentle setting. Avoid applying any oil or substance that will attract dust and debris to louvers.
Get Your Window Treatments Looking Brand New
Spring cleaning is a popular ritual to take charge of your home, clear away dirt and debris built-up over the year, and refresh your space. Your shutters and blinds deserve to be thoroughly cleaned throughout the year, especially during the spring.
Window coverings are a significant focal point in your home. They serve as a decorative accent for windows, filtering light and affirming your sense of style. Discover more helpful info about blinds and shutters at All About Blinds.