By: Natalie Elmhurst
First, the question many are asking:
When was the last time your window treatments had a good cleaning? It may not be something you regularly think about, but when it comes right down to it, it’s important to maintain your window treatments properly.
Regularly cleaning your blinds and shades:
You invested in window treatments you love — now it’s time to care for them just as you would your new leather sofa in the living room.
But do you know how to properly keep them clean?
Not all blinds and shades are the same — how you clean your window treatments will depend on the material and design of each window treatment. In other words, those wood blinds won’t be cleaned the same way as your linen drapes.
Let’s dive into getting your window treatments cleaned — the right way.
Just like not all window treatments are the same, your blinds will not be cleaned the same either. Blinds come in many different materials, including faux wood, wood, and composite materials. Some blinds, like vertical blinds, are made of vinyls and fabrics. Ensure the proper method is used by understanding what kind of blinds you have in your home.
As long as your blinds aren’t made from fabric, you can dust your blinds on a regular basis using a soft cloth or dusting wand. Just make sure you’re not using products that could potentially harm the material (wood in particular is sensitive to chemicals). Don’t push too hard when you’re dusting, and make sure you support your blinds so you’re not putting too much pressure on the mechanisms that help your blinds function properly.
You can also use a vacuum with an attachment to suck up any dust and residue. Again, just be considerate of the pressure you’re putting on your blinds.
Faux wood blinds are often used in areas where moisture is a concern such as kitchens or bathrooms because they are moisture resistant. The material makes faux wood blinds an excellent, low-maintenance option. To clean faux wood blinds you can use a damp soft cloth and a mild soap or detergent in addition to regularly dusting your blinds.
Wood blinds are beautiful, and while cleaning them is simple, they can be damaged if you use harsh cleaning chemicals and solutions. Because of this, avoid cleaning them with much water. A mild wood cleaner can be used with a soft cloth, but avoid using wet cloths or soaking your blinds in any way. For best results, simply dust frequently with a soft vacuum attachment or cloth.
Composite blinds are made partly from wood, so it’s important to note they should not be cleaned the same way as faux wood blinds. For a safer option, use a mild wood cleaner or dusting cloth similar to what you’d use for wood blinds.
Roller and solar shades are crafted using different materials — mostly fabrics and vinyls. Regular maintenance is definitely a good idea to keep your solar and roller shades looking their best.
Just like blinds, dusting your solar and roller shades is a great idea for air quality and visual appeal. You can use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment, but just make sure you aren’t being too rough as you clean. To deal with small spills and stains on your solar and roller shades, use a damp cloth and mild detergent to spot clean, support your shade from the back side, and press lightly. Don’t forget to let your shades dry completely before rolling them up.
Vinyls are easier to clean than fabrics, but both should be able to be lightly cleaned at home. For tougher stains, opt for cleaning support from a professional service.
It’s important to do regular touch ups and maintenance, as too much dust and time between cleanings can result in tired and dingy looking window treatments.
Cellular shades are created using material specifically designed to repel dirt and dust, and are therefore considered a fantastic low-maintenance window treatment.
DO use a damp light colored cloth with a very mild soap, but DON’T crush your window treatment — their shape is one of their biggest strengths! Be careful not to scrub too hard. In fact, use a dabbing motion to prevent rough handling.
Hands-on scrubbing can result in damaged shades, so while hand washing is the best tactic for simple small cleaning, to fully refresh your cellular shades you’ll want to use a vacuum cleaner. Again, because of their delicate structure, use your vacuum cleaner hose on its lowest setting with the brush attachment.
Have you noticed a couple stains on your custom drapery? This can be a mood dampener — you love your drapes, and they are an investment in your home you want to last.
While some drapes can be hand cleaned, for custom drapery we always recommend getting professional cleaning services. Drapes are often longer in length and can be a challenge for anyone to handle on their own, not to mention the material can be delicate and sensitive. When you choose to clean them yourself you take the chance of not cleaning effectively, creating additional stains, or even damaging the drapes you spent so long picking out.
Professional cleaning will ensure you have expert advice and techniques to refresh your drapes back to their original glory. They’ll have experience and understand exactly what needs to be done. Professionally cleaned drapes will be refreshed and cleaned to perfection.
Don’t take unnecessary guesses — you’re better off getting your window treatments cleaned professionally every couple of years to ensure their longevity. Spot cleaning can be done at home, and some regular light dusting is beneficial, but professional cleaning will be done using more appropriate and effective cleaning techniques.
If a professional cleaning or a good dusting just isn’t having the same effect it used to, your window treatments might be due for an upgrade.
Reach out to us and chat with your own personal design consultant, and let’s see if that cleaning should actually be an upgrade to brand new custom window treatments you won’t need to clean right away.