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How to clean blinds: everything you need to know

Need to know how to clean blinds, but don't know where to start? Read our guide for all the tips and tricks you need for beautifully clean blinds.

Updated

hand dusting blinds with a blue cloth

Wondering how to clean blinds in your home? Worried it’s a bit of a faff? Luckily, with our helpful guide on cleaning blinds, we’ve got you covered. Packed full of advice and tips for tackling all types of blinds, whether you’ve got plastic, wooden or fabric – you’ll find the perfect hassle-free cleaning method for your roller, Roman or Venetian. Dusters at the ready!

How to clean blinds: the all-rounder method

This method works well for cleaning vertical blinds as well as horizontal blinds – usually referred to as Venetian – and suits those made from wood, aluminium and plastic. If you’re going to use this method for cleaning wood blinds, be careful not to rub the damp cloth too hard into the slats, as this could damage any paint or varnish finish on your blinds. If you’re looking for tips on cleaning fabric blinds, we’ve got a section on this below.

You will need:

  • 2 x microfibre cloths
  • Hoover with brush attachment
  • Bucket or large bowl
  • Optional: blind duster
  • Washing up liquid
  • Optional: bicarbonate of soda

Method

  1. Dust the blind

    Make sure the slats are closed, then dust them using a microfibre cloth, blind duster, or a hoover with a brush attachment. For dusting Venetian blinds go left to right and for vertical blinds go top to bottom.

  2. Dust again

    Repeat the process by turning the blinds 180 degrees to avoid leaving strips of dust in the places where the slats cover each other.

  3. Use a damp cloth

    Add a few drops of washing up liquid to a bucket and fill it with warm, but not hot, water. Submerge your cloth in the water, wringing it out so it’s damp but not dripping.

  4. Wash the blind

    Set the blinds so the slats are lying flat, then hold the cloth securely around the sides of the slats and swipe it from one end to the other, collecting any dirt and dust in the cloth as you go. For cleaning Venetian blinds, work left to right and for vertical blinds work top to bottom.

  5. Rinse the cloth

    Get rid of any residue by rinsing dirt and grime off your cloth in the bucket of water as you go. Change your cloth if it gets too dirty to avoid transferring any unwanted debris.

  6. Dry your blind

    Wipe away any moisture from your slats with a clean, dry microfibre cloth. This is especially important when cleaning wood blinds, as excessive moisture can warp the wood.

  7. Maintain clean blinds

    Do this by dusting them regularly with a cloth or hoover with a brush attachment to avoid a buildup of dirt and debris.

    for heavy stains, add a tablespoon of baking soda to the bucket of water and washing up liquid before cleaning the blinds with a damp cloth. Test this solution on an inconspicuous area first.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

How to clean roller blinds

Roller blind fabrics are specially manufactured with a laminated coating to make them fray and fade resistant. They are fairly easy to keep clean, due to their continuous roll of fabric, and in most cases won’t require you to remove them prior to cleaning.

This method suits most materials used for roller blinds, although if you do use any cleaning product, it’s best to test it on an inconspicuous area first to check no discolouration occurs.

  1. Roll out the blind fully to get to the hard-to-reach areas.

  2. Dust off any dirt or debris using a microfibre cloth or a handheld hoover with a brush attachment.

  3. Wipe the blind with a damp cloth dipped in warm water and a few drops of washing up liquid, working in downward motions from top to bottom.

  4. Stubborn stains can be removed with a fabric stain remover, but always read the label for suitability before using and follow the instructions, testing on a small area first.

  5. Wipe away any moisture from the blind using a clean, dry microfibre cloth.

  6. Fully air-dry the blind before rolling it back up, otherwise mould could form.

Tip: Roller blinds are often used in rooms where damp collects, like kitchens and bathrooms.

Sometimes, this means mould will grow on your roller blind, but it can be cleaned off using a mild formula of warm water and a few drops of washing up liquid.

Use a nail brush to work it into the mould stain and leave the blind to dry fully before rolling it back up.

How to clean fabric and Roman blinds

Learning how to clean fabric blinds is not as tricky as it may sound and is usually an easy process. While usually made from materials like cotton or linen, most of the dirt collected on fabric and Roman blinds is removable without the need for any cleaning products – or even water.

But stains and dirt can sometimes build-up and will require something a bit tougher than a hoover to oust them.

Below are several ways to clean your fabric and Roman blinds, depending on the type of fabric they’re made of and the level of dirtiness. Choose the one that is suited best to your blind and always refer to the care label.

  1. Get rid of dust Draw the blind down to its full length or completely remove it from the window before hoovering it with a brush attachment on minimal suction power. If you don’t have a brush attachment, you can wipe away dust with a microfibre cloth.

  2. Wipe away any dirt Dip a cloth into a bucket or warm water with a spoonful of washing up liquid, wringing out any excess water. If there are stains, you can gently work the damp cloth into the affected area until the stain disappears.

  3. Treat stubborn stains Marks like grease or oil can be treated by applying some rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth and dabbing it onto the affected area. You can also use a fabric stain remover suited for use on your blinds’ material. Make sure you test your chosen product on a hidden area first.

  4. Consider dry cleaning Similar to curtain cleaning, some blinds can be put in the washing machine. But repeated washing can cause fabric blinds to lose their shape and texture, so it’s not usually recommended unless the care label specifies. Dry cleaning may be the best option if your blind is particularly dirty or stained – just remember to check the label for suitability of this treatment before taking it to a dry cleaners.

Tip: If you’re having trouble removing a stubborn stain, try using a fabric stain remover, referring to the manufacturer's instructions. Test in a small area first, and if no discolouration occurs, dab the affected area with the stain remover to lift it out.

Now you know how to clean blinds so they look like new, how about giving what’s behind them a bit of TLC too? Our guide on how to clean windows will provide all the handy hints you need to get some seriously polished panes.

Your top questions on how to clean blinds answered

What is the best way to clean blinds?

For most blinds, giving them a simple dust with a microfibre cloth or a hoover with a brush attachment is enough to get rid of any surface layer dirt. You can also wipe them down with a damp cloth dipped in a solution of warm water and a few drops off washing up liquid.

If you have fabric blinds that are particularly dirty or stained, you may be able to treat them with fabric stain remover or rubbing alcohol, although you should always check the suitability of any product you use with the manufacturers guidelines. Dry cleaning can also be an option for some material blinds – refer to your blind’s care label for more information.

Can blinds be washed?

Vertical blinds that are made of fabric can be washed on a gentle cycle at a maximum temperature of 30ºC. Remove the blinds from the headrail and roll up each one, putting them into a pillowcase to stop them fraying or getting damaged in the machine.

When the cycle has finished, unroll them and lay flat to dry before hanging them back up. Roman blinds can sometimes be washed depending on their fabric, although this can alter their quality and shape, so it’s often not recommended.

How do I get my blinds white again?

For whitening your plastic or aluminium blinds, dust down the entire blind with a microfibre cloth before submerging it in a bath of cold water containing two or three cups of bleach. Soak the blind for ten minutes then, wearing gloves, wipe down the slats with a cloth taking care not to bend them. Drain the water and either dry the slats individually with a cloth, being careful not to bend them, or dry the entire blind.

For whitening fabric blinds follow the instructions above, but instead of wiping the blind down with a cloth, drain the water from the bath and then refill the bath with clean, cool water to rinse. Do this twice. Drain the water one final time and air dry the blind by hanging it back up and fully rolled down, opening the window to help speed up the drying process.

Originally published