The Best Ways to Clean Blinds

Blinds become dirty very quickly, and they aren't always easy to clean. Dust and other airborne dirt are attracted to areas of high energy in the home. Because blinds are placed over windows, where the energy transfer is the greatest, they become dust magnets in addition to window coverings. Many people choose to clean them in the bathtub, or even while they're still hanging in the window. However, these methods are laborious and time-consuming. When it comes to cleaning blinds, the easiest ways are always the best.

Window blinds

Light cleaning

Dust blinds regularly to maintain them and remove everyday dirt and dust. Jeff Bredenberg, author of "Clean it Fast, Clean it Right," recommends using a lamb's wool duster or a soft paintbrush to dust vertical or venetian blinds. Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment if a paintbrush or lamb's wool duster isn't available. Close the blinds completely and dust thoroughly, then turn the slats the opposite way and dust the other side.

Heavy cleaning

Wash blinds every two to three months, or anytime they become sticky or more than a regular dusting is needed. Take down all your blinds at once and wash them at the same time if possible. Open the blinds completely, and then pull the cord so they are drawn all the way to the top. Remove the blinds from the wall mounts and wrap the cords around them.

Take the blinds outside and find a hard, gently sloping surface. A concrete driveway or patio is best, but you may clean the blinds on grass if necessary. Place a cover over the area, such as an old blanket, carpet or canvas tarp, to prevent scratching of the blinds. Unwrap the cords and extend the blinds fully. Hold them up straight and adjust so that the slats are completely closed, and then lay the blinds on the cover.

Combine a gallon of warm water with ½ cup of automatic dishwasher detergent in a large bucket. Mix well, and then dip a soft-bristled brush into the solution. Gently scrub the blinds with the mixture for several seconds, or until all the dirt is removed. Turn the blinds over to reveal the other side of the slats, and clean with the brush and soapy water.

Hang the blinds from a clothesline or outside ladder once you're satisfied that they're thoroughly clean. Spray the blinds with a water hose to rinse, and then shake a few times to remove any excess water. Allow the blinds to dry completely before bringing them back indoors. Use a soft absorbent cloth to wipe them dry if you're pinched for time.

This method works very well when multiple blinds must be cleaned. If you were cleaning them in the bathtub, or cleaning slat-by-slat, it could take you all day to finish. Cleaning outdoors with soapy water is the best way, because you can clean numerous blinds with ease, and in much less time.