Best Way to Clean Window Blinds

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Title Image of Clean Window Blinds

Spring has officially sprung, and out come the cleaning supplies! Seems every weekend in these first few weeks, while Mother Nature tries to figure out if she’s ready for tolerable weather, we take to cleaning our living spaces. Opening windows and letting a clean breeze fill our stifled rooms is a pleasure of Spring we long for through the winter months.

We are ready to dust off the winter blues and start living again! You could always hire a professional to do this dirty work, but sometimes it feels good to get in there and use some elbow grease, if you will. If you’re ready to clean up after a long winter, we have some pointers for you to clean your window blinds. We should be vacuuming or dusting off window blinds every time we clean our homes, but we’re not sure that’s feasible in today’s busy world. Whether you have natural wood, faux wood, composite wood, or aluminum, periodically cleaning your window blinds will increase their longevity. The cleaning tips provided can be used for horizontal and vertical blinds; however, Lafayette’s EZ-Clean® feature on horizontal blinds makes cleaning the slats so much easier. We’ll give tips on cleaning blinds with and without the EZE-Clean® feature. We’ll try to keep it simple because reading this shouldn’t be what keeps you from getting down to work! 😉

Cleaning Natural Wood Blinds – Heartland Woods® by Lafayette Interior Fashions

When cleaning anything made of wood, water is a big NO. Water and wood do not mix. Wood is very porous and acts like a sponge when met with water. Excessive dampness may cause warpage or discoloration of the wooden blind slats. Protect all fine wood products from exposure to steam or high moisture areas, rain, or outside irrigation systems to ensure their beautiful appearance. The most important reason you shouldn’t use water on wood is that the moisture could often cause mold to grow. Keeping window blinds in their best shape, a handheld vacuum should be used repeatedly, then a deep clean at least a couple of times a year. Follow these steps for deep cleaning your natural wood window blinds.

1.) Vacuum each slat with the brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner. Open and close the slats, getting between them and into the holes where strings line through. These spaces collect dust the most.  (See the process below if you have the EZ-Clean style slats.) 

2.) Use a soft, clean cloth or dusting mitt. Lower the blind to its full length, tilt the slats entirely closed, and wipe the dust. Then tilt the slats all the way up and wipe the dust. Open the slats just slightly in both directions and clean between them from left to right, top, and bottom.

3.) If you’re dealing with thick dirt and grime, use a solution of Murphy’s Oil Soap or Old English on a soft cloth and work it on each slat to reveal the original wood’s finish. Do not allow the moisture of the product you use to sit on the slat. Each one should be carefully wiped ‘dry’ before moving on to the next. It is recommended to spot-check these solutions in an inconspicuous area in case of discoloration. Read the instructions on the oil soap to ensure proper technique.

*Ultrasonic cleaning of natural wood blinds is NOT recommended.

Cleaning Faux Wood Blinds – Wonderwood® by Lafayette Interior Fashions

Lafayette’s faux wood blinds are durable and are considered best for hot and humid interiors. They look like natural wood blinds, and they’re the perfect solution for locations that require a Fire Retardant rating. With all the beauty of natural wood, this material tends to attract more dust than others. Follow this process for cleaning; it will work magic on your faux wood blinds.

1.) Start by vacuuming each slat with the brush attachment of your vacuum. Open and close the slats, getting between them and into the holes where strings line through. (See the process below if you have the EZ-Clean style slats.) 

2.) Do not use abrasive cleaners or chemical solvents, as they will scratch or damage the surface. You can perform a cleaning test on the bottom part of the slat in an inconspicuous location using a mild solution of dish soap and water. Make sure to wipe again with a damp clean cloth, and again with a dry cloth for a beautiful appearance.

3.) A little-known trick for reducing the amount of dust that clings to the blind: wipe your clean blinds with a dryer sheet to reduce static cling.

*Ultrasonic cleaning of faux wood blinds is NOT recommended.

Cleaning window blinds with decorative tape using a vacuum cleaner brush attachment.
Cleaning window blinds with vacuum brush attachment.

Cleaning Composite Wood Blinds – Fidelis® by Lafayette Interior Fashions

Composite wood blinds are ideal for hot and humid interiors. Unlike the porous nature of natural wood, composite wood is much more durable, especially against elements like heat and moisture. Cleaning composite wood is very similar to cleaning faux wood. Use all of the steps above, and be sure to start by vacuuming surface dust. Dirt and grime buildup can discolor your blinds and make them look old.  So if you’re cleaning dirty blinds, you may need to take them down off the windowsill. If so, here’s a method that works:

  1. Remove the blinds and lay them on an old sheet.
  2. Vacuum loose dust and debris.
  3. Mix a small amount of mild detergent into a bucket of warm water.
  4. After closing the blinds, wet a cloth with the detergent solution wiping the slats clean. Rinse the cloth often.

Follow this method on both sides. Be sure to wipe them dry, not leaving standing water on the slats. Wipe each side with a dryer sheet to guard against dust buildup before you hang the blinds back up.

*Ultrasonic cleaning of composite wood is NOT recommended.

Cleaning Aluminum Blinds – Classic Collection® by Lafayette Interior Fashions

Some ways to keep your aluminum blinds looking clean:

Vacuum gently with a brush attachment; blow off with compressed air or hairdryer (non-heat setting); spot clean blinds with a soft cloth or sponge. Darker colored blinds tend to show finger prints. Avoid this by using gloves as you clean them.

For aluminum blinds that need more than this, use this deep cleaning method:

Bathtub Cleaning/Water Immersion – This method may be used on all aluminum blinds except for motorized blinds.

  1. Remove the blinds and lay them in a warm bath with a mild detergent.
  2. Wash by gently moving liquid around with your hands and wiping gently with a soft cloth.
  3. Allow the dirty water to drain from the tub and fill with clean water to rinse. Continue rinsing until the water is clear.
  4. Close the blind before removing it from the tub.
  5. Hold the rail and tilt the blind to allow excess water to drain off into the tub.
  6. Tamp dry with a soft cloth.
  7. Hang the blind back into your windowsill.
  8. Remove any excess water with a soft dry cloth.

Lafayette Interior Fashion’s Signature EZE-Clean®

The EZE-Clean® feature allows each slat to be removed and replaced for easy cleaning. No more uninstalling the entire rail in order to deep clean. This feature helps tremendously in the cleaning process. For thorough cleaning, you can remove the slat of your EZE-Clean blind. To remove the slats, tilt the slats to the open position, then slide each slat horizontally from the ladder. The slat can then be cleaned using a feather duster or a cleaning or deeply cleaned using the methods above. Replace the individual slats once they are cleaned. Make sure that the front and back slat notches are lined up with vertical cords. For inside mounts, gently pull the wood blind forward to ensure clearance from the window casing. Note: Sufficient wall space beyond the edge of the wood blind is necessary in order to remove the slats for cleaning.

Cleaning Blinds with Decorative Tapes

Spot-cleaning with fabric cleaning wipes is recommended for all types. These will typically not leave a stain or discolor the tapes. Performing a cleaning test on the underneath side of the band is recommended. Using a clean white cloth, tapes made of 100% polyester can be spot-cleaned with distilled water. If the decorative tape is shiny or has a luster, do not use water. The result may be a water stain.

The Art of Keeping Window Blinds Clean

The bottom line is that you can maintain the appearance of your blinds by dusting with a feather duster, cotton or microfiber cloth, or vacuum brush every time you clean up your home to stave off having to remove them from the sill for deep cleaning. Cleaning more often will maintain the appearance and longevity of your blinds and ultimately eliminate the risk of having to use liquid or solvents, which is NOT recommended for most of our blinds.   

This Spring, as we open windows, dust off the cobwebs, and prepare for better weather, keep your window treatments sparkling clean with our best cleaning tips for window blinds.  Once your window blinds are clean, you’ll find window cleaning tips in an earlier blog here. Also be sure to reward yourself when done, by enjoying the fresh spring breeze in a comfortable chair in front of your sparkling windows.

Enjoying the view through clean window bliinds.

Peer Through Our Window at Lafayette Interior Fashions

Watch our machinery make this Classic Collection Aluminum Window Blind with precision.

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