Cleaning and Storing Window Blinds
Window blinds and ceiling fans are often two of the dustiest items in your home. Unless you are vigilant about giving them a good dusting every week or so, blinds and fan blades tend to collect a build-up of dust, dirt, and airborne particles. If you are ready to get your home in order with a deep clean, making blinds and fan blades your first point of attack is a quick way to freshen up your space, and improve the overall air quality with minimal effort.
Window Blinds Made of Cloth
It is not necessary to remove cloth blinds and run them through your washing machine. This might be very damaging to the blinds themselves. The best way to clean window blinds made of cloth, such as roller blinds or Roman blinds, is to use a dry sponge. A dry sponge is made of rubber and can be used to remove dust and dirt from cloth. Simply rub the dry sponge over the blinds, making sure to get every square inch of fabric. A lint roller that is used for animal fur on clothing is also another wonderful way to do a quick once over of your cloth blinds. If you encounter stains, try using carpet shampoo or other dry foam cleaner to remove the stain.
Vertical blinds are usually made of cloth strips. You can use your dry sponge or a duster to wipe vertical blinds from top to bottom, never from bottom to top.
Blinds Made of Metal or Vinyl
Sometimes your blinds might require more than just a simple dusting. Metal or vinyl blinds can manage being washed in water. If rubbing down individual slats with a bit of vinegar diluted in water does not work, remove the blinds from the windows and give them a more thorough scrubbing in the sun or in a bathtub that has been lined with a towel. Sturdy metal blinds can also be gently rinsed with a hose. It is generally not effective or desirable to completely soak metal or vinyl blinds in water for more than a couple minutes.
Wooden blinds should never be soaked in water as this can warp them. Use a glove, duster, or microfiber cloth to remove the worst of the dust and dirt. If the blinds still need to be washed, use a damp cloth with a half water half vinegar mixture and gently rub each slat clean. Finish by drying each slat with a clean towel to prevent warping.
Check at your local hardware or home improvement store to find dusters specifically made for ceiling fan blades. These dusters wipe both the top and bottom of the blade simultaneously, saving you time. An old pillowcase will also work if you do not have access to a duster. Put the fan blade inside the case like you would a pillow and wipe both sides. It keeps any dust from falling off the fan, making clean up a snap. If the blades are dirty, you can use a little vinegar-water to wipe them down by hand, even if they are made of rattan or wicker. Just be gentle not to bend the blade out of position or soak it too much.
Moving and Storing Blinds
If you are moving to a new house and want to take your blinds with you, first make sure that they are of standard size. Custom-cut or custom-made blinds for windows that are larger or smaller than standard size should stay with the house. Otherwise, carefully remove the hardware from each set of blinds and store it in a plastic baggie, attaching the baggie to the blinds to keep everything together. Wrap each set of blinds in towels or blankets to keep them protected against scratches and dings. If you are storing your blinds furniture wrap is also a useful tool to keep your blinds safe, secure, and free from dust.
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