A Reference Guide to Cleaning Blinds

Cleaning blinds, shades, shutters and drapery should be a regular task when maintaining your home. Routine cleaning will keep treatments looking pristine by controlling the dust and ridding the atmosphere of allergens. Cleaning procedures may be different for each of your many window treatments. We can help you with the details. 

Be Mindful

There are different ways to purchase window treatments, from a professional business like Austin Window Fashions or from a retail store. Either way, be mindful of cleaning recommendations for window covering products. If you don’t have access to a window treatment specialist for cleaning questions, refer to the instruction manual that came with the product. Each window treatment can require its very own cleaning method, not all window coverings are treated in the same way.

Hard Treatments: Cleaning Blinds & Shutters

Blinds and shutters are probably the most hearty window treatment offerings. They use the same materials to maintain their look so the cleaning instructions will sound the same. 

  • Regular Dusting: A handheld duster, cloth or gloves–all made of clean, dry, microfiber fabric works well for hard treatments. Also, you can find these window blind cleaning kits on-line with a variety of tools. Simply, close the slats or louvers so they are flat. Dust the shutters or blinds by moving the cloth from side-to-side. Next, adjust the window treatments so they point toward the ceiling to dust the other side. For hard to reach places, consider getting an extension dusting kit.
  • Small Areas: Corners and tight spaces can be difficult to clean. Use a natural fiber paintbrush, or a clean, dry toothbrush when dusting treatments and get right in there!

If you need to clean stubborn spots off of your hard treatments, it’s important to be mindful of the material you are cleaning. Wood, metal or composite blinds and shutters will respond to various cleaning agents differently based on materials used in manufacturing. Be sure to check what cleaning supplies work best for every different treatment.

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Soft Treatments: Window Shades and Fabric Blinds

Soft treatments like window shades, or vertical blinds that are covered in fabrics, can be slightly more of a challenge to clean. To be sure you keep them looking fresh, add dusting to your regular cleaning routine. Once dust builds-up, it will be more difficult to get rid of, causing dirt and allergens to remain in the atmosphere. This will compromise the look of your fabric treatments overtime. For regular dusting, adjust your fabric shades, or vertical blinds, in the closed position when cleaning, to access as much of a flat surface as possible. We suggest the following practices:

  • Vacuum Attachment: This is a popular way to clean fabric window treatments. It’s best to have an upholstery attachment, along with a low setting available on your vacuum. Here’s a versatile vacuum cleaner that offers a sliding setting for adjustable suction control, as well as two variations of upholstery cleaning tools. 
  • Canned Air: A quite popular method these days, canned air, is especially helpful when cleaning fabric shades because you’re not just spreading dust around and it allows the shades to keep their shape during cleaning. In general, canned air may extend the life of your fabric treatments by being more gentle.  Try these canned air cleaning tools that can be found in stores or on-line: canned air rechargeable dusting tool, or with disposable cans of air.
  • Microfiber Cloth, Duster or Gloves: Clean, dry microfiber cloths, gloves, or a duster are used to clean fabric window shades. Simply, close your window coverings, and dust from side-to-side for horizontal shades and top to bottom for vertical. Be careful–if there is dust build-up, cleaning may drag additional dust across the fabric. 
  • Spot Cleaning Fabrics: To clean small areas, you can try spot cleaning. Use a sponge and lukewarm water. Wet the sponge with just enough water to dampen it, squeezing to remove access. Wipe the window shades gently. Let your fabric shades dry completely before rolling them up or re-stacking them. 
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Provenance® Woven Wood Shades

Fabrics: Draperies and Curtains

While there are some fabrics that can withstand the washing machine, most draperies will need to be dry cleaned to avoid shrinking. This is why it’s important to know what type of fabric your draperies or curtains are made of so you can follow the appropriate cleaning method.  

  • When machine washing your curtains, choose cold water set on a delicate cycle. Remove promptly and hang dry or lie flat to dry. Ironing settings should be chosen based on your specific fabrics, but a cool iron usually works best.
  • Steam cleaning draperies while they remain hanging in place can be a good way to rid them of dust, while letting your draperies dry as soon as you’re finished. 
  • Before you launder drapery, test a small section of fabric in an inconspicuous area. Wetting the drapery fabrics can cause bleeding of the colors. 
  • Check your local dry cleaners to inquire about services and costs.
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Design Studio® Drapery Panels

Pet Hair Solutions

Oh, how we love our furry friends! But, they tend to leave hair, fur and pet dander everywhere. It’ll take a little extra work to rid your home of pet hair. Keep in mind: Certain types of fabrics do attract fur more than others. Start by vacuuming the room, raise the curtains above the floor to avoid any flyaway fur that could cling to the fabric in midair. After you’re done, use a low suction, or upholstery attachment to remove any additional fur. For daily quick clean ups, keep a lint roller on-hand to get rid of small amounts of fur quickly.

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Window treatments should be properly cared for, just like any other home furnishing. Afterall, they are an important design element that completes the look of your home. Your local window coverings dealer can help with directions for cleaning blinds or refer to the manufacturer’s instructions attached to the product. Our team at Austin Window Fashion can customize the window treatments in your home and advise you about maintain them too. Get in touch with us today!