Vertical blinds make a nice addition to any room and their popularity is aided by their easy upkeep. With regular maintenance they are fairly easy to keep clean, however, fabric vertical blinds will need to be deep cleaned from time to time to keep them looking great.
The good news is there are multiple ways to keep them clean, each with varying degrees of difficulty. This guide will show you how to clean vertical blinds without damaging them and includes tips for dealing with stains and mould growth on your blinds.
Do You Have Wood, Metal or Fabric Vertical Blinds?
The first step in cleaning your vertical blinds is to know what type of blinds you have. The main types of vertical blind material are fabric, wood, metal and vinyl. The type of material your vertical blinds are made from will determine the cleaning method.
Wooden vertical blinds can be cleaned much the same as any wooden furniture you have. Use a duster or a vacuum cleaner soft dusting brush attachment to remove any dust and dirt. Use a damp cloth to go over each slat, removing any grime and dirt. For any tough stains and marks, you can use a dedicated wood detergent, and leave to dry naturally.
Metal and vinyl vertical blinds are the easiest types to clean. Regular dusting should be enough to keep this type of blind looking clean, and running a damp cloth over them occasionally will help to deal with marks. Be very gentle when cleaning this type of blind to avoid bending or cracking the slats.
Fabric vertical blinds are the most popular type in the UK, and they are also the most tricky to keep clean. They require regular cleaning to keep them looking good, and you must take great care when cleaning fabric blinds to avoid damage to them.
The rest of this guide will be about cleaning fabric vertical blinds and will include tips to help you keep them looking like new.
How to Clean Vertical Blinds by Hand
When cleaning your vertical blinds, you can either remove the slats from the rail or leave them attached. It is easier to clean the slats when they are still attached to the rail, but if they are really dirty and need a deep clean, you may need to remove them.
This is how to clean vertical blinds:
- Prepare your cleaning tools. You will need a bucket or bowl of warm water with a few drops of mild dish detergent. Ensure the water is not too hot as some blinds have glue to hold them together, and hot water could melt this glue. You can use a clean cloth, but I recommend a blind cleaning tool. These tools are specially designed for cleaning the slats on vertical blinds and will make your job much easier.
- Dust or vacuum the vertical blinds. Remove any dust and debris from your blinds before cleaning them. A vacuum cleaner with a soft dusting brush is great for this, as a duster will only move the dust around. If possible, reduce the suction of your vacuum cleaner to avoid any damage to the blind slats.
- Place a towel under the blinds. This will help to catch any water that drips from the blinds and will stop the floor from becoming slippery.
- Use a cloth or cleaning tool to clean each slat. Dip your cleaning tool into the detergent solution and gently wipe each individual slat. Start from the top and work your way down to the bottom. Be careful not to completely soak the vertical blind slats, as they will take longer to dry and may become warped.
- Leave to dry naturally. Let the blinds dry naturally. If possible, open the window to let some fresh air in. The quicker the blinds dry, the less chance there is for mould to grow.
Can You Wash Vertical Blinds in the Washing Machine?
Note: Please ensure that your fabric vertical blinds are suitable for machine washing first, otherwise you could ruin them. There should be a label on the blinds to tell you if you can machine wash them. If you are unsure or have any questions, contact your blind manufacturer to make sure.
Once you have established that your vertical blinds can be washed in a washing machine, follow these steps to complete the task.
- Completely remove the fabric from the blinds. Remove any chains, clips and weights from the fabric so that you are left with only the fabric.
- Carefully roll up the fabric slats. Roll the fabric up, taking extra care not to bend them. Secure them with a loose-fitting rubber band.
- Put the fabric into a bag or pillowcase. Use a machine washable bag or a pillowcase, and place the rolled-up fabric inside.
- Wash at 30°C with no spin dry. Fabric vertical blinds can use glue to hold them together, and hot water can melt this glue. Keep the temperature at 30°C and don’t use a program that includes spin-drying, as this could damage the fabric.
- Leave to dry naturally. Unroll the fabric slats and either hang them over an airer in front of a heater or place them in between two towels. Never put them in the tumble dryer as this could melt the glue and distort the slats.
- Hang the slats back up. When the fabric is touch-dry, re-attach them to the rails. Open the windows to allow the air to completely dry the fabric.
How to Clean Vertical Blinds Using a Steam Cleaner
A handheld steam cleaner can be used to clean fabric vertical blinds, but great care must be taken to avoid damage to them. Steam is hot, so you need to ensure that you don’t steam the same spot for too long, or you could melt the glue that holds them together.
Before you steam clean your vertical blinds, use the steam cleaner to steam a small area that is unnoticeable. This will ensure that there is no discolouration of the fabric. Once you have done a spot check, start from the top of each blind and quickly move to the bottom. Move fast and don’t stay in the same area for too long. Leave the blind slats hanging up to dry naturally.
Dry Cleaners or Professional Cleaners
If you feel that your vertical blinds are too dirty to clean yourself or you don’t feel confident tackling the job, you can always take them to a dry cleaner. Simply remove the fabric slats from the rail and hanging mechanism, and take them to the dry cleaners. Try to keep the fabric flat when transporting them to avoid damaging or marking them.
Another option is to call in the professional cleaners. They will come to your home and clean the vertical blinds in-situ, meaning you won’t even have to dismantle them.
Dealing with Stains on your Fabric Vertical Blinds
The above cleaning methods are suitable for vertical blinds that are lightly soiled. If your blinds are heavily soiled and stained, you may have to clean them with more abrasive methods.
There are a number of fabric stain removers available in the shops, but I prefer to use natural ingredients. It is cheaper and much better for the environment.
Note: Whatever method you choose to use, it is important to test the stain remover on a small piece of fabric that you can’t see. Only after you confirm that there are no adverse effects, then you can carry on cleaning the whole section of fabric.
In a spray bottle, mix a little distilled white vinegar, a few drops of your favourite essential oil, and top up with warm water. Lightly spray the stain and leave to soak in for 20 minutes. Use a towel to pat dry the fabric, and leave to dry naturally.
If the stain remains, spray with the vinegar solution again. This time, mix some bicarbonate of soda with a small amount of water to form a paste. Thinly spread the paste over the stain and leave for 1 hour. The bicarbonate of soda should draw the stain out of the fabric. Gently scrape the paste from the fabric, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any excess debris, and clean the fabric as normal.
How to Clean Mould off Vertical Blinds
Mould is not only unsightly; it is also harmful to your health. If you see mould on your fabric vertical blinds you should remove it immediately. It is easier to remove the slats from the blind when dealing with mould.
Remove the slats from the blind and lay them flat on a hard surface. Carefully remove as much mould from the fabric using a soft brush, and then vacuum them with a soft dusting brush attachment. For any mould that remains spray it with a homemade cleaner made from distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, essential oil and water.
Leave this mixture to soak in for a while and then use a soft cloth or blind cleaning tool to wipe the fabric slats. Pat the slats with a clean dry towel, and then hang them back and leave to dry naturally.
Can You Wash Vertical Blinds in the Dishwasher?
A question I get asked a lot is whether you can wash vertical blinds in a dishwasher. I don’t recommend this as it can ruin your blinds. The water in a dishwasher is too hot for the blinds and it can melt the glue or distort the fabric. The water in a dishwasher comes out too strong for the delicate fabric, and it can lead to fraying and ripping.
Maintenance Tips for Vertical Blinds
Vertical blinds look great in any room, but it can be a pain when you have to deep clean them using the above methods. To reduce the frequency of deep cleaning, there are some things you can do in your daily or weekly cleaning routine. These tips will help to keep your vertical blinds looking clean, and will increase the time before you have to deep clean them.
- Vacuum the fabric slats regularly. Use your vacuum cleaners soft brush attachment. This will reduce the suction power and gently clean them, while also getting rid of any dust and dirt.
- Use a thick duster or a blind cleaning tool to regularly remove dust from the slats. This will stop dust from building up and will also remove any light soiling.
- If you see any small dirt marks on your fabric blinds, gently rub them with a damp cloth. Doing this regularly should help to keep your blinds looking clean.