Advice for keeping your blinds and shades looking like new

July 29, 2015

Blinds and shades are a big part of any decorating budget. Ironically, they're often neglected after installation and allowed to fall into disrepair or get dirty. Here's some advice for keeping your blinds and shades looking like new.

Advice for keeping your blinds and shades looking like new

Dust wood blinds regularly

As with other wood furnishings, wood blinds should be dusted regularly to prevent them from becoming grimy and dingy-looking.

  • Use a soft, clean, chemically-treated dust cloth or dusting mitt.
  • Lower the blind to its full length, close the slats almost completely, and dust.
  • Next, pivot the slats so they almost close in the opposite direction.
  • By not fully allowing them to close in either position, you'll be able to dust where the slats overlap.
  • Alternatively, you can vacuum wood blinds with the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner, using the same order of steps.

Clean blinds with a soft damp cloth

If there is a filmy buildup on your wood blinds, dusting them isn't going to do the trick.

  • Instead, clean the slats by wiping them with a soft, damp rag and mild detergent or liquid dishwashing soap, using the same method as described above.
  • Wipe off excess water with a sponge, but do not rinse or towel-dry the slats! This can disrupt the antistatic treatment some manufacturers apply to the surface of their slats. Disrupting it will cause the blind slats to soil quicker.
  • For the same reason, do not rinse your wood blinds in a bathtub.

Always install blinds correctly

Installing blinds correctly is key to helping them last and look better, for much longer. With wide blinds, don't neglect to install the bracket that supports the centre of the header. Why is the bracket so important?

  • Without it, the header will bow, hurting its smooth operation and causing it to wear out sooner.
  • Blinds may have many moving parts that could be thrown out of alignment, break, or seize up if the blind gets twisted or warped due to lack of support.

Wipe shades gently

In contrast to blinds, shades usually only need to be dusted — a feather duster works well — or vacuumed with the brush attachment to keep them looking fresh and new.

  • For local soiling, spot-clean as necessary, using a soft rag or sponge, mild detergent and some warm water.
  • In the rare event that the entire shade needs cleaning, many types can be immersed in a tub of warm water. Check your shade manufacturer's recommendations before taking the plunge!
  • Next, carefully wash the shade with a soft rag or sponge, and rinse in clean water.
  • Then, close the shade and drain any excess water before reinstalling it and allowing it to dry while open.

Fixing broken blinds or shades

There's no need to always toss aside that broken blind or shade – especially if it's one you love. Most window coverings can be repaired for less than it would cost to buy new ones.

  • Many repair shops can restring Venetian blinds, re-tape mini blinds and repair vertical blinds.
  • If you're a do-it-yourselfer and keen to learn, repair kits are available online. They provide complete DIY instructions for these kinds of projects.

However, if your damaged blind or shade is beyond repair, then your best option is to seek out a window covering expert who can suggest replacement options.

Blinds and shades are a relatively easy way to add colour, personality and drama to any room in your house. And with regular cleaning, some simple tools, and a few easy techniques, they can stay looking new and remain an attractive and integral part of your home's décor for years.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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