Owners guide: How to clean your shades, blinds, and draperies
When it comes to doing your weekly chores, cleaning window treatments isn’t usually the most pressing item on your to-do list. In the midst of laundry bins and dishes, sometimes our shades, blinds, and draperies are left forgotten and dusty.
While window treatments might not be the first thing you ache to clean when given a chance, taking up regular maintenance both preserves the quality of the material and keeps your house looking fresh.
Now, if you are sitting here realizing that you’ve never vacuumed your shades or don’t know the first thing about washing draperies, then you’re in luck. Here are some quick tips on how to get your window treatments looking as new as when you bought them.
First and foremost, when it comes to taking care of your shades, blinds, and draperies, always read about how to care for your specific product in its operation manual. If you aren’t cautious while cleaning, you might actually damage your treatments if trying to wash them in the wrong way.
As far as how often you should clean your treatments, the frequency can depend on the fabric, design, or material. A general rule is to dust or vacuum at least once a month and deep clean twice a year to keep your windows in their best condition.
When cleaning, make sure to pay attention to both sides of the shade or blind, and give special care to treatments like dust-collecting shades and draperies that have pleats, folds, or cascading fabrics. If you see any soiled areas, immediately spot clean using fabric safe treatments.
Soft horizontal blinds
When you notice the blinds gathering dust, run a vacuum lightly along the blinds with a brush attachment. If especially dirty, spot clean using mild detergent, warm water, and a soft sponge. Dry cleaning is not recommended.
Honeycomb or Cellular shades
Honeycomb shades have a unique shape that makes them both easy and difficult to clean, as the insulated cells can be hard to reach. To clean, gently dust or vacuum the outside fabric, getting both sides, and then use a blow dryer (on cool-air setting) to blow the dust out from the cells. When deep cleaning, wipe with a sponge and a mild detergent/warm water solution, then blot the fabric dry with a new cloth. Dry cleaning is not recommended.
After removing the shade from the window, lay it on a flat surface and vacuum both sides using a brush attachment. Spot clean using safe fabric cleaners, making sure to rub the spot parallel to the pleats, and then blot out the extra moisture with a dry cloth and rehang when completely dry. Dry cleaning is not recommended.
Roller and Solar shades
Roller and solar shades are fairly similar, and we recommend you lightly vacuum both sides. However, since solar shades are often used for the outdoors, it is smart to clean them more regularly due to the extra dirt and wear-and-tear from weather exposure. To deep clean roller or solar shades, wipe the fabric with a warm water and mild detergent solution, letting the shade dry before hanging it back up. Do not fully immerse either shades in water.
Due to the many forms and styles of roman shades, how to clean your shades will probably depend on which fabric you have chosen. When cleaning for general upkeep, dust and vacuum as you would any shade or blind, making sure to get loose dust out of creases and folds. For washable roman shades, remove the fabric from the window and wash according to the fabric’s instructions, hanging dry. For non-washable shades (silk, wool, linen, etc.), take to a dry cleaner only when the shades are truly dirty.
As natural shades are usually composed of woven wood and bamboo, avoid water when cleaning to keep from damaging your blinds. Lightly dust or vacuum using a brush attachment, working side to side, and if you see a spot that needs to be cleaned, use a damp (not wet) cloth to gently wipe it down.
As vertical blinds are easy to clean and collect dust frequently, you’ll want to dust or vacuum regularly along with your household cleaning. To clean, work your way from top to bottom as you wipe down the slats, making sure to clean both sides of the blinds. When deep cleaning, wipe down each slat with a sponge and soapy water, then dry off with a clean cloth.
Draperies and Curtains
Like roman shades, draperies and curtains have more variety in style and fabric; therefore, you need to be cautious and aware of how to clean them. Though some recommend dry cleaning for trickier fabrics like silk, draperies can usually be kept beautiful simply by regularly vacuuming both sides with a brush attachment. To get unwanted wrinkles and folds out of your draperies, you can use a steamer, carefully holding the steamer eight inches away from the fabric and not staying in the same spot for too long.
Hopefully now you feel more equipped to take care of your shades, blinds, and draperies, but what if you have a particularly tricky-to-clean fabric or style? You can always look into professional cleaning services to take good care of your windows. When looking for cleaners, make sure to read the reviews and check that they are experienced in cleaning the window treatments you have.