3 helpful tips for maintaining your shades

Shades really aren't a lot of work, and won't cause you much trouble, but it's still good to know how to maintain all the bits and pieces of your home. Learning how to weight, clean and adjust the tension on your shades should have you covered.

3 helpful tips for maintaining your shades

1. Easily adjust tension

A weak spring can cause a shade to roll too slowly, or a too-tight spring can make it snap up at the slightest provocation — problems that are easily fixed.

  • To tighten tension, partially unroll the shade and remove from brackets. Roll it up by hand, then reinstall it.
  • To reduce tension, roll the shade up completely and remove from the brackets. Unroll it halfway, then replace the shade in its brackets.

2. Weighting a roller shade

Occasionally the bottom hem of a roller shade with a lightweight wood slat inside will curl.

  • To correct this, add a strip or two of bead drapery weights inside the hem.
  • Bead weights are sold by length at sewing centres.

3. Easy ways to clean shades

Different types of shades need to be cleaned different ways. With the information below, you should be able to find out what's best for yours.

  • Sewn fabric shades: when the face and lining fabrics are both washable, you can unmount the shade from the mounting board, wash and iron it according to the fabric's requirements, and reinstall the shade.
  • Laminated shades: most laminated fabric roller shades are not washable. Clean them by vacuuming with the dusting attachment.
  • Non-washable shades: try removing small spots with an art-gum eraser or kneadable wallpaper cleaner.
  • Vinyl shades: vinyl roller shades are easy to wash. After removing a shade from the brackets, unroll it on a flat surface covered with a plastic drop cloth. Weight the ends to keep it flat, if necessary. Using a sponge with a mild detergent solution, start at the top and wash in rows down to the bottom. Turn over the shade and wash the reverse side. Then rinse each side with a sponge dampened in clean water. Towel off the drop cloth between each step to keep the work surface clean.
  • Roller and fabricated shades: consult the recommendations of the manufacturer.

Keep these helpful hints in mind the next time your shades need a quick repair or clean. Maintaining shades has never been easier!

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