There seem to be two main schools of thought when it comes to cleaning slatted blinds (vertical or horizontal) without taking them down. The first involves using a cloth, some dish liquid, water, a bucket and your hand – the second involves taking the blinds down, putting them in your bathtub, scrubbing them, drying them and then putting the blinds back up.
The first method works wonderfully on aluminium, plastic or wood blinds – however, it’s not recommended it for fabric blinds, which actually do need to be taken down, perhaps even unstrung, and ‘bathed’ in warm soapy water, rinsed well and left flat to dry.
Table of Contents
- Clean Blinds Without Taking Them Down
- Clean Blind using a Vacuum or a duster
- How to Clean Vertical Blinds without taking them down
- How to Clean Vinyl, Aluminum, and Wood Blinds Without Taking it down
- How to Clean Roller Blinds without taking them down
- How to Clean Fabric Window Blinds Without Taking them down
Clean Blinds Without Taking Them Down
- Open the blinds and let them down all the way. Pull the bottom out from the windowsill and let it fall to expose all the slats. Even the bottom blinds that don’t normally open get dirty. Turn the blinds to their horizontal position so they’re not touching each other.
- Vacuum the loose dust off the slats. Use a brush attachment on the end of the hose and vacuum as much dirt off the tops and bottoms of the slats as possible.
- Pour an ounce of antibacterial soap into a bucket with 1/2 gallon of warm water. Wet a clean cloth with the mixture and ring out excess moisture. Pinch the dampened cloth around a slat and slide it from one end to the other, stopping to get around the support strings. Rinse the cloth out in the sink whenever it gets soiled, and dip it into the soap mix before continuing. Clean every slat along with the valance and top bar.
- Clean the pull strings. Wet a clean white cloth with warm water in the sink. Pour a small amount of bleach on the wet cloth and squeeze out the excess moisture over the sink. Pull the drawstring to raise the blinds completely. This will expose the entire length of the drawstrings. Grip the cloth around the strings with light pressure and pull it down the length. Leave the strings down until they dry. The bleach and water mix will soak into the strings and restore their white
Clean Blind using a Vacuum or a duster
- Get as much dust off the blind as possible using a duster – or better yet, a vacuum.
- For horizontal blinds, work top to bottom, and for vertical blinds, work left to right, starting at the top and gently pulling down toward the bottom. Now, keep in mind, a lot of blinds are not hung correctly, meaning they may fall out of their brackets mid-clean. Just prepare for that.
- If you are using a vacuum, select a brush attachment, and if you are going to dust by hand you can choose one of several dusting tools including a proper blind duster like this one, a simple microfiber cloth, or even an old sports sock turned inside out and worn on your hand like a sock puppet
- Wash them Clean: Add 3 drops of dish liquid into a bowl or bucket and fill with warm water. Take a microfibre cloth and dunk it in the mixture, wring well to the point of the cloth being damp-dry. Now, twist the blind slats so they lie completely flat, tilting slightly towards you (so that you can slip your hand in).
- Now, take your cloth, and starting from the top (for vertical) or left (for horizontal), pinch the cloth around each blind slat and wipe away dirt and dust by pulling the cloth to the other end of the slat. Rinse your cloth as you go, you’ll be surprised how dirty your cloth is going to get! If you have heavy staining on the blinds like grease, dead bug residue, dog slobber or nicotine, you can add a bit of baking soda to the wash, and that should help break down the scummy build up.
- You may find this method to be a little easier for horizontal blinds. Start by gripping the middle of the slat, work your way out to one end, and then head back to the midpoint of the slat and clean in the other direction. It is simple, and of course, requires patience.
- If you have vertical blinds – the steps are the same except you will start at the top of the slat and work your way to the bottom
- Once your blinds are clean, you can maintain them by dusting on a regular basis using a simple duster or your vacuum – just turn the blinds upright and work from the top and make your way to the bottom.
- That’s all there is to it and the best part is you don’t have to fiddle with your blinds by taking them down, waiting for them to dry and then putting them back up.
How to Clean Vertical Blinds without taking them down
Experts reiterate that all vertical blinds should preferably be cleaned while still hanging in the places where they usually are. This should be the case with all the types of the vertical blinds which are made of plastic, wood, and fabric. The following steps will help you clean your blinds right where they are:
1. Dusting the vertical blinds
By the use of a microfiber cloth, try to dislodge loose dirt or dust from the slat of the blinds. Alternatively, you can do this by using a blind duster that is specially designed for that purpose. Take caution not to use dusters that are featherweight as they just push the dirt and dust around, not actually dislodging them. You should avoid using such dusters as possible. Another cheaper option for dusting is the use of your old sock. Turn it inside out and use it to dust. When you are dusting, work your way from the top as you head for the bottom. This should be repeated for every slat on the blind.
2. Vacuuming the Vertical Blinds
The second step following the dusting stage is the vacuuming stage. Dusting doesn’t remove all the dust as they should be. Here, make use of the brush that is attached to the vacuum cleaner to clear any loose dirt and dust that remain on the slats. Again, vacuuming should be done from the top heading downwards to the lower end of the blinds. This is done to avoid unhooking of the slats. Be keen enough to remove all or most of the dust and dirt that may have remained after the first procedure.
3. Cleaning the V
Thirdly, dilute a detergent in a bowl or bucket. It’s preferable to ensure the container is filled with the dilute detergent though. Into the container of detergent, dip a microfiber cloth, squeezing any excess liquid out. Watch out to ensure that the blinds don’t become too wet. Also, if you make the water too hot, it may cause the slats of your blind to start fraying and losing shape. When starting out, have the cloth pinched around the very first slat. As you do this, work downwards starting from the top and pulling all the way down to dislodge the dust. After cleaning each slat, don’t forget to rinse the cloth. When the cleaning solution becomes too dirty, ensure you change it. If you come across dirt that is too stubborn, you can add baking soda to the solution.
How to Clean Vinyl, Aluminum, and Wood Blinds Without Taking it down
1. Prepare the Blinds
Begin by fully lowering the blinds. Wood and faux wood blinds can be completely closed, while the slats of vinyl and aluminium blinds, which often overlap, should be tilted downward but not completely closed.
2. Dust the Blinds
Hold the bottom of the blind in one hand. Wipe the blinds with a microfiber cloth, starting from the top and working your way down. You can also use your vacuum cleaner with a soft dusting brush attachment and a low suction setting to remove dust.
3. Repeat on the Opposite Side
Flip the blinds so the other side is facing you and repeat the process with your microfiber cloth or vacuum.
4. Use a Damp Towel for Heavily Soiled Blinds
If dusting isn’t enough to clean your blinds, you can use a microfiber cloth dampened with warm water. If you have wood blinds, be careful not to get them too wet. A mixture of water and dish soap can be used if the blinds have been exposed to grease or have stubborn dust or residue.
5. Vacuum Excess Dust
Open the blinds and let them air dry. Vacuum any remaining dust that has fallen onto the window sill or the floor.
How to Clean Roller Blinds without taking them down
Roller blinds are highly versatile and practical window decorations, but just like anything else in a house, they can accumulate dust and dirt over time. Natural dust from the house, splashed food, and even small bugs can soil your blinds, but luckily, cleaning roller blinds is a simple undertaking that only requires a few minutes of your time to keep your window treatments looking their best.
Vacuuming and Wiping Down Your Blinds
Pull the blinds down so they are fully extended. Depending on how long your blinds are, you may need to extend them past the point you normally do to make sure you can access the entire swath of material.
You may be tempted to just clean the section of your blinds that are regularly exposed to the room, but if you do that, you risk discoloring the blinds over time.
Use your vacuum’s brush tool to thoroughly remove dust and dirt.
- Plugin your vacuum and attach the brush tool so it is ready to use. Then, turn on the vacuum and start cleaning your blinds at the top, moving the brush wand from the left to the right, making your way down toward the bottom.
- Roller blinds can collect a lot of dirt, dust, and even small bugs sometimes! Vacuuming them first to remove what debris you can make the wiping down process much quicker to complete.
Mix mild dishwashing detergent in a bowl with lukewarm water.
Use about 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of soap and 4 cups (950 mL) of water, and using a spoon or whisk, mix the water and soap until the water turns sudsy. Carry the bowl over to your blinds and set it down somewhere you can easily access it but where it won’t be in your way.
Avoid using any harsh chemical cleaners or soaps with bleach in them, as these can discolor your blinds.
Wet a sponge or clean dishtowel in the soapy water, and wring it out.
Fully submerge and saturate your sponge or towel so that it absorbs as much of the soapy mixture as possible, and then wring it so that it doesn’t drip with excess water.
If your sponge or towel is too damp, it will drip down your blinds as you clean, which can, in turn, make your floor damp.
Wipe the blinds, starting at the top and working your way to the bottom.
- Use a back and forth motion to wipe from one side of the blinds all the way to the opposite side, and continue wiping and moving down the shades until you reach the bottom. If you come across any large stains, spend a little extra time scrubbing that area.
- This method works well for blinds made of all different kinds of materials—from vinyl to synthetic blends.
- Rinse out your sponge several times as you wipe down the blinds.
- Dip your sponge or towel back into the soapy water and swirl it around a few times to dislodge any accumulated grime. Then wring it out again before continuing to wipe down the roller blinds.
- If you notice that your rag is getting particularly dirty and doesn’t come clean when you rinse it, swap it out for a new one.
Use a fabric stain remover for tough stains that don’t come off easily.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the fabric stain removal, and then follow those directions carefully. If you’re concerned about the stain remover discoloring your blinds, try testing it out on an inconspicuous section of the blinds first, like near the top where it normally rolled up.
If there is a very tough stain that you can’t get out on your own, it may be time to take your blinds to a professional cleaner.
Leave the blinds fully extended until they are completely dry.
Because you didn’t saturate the blinds with water, it should only take a few hours for them to fully dry. To be safe, leave your roller blinds fully extended overnight. Once they are dry, you can let them retract again.
If you roll your blinds back up when they are still damp, they can get moldy and smelly.
How to Clean Fabric Window Blinds Without Taking them down
1. Vacuum the blinds
The first thing that you need to do is clean off any loose dust, otherwise, you’ll essentially end up soaking the dirt into the fabric while cleaning.
Use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the slats. This should effectively clean the day-to-day deposit of dust and debris. Don’t be disheartened if this doesn’t improve the sight of them yet, as compared to other materials, fabric blinds absorb more dirt.
2. Prepare the cleaning solution
Now, in order to deal with the dirt incorporated into the fabric, make a cleaning solution. Add 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap to about 4 cups of water and mix well. Your cleaning solution is ready. Any mild liquid soap may be used in place of dish soap.
While it is neither feasible nor advisable to throw your blinds into the washer, you may certainly clean your fabric blinds with soap.
3. Sponge the blinds with the cleaning solution
Don your cleaning gloves. Dip a sponge into the cleaning solution and squeeze out any excess liquid. Give the blinds a gentle scrub with the soaked sponge. Don’t hesitate if the whole affair becomes a little sudsy.
Now, this is where the results become visual. Soap will easily dissolve all that needs to be cleaned in the blinds and you’ll see the fabric get cleaner with each stroke of the sponge. Dunk the sponge into the cleaning solution periodically for steady and effective cleaning.
Since fabric blinds are delicate and can get easily frayed, resist harsh scrubbing. Use sideways strokes to clean Venetian blinds and top-to-bottom strokes if you have vertical blinds as we did.
4. Wipe the blinds with a damp cloth
When you are satisfied with the results of the cleaning, it’s time to wipe the soap off the blinds with a damp cloth and call it a day.
Dip a lint-free cloth in clean water and gently squeeze it to remove any dripping water. Fold the damp cloth around individual slats and move it along the length of the slats to wipe off the soap.
Again, go sideways with Venetian blinds and top-to-bottom for vertical ones. Keep rinsing the cloth in clean water periodically to effectively remove all the soap from the blinds.
Finally, let the blinds air dry.
Or try these methods
- If your vacuum isn’t working or you don’t own one, do the dry dusting with a microfiber cloth.
- Always use top-to-bottom strokes for cleaning vertical blinds. Moving from bottom-to-top may unhook the slats.
- Always perform a spot test in a discrete portion of the blinds before using any cleaning solution on them. Continue only if you feel that the fabric will not be damaged.
- After cleaning, you can give your blinds a wipe down with a dry cloth to speed the drying process. Increase air circulation in the house or just open a few windows to further speed up the drying.
- Use cotton swabs dipped in the cleaning solution to clean around connector holes.
- Use your trusted laundry stain remover to clean soiled cords. Spray some stain remover on the cords and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe them off with a damp cloth.