Vertical blinds – they look pretty, but they can be quite tricky to wash. So tricky, in fact, that many people simply opt to remove the fabric slats and take them to the dry cleaners. However, cleaning vertical blinds at home is possible – and can even be easy – regardless of whether you’re dealing with wooden, plastic, or fabric slats. Here’s what you need to know:
Beware of the washing machine when cleaning vertical blinds at home
When trying to discover how to clean vertical blinds, many people will look at the washing instructions on the label. While this is a good idea, here are a few additional tips on how to try to keep your blinds safe. Even though many vertical blinds state they can be machine washed safely at temperatures of 40 degrees, some people find their blinds never come out quite the same as when they went in. Fabric blinds can snag and fray very easily, so if you do decide to machine wash, roll the blinds up and put them in an empty pillow case to protect them, and use a gentle wash cycle designed for woollens and delicates.
How to Clean Vertical Blinds at Home & Dry Them
Clean vertical blinds with warm, rather than hot, water
Don’t automatically assume that hot water is the better option for getting vertical blinds clean. If your blinds are folded and weighted at the bottom to keep them hanging properly, the fold may be glued, rather than stitched. Washing with hot water can melt the glue, unravelling the fold and exposing the weight. Warm water is always much better – it’s just as efficient at stain removal, yet won’t ruin any glued sections. If you’re cleaning vertical blinds in a bathtub, basin, or bucket, you can use your hands to gauge the temperature of the water. If you decide you do wish to use your washing machine (after checking your blind’s care label states they are machine washable) don’t set the temperature higher than 30 degrees as a rule of thumb. You should also select a mild, non-bio detergent like Persil, which is designed for washing delicate fabrics. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and check that the product is suitable for your fabric.
Dry your blinds naturally
Regardless of whether you go down the machine washing or hand-washing route, one thing you’ll always want to ensure is that the blinds dry naturally and that they dry flat. By putting the blinds into a dryer, you’ll be subjecting them to heat – which could not only cause them to shrink but also they may also shrink in different places at varying levels, leaving you with very odd-looking blinds. This is also an issue if you hang the blinds to dry – different amounts of moisture in each slat will stretch the blinds to varying degrees. Lay your clean vertical blinds out on some towels, and then leave them until they’re completely dry before rehanging.
Ongoing Maintenance for Clean Vertical Blinds
To reduce the need to clean vertical blinds frequently, incorporating a small amount of regular maintenance into your weekly tidying schedule should be enough to keep your blinds looking cleaner and fresher for longer. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes out of your day, but can make a huge difference.
Dust your vertical blinds regularly
Before dusting, you may wish to spray an aerosol onto the blinds to dislodge any caked on dust. For fabric blinds, you can use a small amount of regular air freshener or clothes freshener (test on a small inconspicuous area first just to be sure), but when cleaning vertical blinds with wooden slats, it’s best to stick to using compressed air, which won’t damage them. Using a very full, thick duster, gently wipe up and down the slats to remove any dust and particles. Don’t use a cloth or a very thin feather duster – these will simply move the dust around rather than actually lifting it off the surface.
Clean vertical blinds at home with gentle vacuuming
As you’ll know, cleaning vertical blinds is much less effort if you don’t have to dismantle them, and one way of avoiding this is to vacuum the hanging slats regularly. It’s best to use a brush attachment when vacuuming vertical blinds – the bristles will help remove dust particles, and there is less a powerful suction when using the brush, so you can clean your blinds very gently. One important thing to remember is that you should always vacuum from the top in a downward motion – vacuuming upward could accidentally unhook the slats.