When the dark nights draw in and we turn the clocks back to winter time, the first thing we all want to do when we get home is to cosy up and close the blinds and curtains. But that’s when we notice all the dust and dirt, especially on blinds and curtains that may have escaped the Spring Clean and that’s collected on our window dressings during the summer months.
This makes cleaning blinds an essential part of your autumn clean!
To keep nasty winter germs, bacteria and bugs at bay – as well as other nasties that cannot be seen by the human eye – an autumn clean can be more essential to health and wellbeing than the more typical spring clean. Plus regular cleaning and upkeep will help your blinds looking fresh and new for longer.
Here we offer expert advice on ‘how to clean blinds’ and recommend the following tips to keep them not only spotless, but healthily clean for the whole household during the winter months.
How To Clean your Blinds
Before even starting to clean your blinds, you need to learn as much as you can about them and make sure that you know what type of cleaning/washing each type of blind can cope with. All blinds are different and some blinds would be ruined if you use water on them. If you are unsure, it is always best to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning to avoid a costly mistake. Most blinds should come with care instructions or this can be provided by your retailer.
Cleaning by types of blind
As a guide you can dust most blinds regularly with a soft cloth on both sides to get rid of any dust build up.
For Venetian and Vertical blinds, a feather/ostrich duster with a handle is convenient to get in between those awkward slats. Aluminium Venetian blinds are probably the easiest to clean as they are the most moisture resistant.
For blinds which require a better clean to remove stains etc, for example Roller, Vertical and Pleated blinds, can sometimes be sponge cleaned. But again, please check the fabric properties with your retailer to be sure your blind is suitable for this method.
For romans and curtains we recommend professional cleaning.
Be prepared – get the right gear
Cleaning apparatus can vary and you might not be aware of the different types of things on offer which can make surprisingly light work of even the most tricky to clean areas:
- Baby wipes, which are soft and non-abrasive, can be great for wiping tapes on Venetian blinds and for operating wands etc.
- Ostrich feather duster – the tiny barbules on the ostrich feathers act as fingers to collect dust without leaving static electricity behind, perfect for wooden blinds.
- Micro-fibre cloth – lint free and gentle, it is claimed that micro-fibre cloths are up to four times more effective than normal cloths. We love this tailor made Venetian blind microfibre cleaner from Lakeland https://bit.ly/2OWd6zm that wipes down two slats at a time
It isn’t up there with everyone’s preferred household chore, but a weekly dust over your blinds will stop dust build up and limit the potential for stains and dirty marks, which are trickier to remove and can result in an expensive alternative to get clean.
Do the Shake and Vac (well just the vac)
To go a bit deeper than dusting, Vacuuming your blinds every couple of months is a great idea. Use the upholstery attachment of your cleaner. If you have a cordless machine with a short attachment for the tricky to reach areas this will make light work of this chore.
No nasty detergents please
Warm water and a mild detergent should be sufficient for most types of window blind as harsh chemicals can damage delicate material. Be careful not to drench your blinds as this can cause discolouration and distort wooden blinds. A mixture of 25% white vinegar and 75% water, can help to remove heavier dirt and stains.
Wood and aluminium blinds are easier to wipe down with liquid than fabrics without fear of damage but it’s still important not to use too much water, which could cause blinds to warp or damage the finish.
Healthy handles and rods
The wand, rod or bottom bar that operates the blinds is often handled daily (unless you’re lucky enough to have motorised blinds), yet many people still don’t clean it regularly. Luckily, it’s the easiest part of the blinds to clean and can be wiped clean with anti-bacterial wipe or spray.
Finally, for any Mrs Hinch fans, here are her tips for cleaning blinds using her favourite products – tumble dryer sheets (because they are anti static), Zoflora (of course) and kitchen roll
Here’s to a healthy winter following an autumn clean!