Entry #2490, June 4, 2013
Once you’ve hung blinds and drapes throughout your home as a means of privacy and decor, you might not give them a second thought. But just like everything else in your home, these window dressings can become bogged down with the standard dirt and dust that floats through the air and settles on every surface. They can also collect pet dander and other allergens, especially if you have cloth materials covering your windows. And every time you open or close them, they’ll release these trapped particles into your interior air, potentially leading to coughing, sneezing, and full-on allergy symptoms. The point is that you can’t ignore your window treatments once you’ve put them up; you need to engage in proper care and cleaning in order to get the best use out of them. Here are just a few cleaning and care tips that are sure to help your blinds and draperies last a lifetime.
Image via: Tracy Murdock Allied ASID
Know your materials.
The type of materials used for your blinds and drapes could make a huge difference in your regimen of cleaning and care, so it’s important to know what they’re made of. For example, you wouldn’t wash velvet or silk dupioni the same way as cotton drapes. And enameled wooden blinds will have a very different cleaning routine than metal slats or Venetian blinds. So it’s important to know from the get-go what materials your blinds and drapes are made from so that you can make sure to take the proper measures to care for them.
Use the right cleansers.
You might spray an all-purpose cleaner like 409 on countertops, toilets, and appliances alike. But can you use it on your blinds? Or will it wear away the enamel finish on wood and take the paint off metal? While you can probably use just about anything on plastic, you might not want to mess up pricy blinds made of nicer materials. And what about Venetian blinds? How the heck do you clean them? Then there are drapes, only some of which can go in the washing machine. In general, your best bet is to dust blinds frequently and use a mild solution of water and dish soap applied with a sponge to attack the grime every once in a while. Venetian blinds can get a dip bath in Woolite. And drapes can go to the washing machine, a hand wash, or the dry cleaners, depending on the textile.
Frequency of cleaning.
When it comes to how often you need to clean your blinds and drapes, a general rule of thumb is that you should dust weekly, or whenever you dust the rest of your house, and wash at least annually. It can definitely be a pain in the neck to pull down all the blinds and drapes in your home for a deep cleaning, but once a year should suffice to make them look brand new again. In the meantime you can attack blinds with a sponge every couple of months.
Image via: Two Story Cottage
Consider professional cleaning and care.
There will be instances where you need professional help to get your blinds and drapes looking good as new. If your drapes are a little worse for the wear, take them to your local dry cleaner for spot removal and minor repairs. As for blinds, the blind shop where you bought them should be able to replace broken slats, rethread snapped lines, and correct chipped paint or enamel.
Inspect for damage.
It’s not a bad idea to give your blinds and drapes a thorough check-up every now and then, like when you perform your annual deep cleaning. Since you already have them pulled down, this is an ideal time have any necessary repairs done. Of course, you may also find that it’s simply not worth the time or money to have your items refurbished, in which case it could be time to update your décor and spring for the most popular trends in LA or NYC blinds
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