Expert Tips: Cleaning Blinds, Shades, Shutters and Drapery

In order for your window coverings to maintain their pristine appearance, regular maintenance is a must. Regularly cleaning blinds, shades, shutters and drapery will rid your home of dust and allergens and allow you to enjoy the beauty and custom atmosphere of your window treatments for years to come. Before you begin, let’s investigate proper cleaning methods.

Good to Know

When tasked with cleaning blinds and other window treatments, it’s best to know the product’s recommended method. If you purchased treatments from a private business, like our team at California Window Fashions, their window covering specialist should be able to provide cleaning instructions. If you bought self-installed blinds from a big box retailer, the tag or buyer’s manual should provide cleaning instructions, too. Take time to digest the information as each type of treatment is different and should be cleaned according to its own specific instructions.  

Pro Tips: Cleaning Blinds & Shutters

Oftentimes, blinds and shutters are manufactured using the same materials. The cleaning instructions for these products may sound similar.

  • Regular Dusting: This recommendation can be done with a handheld duster, cloth or gloves, made of clean, dry, microfiber fabric. You can also find these window blind cleaning kits with a variety of helpful tools online. Make sure to close the slats or louvers so they are flat. Dust the treatments by moving the cloth from side-to-side. Next, adjust the window treatments upward toward the sky to dust the other side. We have found an extension dusting kit works great for hard-to-reach window treatments.
  • Small Areas: For those small, hard to reach corners, a clean, dry natural fiber paint brush or even a toothbrush will allow you to reach the crevices. Regular dusting will help avoid build-up and keep them looking clean.

louvers closed on white shutters in shower with brown tile Rocklin, CA

When spot cleaning your hard treatments, pay close attention to what materials were used in their manufacturing. You’ll likely need different cleaning agents for wood, metal and composite shutters and blinds.

Pro Tips: Window Shades and Fabric Blinds

If your home has fabric window shades, or vertical blinds that are covered in fabrics, dusting must be part of your regular cleaning routine. It can be slightly more challenging If you allow dust to build-up, it’s difficult to remove and causes dirt and allergens to remain in the air. Make a habit of cleaning your shades by adjusting shades or blinds in the closed position to access a large flat surface. Also, consider the methods below:

  • Canned Air: This method has become quite popular for those concerned with the build-up of dust and allergens in the atmosphere. Canned air also prevents the shades from being pressed during cleaning which can damage the shape of the window coverings. You can practice the canned air cleaning method with a canned air rechargeable dusting tool, or with disposable cans of air.
  • Vacuum Attachment: As long as you have an upholstery attachment for your vacuum you have a proper and accessible way to clean fabric window treatments. Here is an example of a versatile vacuum cleaner that offers a sliding setting for adjustable suction control, as well as two variations of upholstery cleaning tools. Add this to your cleaning tools. 
  • Microfiber Cloth, Duster or Gloves: A simple duster, gloves or clean, dry microfiber cloths are used to dust fabric window shades. In a similar way as cleaning blinds and shutters, close your window coverings, and dust from side-to-side. Use this method for regular cleaning. Warning: if there is a build-up of dust, the side to side cleaning may drag additional dust across the fabric. The use of a vacuum could help in this situation as not to damage your coverings.
  • Spot Cleaning Fabrics: For stubborn stains on your fabric shades, you can try spot cleaning. Use a sponge with lukewarm water. Lightly wet the sponge, just enough to dampen, ensure there are no drops of water by squeezing the sponge. Wipe the spot gently. Repeat. Let your fabric shades dry completely before rolling them or stacking them.

Bathroom need privacy

Pro Tip: Cleaning Draperies and Curtains

Be aware of what type of fabric your draperies or curtains are made of so you can follow the appropriate cleaning method without damaging them. Some fabrics can withstand the washing machine, but most draperies will need to be dry cleaned to avoid shrinking. 

  • If you are able to machine wash your curtains, choose cold water set on a delicate cycle. Remove the laundered curtains from the machine immediately. Hang to dry or lie flat.
  • For delicate fabrics, find a local dry cleaner near your home to inquire about costs. 
  • Steam cleaning can be a good way to get rid of dust on draperies, clean them while they are hung. Let your draperies dry as soon as you’re finished. 
  • Remember, wetting the drapery fabrics can cause bleeding of the colors. Test a small section of fabric in an inconspicuous area to check your specific drapes.
modern dining set close to windows with roller shades and drapery
Sonnette™ Cellular Roller Shades

What to Do about Pet Fur?

If you have pets at home, you know that pet fur can accumulate on your window treatments–mostly on curtains that hang close to the floor, or puddle just on top of it. By keeping a lint roller nearby, you can get rid of fur as you notice it. For regular cleaning, softly vacuum the drapes using a low setting or upholstery attachment. Then, lift the fabrics up out of the way of flying fur as you vacuum the floor. If there is any additional fur, repeat the gentle vacuuming of the fabrics.

Pet friendly designer banded shades in pet friendly home in roseville, Ca
Designer Banded Shades

Caring for your window treatments is the best way to keep them looking fresh and functional. Establish a routine and stick to it! Reach out to the manufacturer, or your local window coverings dealer, to find out the best cleaning recommendations for your specific products. If our team, at California Window Fashions, customized the window treatments in your home, we’d love to help. We can offer suggestions for cleaning blinds, shades, shutters and drapery. Get in touch with us today!