Spring cleaning is just around the corner and soon it will be time to open the windows and let some fresh air into your home. One of the most time consuming and least satisfying chores that need to be done is cleaning your blinds.
The frequency of need for thorough washing and cleaning is affected by the kind of heating system, humidity, ventilation, and activity in the home. Moisture condensation on blinds, as warm house air cools on reaching cold window glass, increases soiling; regular storm windows keep window warmer and reduces such condensation.
1. Open blind and let it hang all the way down. Protect window sill and area with plastic drop cloth.
2. Mix up a pail of detergent suds.
3. Start at the top and wash one slat at a time with suds by folding a cloth or sponge around the slat and sliding it from left to right to wash both sides at the same time. Or cut halfway through a thick flat sponge and use it the same way.
Another quick way is to wear a pair of cotton work gloves. Then dip both hands into the suds, and use the gloves like sponges to wash the slats.
4. Rinse the slats the same way and wipe them dry.
5. Scrub the tapes on both sides with a brush covered with thick suds. Rinse them with a clean damp sponge or cloth.
6. Wipe each pull cord with a folded sponge or cloth– first with suds and then with clean water.
7. Let the blind hang open and dropped all the way down until it is dry and the tapes are stretched smooth. Put old cloths or towels under it to catch any dripping water.
Washing in Bathtubs
1. Pull cords to blind to be approximately 12 to 14 inches long.
2. Tilt slats to “level” or “straight” position.
3. Tilt “open” the bracket ends and pull blind mechanism forward and out.
To wash blind:
1. Pad bathtub with an old cotton blanket or terry towels. Fabric will float as tub is filled with water. Use about 5 inches of water in tub.
2. Place one blind carefully in tub on blanket or towels.
3. Wear heavy cotton gloves to prevent hands being cut while wet on sharp edges of metal slats.
4. Add some liquid detergent to the water, preferably a low suds type.
5. With soft cloth or small sponge, rub surface of each slat.
6. Turn each slat over and clean the back side. Also clean tapes.
7. Repeat for each slat then drain water from tub.
8. Stand total blind on end, resting on fabric.
9. With pail of clean water, pour over the blind to rinse or use shower spray.
10.Drain blind on end.
There will be some water draining from the mechanism so allow 10 to 30 minutes of draining time even for cordless cellular shades. It may be moved after 10 minutes to drain on a dry blanket or towel, still on end. Or carry rolled-up in a dishpan outdoors, and dry over clothesline or railing.
To dry blinds:
1. Replace blind in window brackets.
2. Release cords to allow blind to drop to full length of window.
3. Tilt slats. With dry cloth, carefully dry each slat. 4. Reverse tilt of slats and dry other side of slats.
5. If cords are water soaked, pull straight by holding bottom edge of blind.
6. Allow to completely dry in slat-open position.
1. Place blind on table with plastic top, or cover with heavy plastic tablecloth, and with old blanket on top to absorb water.
2. With dry cloth, wipe each slat dry on both sides.
3. Replace blind at window and allow to air dry in down position, with slats open.
1. Hang the blind over a clothesline. If there are hooks on the side of the house or garage or fence, you can hang the blind from these hooks.
2. Then wash it exactly the same way as you would do it if the blind was on the window.
3. Next rinse on both sides with a spray of water from a garden hose.
4. When dripping stops, put it back on the window and let it hang open and dropped all the way down
For further protection in areas of high pollution, high humidity or sea-air spray, and for easier vacuum or hand dusting:
Use a thin coat of white nonpolishing wax as might be used on kitchen appliances. The coat of wax will prevent soil from sticking to surface, making it easier to dust by hand or vacuum brush.