How To Clean Your Vertical Blinds

Keeping vertical blinds clean is easy if you follow a schedule of routine maintenance and follow these tips for heavy cleaning.

Vertical blinds are a popular choice for covering windows. Unlike horizontal blinds, they have the appearance of draperies, and can be made to control light and even temperature within a room. Vertical blinds are good for large windows and work especially well for sliding patio doors and French doors since they can be pulled to one side just like draperies. Vertical blinds hang on hooks on a head rail and are threaded through a spacer chain at the bottom. They can be purchased in different types of materials, including fabric, vinyl, aluminum, and wood, and are easy to maintain. Here are some tips for cleaning your vertical blinds.

Routine maintenance of vertical blinds is important; if the blinds become heavily soiled, the cleaning process will be much more difficult and time-consuming. If you have purchased new blinds, begin a regular cleaning schedule to keep the blinds in good condition. Although vertical blinds do not show dust as much as horizontal blinds, they should be dusted regularly with a feather duster or vacuumed. An attachment for the vacuum made especially for vertical blinds is available; it resembles a thick fork and fits any vacuum hose. The attachment fits between two vanes and cleans as it slides down the length of the blinds. Used frequently, the attachment will keep your blinds dust-free.

Sometimes, if routine maintenance is not performed, or if a home is purchased with soiled blinds already in place, vertical blinds will require heavy cleaning. Although it is possible to clean blinds while they are still hanging, it is a messy process that requires protecting the windows behind the blinds and the floor underneath them. Removing the vanes will allow you to do a more thorough cleaning job and is not difficult, although it does require some time. You will have to take each vane off of its hook, and then disconnect each from the chain at the bottom. Fabric vanes may have a weight in a pocket at the bottom of the vane; this should be removed before cleaning.



Vinyl or aluminum blinds can be cleaned with a sponge and soap and water. Although vertical blinds are usually fairly sturdy, be careful not to bend them sharply or treat them too roughly. If the blinds are heavily soiled, dust them first, then begin on one end and scrub them with a sponge, working down to the other end. Rinse with clean water after scrubbing. This job can be done easily outdoors on a nice day with the help of a garden hose, and the blinds will dry quickly in the sun. If you have white blinds, you may want to add a little bleach to the soap and water for added whiteness. Do not use abrasive cleaners on the blinds as they may be scratched. If you have to clean your blinds indoors, the bathtub is a good place to do the job. Dry each slat with a towel before rehanging.

Vertical blinds made of fabric can sometimes be cleaned in a washing machine; be sure to check the manufacturer's cleaning instructions first. If they are machine washable, put them through a cold wash on the delicate cycle, using liquid detergent made for fine washables. If there are heavy stains on the fabric, spray the spots first with a spot cleaner or pre-wash treatment. Do not dry the blinds in a clothes dryer; hang them to dry. If the blinds are a little wrinkled after washing, light steaming should remove the wrinkles. After rehanging, replace the weights in the bottom of the vanes. If your fabric blinds cannot be washed in a machine, you will have to spot clean them. Vacuum thoroughly, and then spray stains with a spot cleaner. Brush the spot with a small brush or cloth. Spot cleaning can be done whenever needed while the blinds are still hanging.

Wooden and faux wood blinds can be vacuumed and then cleaned with a damp cloth or microfiber cloth. For added shine and to remove grime, use furniture polish or lemon oil on the wood. Wooden blinds are easily cleaned while still hanging. While vacuuming all types of vertical blinds or cleaning hanging blinds, make sure to open the blinds one way, clean, and then open them so they face the other way, and clean that side. This is important so that both sides of the blinds will be cleaned. After cleaning, your vertical blinds will be like new again.

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