How to Clean Window Blinds & Window Shades

Smiling woman cleaning window blinds

Cleaning window blinds and shades isn’t top of mind for most people unless they’re deep cleaning. However, adding window coverings to a regular cleaning checklist will help keep them in great shape and rid your home of extra allergens. (Horizontal blinds especially can gather dust!) Check out this guide on how to clean your window blinds and shades!

Wood Blinds

First, never wash your wood blinds with water! Although the wood has been sealed, water can still cause warping, discoloration, bowing, or bubbling. Ultrasonic cleaners and chemical solvents can also damage wood slats. Here’s all you need to keep them looking like new:

  • Tilt each blind slat individually to a 45-degree angle, first one way and then the other. This can help knock the dust loose, instantly making them cleaner.
  • With a dry, soft feather duster, a clean cloth, dust cloth, or dusting mitt, lightly wipe or brush the top of each slat. (Tip: An old sock pulled over your hand works great to remove dust from both the top and bottom of the slats at the same time.)
  • For added dust bunnies or spider webs, use a soft brush attachment on a vacuum to get rid of them.
  • These tips apply to real wood shutters too!

Faux Wood Blinds

Because they’re more durable and moisture-resistant than real wood window treatments, you can clean faux woods with a little bit of water to remove smudges and grime. To get the best results, follow these steps:

  • Use a dry rag or the soft brush attachment on your vacuum to remove any loose dust from the slats.
  • Add a small amount of soap or detergent to a warm, damp cloth to get rid of any grease or sticky finger prints.
  • Go back over the slats again with a clean damp cloth to remove any soap residue and avoid streaking.
  • Use the hack below for a quick clean. Just avoid abrasive sponges!
  • These tips also work with faux wood shutters!

Cellular Shades

The honeycomb construction that traps hot and cold air unfortunately can also trap dirt and dust. This can cause your cellular shades to develop a dull, yellowish tint over time. Keep them looking crisp using these simple tips, and remember to handle them with care when cleaning so they keep their form.

  • For routine dusting, use a soft brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. 
  • If there is dust inside the cells, use a blow dryer to loosen it up. Turn to the lowest air setting and only use the cool air feature.
  • To remove stains, use a slightly damp cloth to gently blot (never rub) at the spot.

Woven Wood Shades

Similar to wood blinds, never use water to clean woven wood shades. Because they’re made from natural materials, they can weaken and break down when they get wet over time. Also, rougher, natural fibers used in their construction can easily snag and pull or break off, so light and gentle is the key to clean them.

  • Lightly dust your bamboo window shades with a soft feather duster, or a soft, dry, lint-free cloth.
  • Gently sweep across (not up and down) these natural coverings with a vacuum brush attachment. 

Drapery + Roman Shades

How to care for and clean fabric window treatments, such as drapery and roman shades, will vary depending on the fabric itself. Be sure to check the fabric care and content guides on the product pages for details. Here are a couple general pointers:

  • Use a lint roller to get rid of dust or random flyaway fabrics.
  • To spot clean, use a damp rag with a very mild, gentle detergent or soap. Only dab at the spots. Do not rub.
  • Use a duster or a brush vacuum attachment for a thorough cleaning.

Solar Shades

Most interior and exterior solar shades are made with fade-resistant PVC fabric. They also resist mold and moisture, so they’re pretty easy to clean.

  • For a light dusting, use a feather duster or the brush attachment on a vacuum.
  • Use mild soap and water on a damp cloth to wipe them down. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and let them air dry.
  • Need something stronger than soap and water? Before using other cleaners, test them in an inconspicuous area to make sure they won’t damage or leave spots or marks on your shades. Avoid strong cleaners and disinfectants, especially those containing quaternary ammonium compounds and phenols.

Roller Shades

Roller shades come in various materials, so we suggest following the instructions that closest matches the material. For example, if it’s made from PVC, they can be cleaned similarly to solar shades. If it’s a fabric roller, then following the fabric cleaning guides would be best.

Sheer Shades

Sheer shades can accumulate dust in between its vanes, similar to cellulars. Their material may attract more dust since it’s also fabric, but they are still very easy to clean.

  • Use a feather duster. Just brush it lightly over the fabric, and that’s all it takes.
  • Use your vacuum’s brush attachment on a low suction setting to get dust in between the vanes.
  • Gently use a damp sponge and mild soap to get rid of spots or stains.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are extremely easy to care for because they are less susceptible to dust.

  • Lightly dust the slats with a soft feather duster, or a soft, dry, lint-free cloth.
  • For a deeper clean, wipe the slats with water or a mild detergent and a damp cloth.

Mini Blinds

Mini blinds are made from aluminum, so they’re able to withstand exposure to water (avoid hot water which would heat up the aluminum). Even though they’re durable, be gentle while cleaning so you don’t accidentally bend or twist the slats.

  • Just dust and wipe with a simple dry rag for a quick buffing up.
  • For a deeper clean, you can use cold or warm water in a spray bottle with a tiny amount of soap.
  • Spray on a lint-free towel and wipe down each slat.

Woman cleaning aluminum blinds
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give our Design Consultant Team a call at (888) 257-1840. They’re easy to talk to!
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