Options For Dealing With Old, Dirty Blinds

If you are doing a deep cleaning in your home and are really trying to get everything sparkling clean, the blinds on your windows could seem like they're trying to thwart you at first. Blinds are often neglected in quick cleaning sessions, and it's not until they've become noticeably caked with dust that they finally receive attention. By that time, a simple swipe with a duster won't do. It's time to look at more involved options.

All-Purpose Cleaner

For layers of dust that come off rather easily, get a stepladder, extend the blinds fully, and start dusting off excess dust. Do this slowly so dust doesn't fly everywhere. Then, clean each slat with all-purpose cleaner and let dry. This can take time even on smaller sets of blinds, so plan your day accordingly. After you're done, give the area under the blinds a quick dust and clean to pick up any dust that might have drifted down.

Long Soak

Trying to carefully dust and clean each slat in a set of blinds, though, can be tiresome and noisy (the blinds will rattle as you grab them and move them around). This is especially true if the blinds are in a room like the kitchen, where airborne grease can make the dust very sticky and resistant to coming off. In this case, get a large tub that is at least as long as the blinds are wide, fill it with water, and add some mild soap. Remove the blinds from the window (extend the blinds fully, look for a bracket on either side of the headrail, remove the small front panel on each side — it will slide out — and pull out the blinds). Drop the blinds into the water and let soak for a bit. Then, start scrubbing each slat with all-purpose cleaner. When you're done, place the blinds on a towel and blot extra water away. Let them air dry for a while, and then put them back up in the brackets. Replace the sliding panels.


The last option is to just replace the blinds, which may be the best option if the blinds are located in an awkward place that you normally have trouble reaching (such as over a sink or in a corner blocked by an appliance). If the blinds are inexpensive vinyl blinds, replacement is the least troublesome course of action. If the blinds are designer, if they cost more, or if you had to have them customized to fit the space, try to stick with cleaning them first, though replacement may still be necessary if the old ones are just too far gone.

If you go with the replacement option, talk to salespeople about materials that are easier to clean. Also look at blinds with wider slats as those tend to be easier to dust quickly. For more information, contact local professionals like House Of Drapery.