How to clean blinds–the easy way

Wood, vinyl, aluminum, fabric. Horizontal and vertical. Indoor and outdoor. There are all types of blinds. No matter the type, they accumulate dust and dirt and can be a pain to clean. Save yourself time with these 3 tips on cleaning blinds the easy way.

1) Clean often.

Letting dust accumulate on your blinds makes it harder to clean off. With time and moisture, the dust may become stuck, requiring more time, energy and tools to clean. Clean your blinds regularly to avoid accumulating tough grime and dust.

2) Use the right tools.

Vacuum and dusters

For faster dusting, a vacuum brush attachment can save you time, but be careful not to go too quickly and damage your blinds. If you want a simpler approach, a commercially made duster like Swiffer® uses static electricity to catch and trap dust particles. Feather, plastic, microfiber and other commercially made dusters work much the same way.

Rubber sponge

For blinds that may need a little more cleaning, use a rubber sponge, AKA a dry sponge. A dry sponge works by absorbing debris and dust into its pores. As its name implies, it is used dry.


For more difficult or moisture accumulations, use a damp microfiber cloth on vinyl and aluminum blinds, drying them with a dry microfiber cloth. You can use damp microfiber cloth on wood as well, just be careful not to soak the wood.

Car wash brush

For major cleanup issues, you can also use a car wash brush and towel on vinyl or metal blinds.

3) Technique counts.

Simple dusting

You need the right tools for the right job, but technique counts just as much. Starting at the top slat, dust from one end to the other. If using a hand dusters, tap or shake it often and near the floor (to vacuum up later) or shake the duster outside or into the garbage. Make sure to vacuum after dusting to avoid dust resettling on surfaces.

With horizontal blinds, you want to work across the slats, not up and down. Moving up and down causes you to miss large sections of dust that hide underneath the preceding slat.

For vertical blinds, however, you want to work up and down to avoid detaching the blinds from their hooks.

Spot clean

Spot clean fingerprints and other marks with a damp cloth and wipe with a dry microfiber cloth to avoid smearing.

Deep clean

For vinyl or aluminum blinds that require deep cleaning from major accumulation, use a wet car cleaning brush and a small amount of dish soap. Brush the blinds from side to side until clean. Rinse with a hose and quickly dab with a towel to remove excess water and prevent hard water deposits. Hang dry.

For fabric blinds that need major cleaning, consider taking them to a dry cleaner. If your budget doesn’t allow for that,  try testing an inconspicuous area of the blinds with a sponge soaked in very diluted soap and water mixture. Wipe with damp sponge and towel dry as much as possible to avoid water spots. Allow to air dry.

No matter what blinds you have, cleaning them often with the right tools and the right technique can save you time and heartache.

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