Tips for Cleaning Your Window Treatments
Like everything else in your home, your window treatments need to be cleaned on a regular and consistent basis to look and operate like they did when they were brand new.
Cleaning window treatments often is the best way to remove dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris from the slats, fabric, and the headrail. It’s also a necessary step for homeowners who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other conditions that can be aggravated by these small particles.
If you vacuum your window treatments with the brush attachment each time you clean the house, it will increase their durability, saving money in the long run.
Always clean with the direction of the slats or honeycombs, not against it. And be sure to clean both of the sides, the hanging apparatus and any cords.
Wood Blinds and Shutters
Dust regularly with a dry, soft cloth, Swiffer or feather duster. Don’t use ultrasonic cleaning or chemical solvents. Scrubbing cleansers are also not recommended and will damage the product.
Lemon oil or wood preservatives can be used to clean stain-finished wood blinds and shutters. Avoid using water, which may damage the surface.
To ensure a long life, protect all fine wood products from exposure to steam, high moisture areas or rain.
When cleaning any window, spray glass cleaner on the cloth rather than spraying directly on the window. This will prevent damage to the wood finish by splattering cleaner.
As with Wood Blinds, dust regularly using a soft, dry cloth, Swiffer or feather duster. Reduce static and help repel dust by wiping the product with dryer sheets.
Don’t use abrasive cleaners or chemical solvents. These cleaners will scratch or damage the surface.
Clean vertical blinds using the same method as for faux-wood blinds, unless they’re fabric, and then use the directions for cleaning fabric treatments below. For a quick pick-me-up between cleanings, use a lint roller on the slats – it will quickly pick up cobwebs and dust.
Fabric Treatments and Sheer Shades (Roman, Roller and Cellular)
Dust regularly using a dry, soft cloth, Swiffer or feather duster to maintain like-new appearance. Many fabric shades are already treated to repel dust and dirt.
Vacuum gently with the dust brush of your vacuum cleaner. If your vacuum cleaner has a low setting, use it to decrease the possibility of damage. Be careful not to crimp or crumple the treatments when vacuuming. Another option is to use a blow dryer set on cool. With it, you can blow away dirt or bugs caught in the honeycombs, rolls or creases.
Don’t use magnetic cleaners, such as a dusting mitt or Swiffer, on room-darkening fabrics. This may damage the room-darkening backing.
If fabric blinds are stained, dampen a microfiber cloth and blot the stain away. Use a little fabric detergent for set-in stains. Blot gently to avoid creasing or damaging the fabric. Rubbing can damage fabrics. Let the blinds dry completely before raising them. If they’re badly stained, take them to a dry cleaner.
Avoid These Cleaning Mistakes
- Using Harsh Chemicals: These can deeply stain and discolor fabric, wood, aluminum, and vinyl, ruining the window treatment in the process.
- Not reading the cleaning and care instructions: Manufacturers of window treatments almost always provide instructions for maintaining their products. That includes instructions for cleaning and removing dirt, dust, and mild stains. Make sure you keep these instructions and read them before you attempt to clean.
- Not spot-treating before applying a cleaning solution to visible areas: It’s important to test them to see how they react to the cleaning solution that you use. That means applying a small amount in an inconspicuous area and waiting several minutes to several hours to see the result. If there are no ill effects, you can continue.
- Using too much water and soaking the window treatments: For most cleaning jobs, you’ll need little more than a damp sponge or cloth to apply a mild cleaning solution or to wipe away excess dirt, dust, and pollen. Using anything that’s completely soaked in water can result in water stains on fabric shades and discolorations and even warping on wood blinds due to the wood soaking up the moisture.
- Not treating/cleaning spills and stains immediately: If a liquid gets spilled on your shades, time is of the essence to prevent it from settling in the fibers of the fabric and becoming a deep-seated stain that requires expensive professional cleaning to remove.
Some window treatments may be dry cleaned. Be sure to check with us or the manufacturer for recommended cleaning instructions.
For more information on window treatment care or if you’re interested in updating your blinds, shades, shutters and more, give us a call at 262-643-8484 for a complementary, in-home consultation.