Green vertical blinds

How to Clean Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are low maintenance, easy to operate, and provide privacy or light when needed! Not to mention that they’re competitively priced and simple to repair!

So, with this in mind, it’s easy to see why so many people choose these blinds.

But there’s one tiny issue… How do you clean vertical blinds? You’ll be pleased to know that there are multiple ways you can wash vertical blinds.

You can actually clean them when they’re hanging up, in a washing machine, using a steam cleaner, and by hand.

Read on to find out how you clean vertical blinds and more below!


Things to Know Before Cleaning Vertical Blinds

Just before we dive in, here are a few things you should know before you start cleaning your blinds:

  • Always test your chosen cleaning solution out on a discreet patch of material before you clean an entire set of blinds.
  • Do a colourfastness test to make sure your blinds won’t lose their colour.
  • Use neutral-coloured cloths so you stop any dye from transferring onto the blinds.
  • Get someone to help you if you can’t reach the blinds properly.
  • Use soft tools and attachments when cleaning vertical blinds.
  • If you’re cleaning the blinds when they’re hanging up, don’t be rough because you will pull the blinds down, break the chain, and/or remove the headrail and track.
  • Take your time! There’s a lot of work involved with cleaning vertical blinds, so be patient and take regular breaks throughout this process.
  • Use mesh laundry bags or pillowcases when cleaning vertical blinds in a washer. This will stop the blinds from flying around all over the place and getting frayed in the process.
  • Remove your jewellery before you start.
  • Don’t use boiling water. 30°C or less is best.
  • Always use mild detergents to clean blinds.
  • Don’t tumble dry your vertical blinds because they will likely shrink! And there’s not really an easy way to rectify this issue.
  • If you need to speed up the drying process, dry your slats using a hair dryer that’s running on a very low heat. And always ensure you stand away from the blinds because you don’t want to scorch them.
  • Treat stains with a special stain remover and follow the instructions on the packaging. In some cases, when you treat stains on vertical blinds, you get left with a tiny faded patch where the mark used to be. Adhering to the advice on the pack should help to prevent this.

clean vertical blinds with cloth and vacuum


How to Clean Vertical Blinds Without Taking Them Down

If you’d rather not take your vertical blinds down to clean them, don’t worry about it, because you’re not alone on this one! Lots of people prefer to leave their blinds up and clean them when they’re in situ!

And there are certain perks to cleaning vertical blinds when they’re still hanging up too. These include:

  • You don’t have to deal with the hassle of removing and replacing the blinds.
  • You should be able to clean the blinds on your own.
  • There’s no need to worry about washing the blinds in water that’s too hot.
  • You don’t have to worry about shrinking or fraying the vertical blinds.

The steps below will navigate you through the entire cleaning process:

  1. Grab a microfibre cloth and start to wipe the dust off each slat. Don’t rush this process. 
  2. Start at one end of the blinds (left to right, for example) and wipe every slat from top to bottom. Make sure you dust both sides.
  3. During this process, shake out your microfibre cloth to remove the particles from it. Do this away from the blinds and outdoors, if possible.
  4. Grab your vacuum cleaner and pop the brush attachment onto the hose.
  5. Start hoovering each slat from top to bottom. Again, don’t be too hasty. Take your time, it may be worth unhooking the slats, if possible.
  6. Optional: Hold a hard object (like a small book) behind each slat as you hoover it because this will make the surface sturdier and easier to vacuum.
  7. Repeat for both sides of the slats.
  8. Pop some towels down on the windowsill underneath the vertical blinds and on the floor to catch any drips. Newspaper can be used, but be careful that the print doesn’t stain the sill or walls!
  9. In a bucket, pour a measure of gentle detergent (non-bio).
  10. Fill the rest of the bucket with warm water (not boiling!)
  11. Grab a second microfibre cloth and dip it in the water.
  12. Wring the cloth out. You want the cloth wet enough to remove the grime but not saturated so the blinds end up soaking wet!
  13. Pinch the cloth around the first slat and pull gently downwards to rub the cloth over the material and dislodge the grime. Work from the top to the bottom.
  14. Rinse your cloth in the bucket after you’ve cleaned a slat.
  15. Repeat for the rest of the slats.
  16. If the water gets too dirty, replace it with fresh water and a gentle detergent.
  17. Optional: Add some bicarbonate of soda to the bucket to help deal with tough stains and to neutralise bad smells.
  18. Allow the blinds to dry naturally.

Cleaning vertical blinds with a steam cleaner

If you have a steam cleaner at home, you can use this to clean your blinds instead of using the cloth and soapy water mentioned above.

If this is the route you plan on going down, make sure your steamer is set to a temperature below 30°C, hold the steamer away from the blinds, and don’t oversaturate them!

And as mentioned above, you must allow the blinds to dry naturally when you’re finished.

How to clean vertical blinds without taking them down


How to Clean Vertical Blinds in the Washing Machine

30 Celsius on washing machine display

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning vertical blinds in a washing machine:

  1. Check the care tag on your vertical blinds and make sure they can be machine washed – if the tag states that the blinds should be hand washed, skip this method and check out the hand washing method below.
  2. Take the blinds down and off the headrail.
  3. When the blinds are down, you can clean the headrail with a damp cloth, compressed air, or duster. Be gentle.
  4. Optional: You could hoover your blinds before they get washed – this will remove any dust from the surface.
  5. Remove the weights, hangers and chains from the blinds.
  6. Grab a few pillowcases/mesh laundry bags, and put a few rolled-up slats in each case/bag. This stops the blinds from getting damaged in the drum.
  7. Pop the blinds inside the washer’s drum.
  8. Choose a delicate setting.
  9. Reduce the spin on the machine.
  10. Make sure the water temperature on the washer is below 30°C.
  11. Add a non-bio detergent to the washer’s drawer.
  12. Don’t add fabric softener.
  13. Start the cycle.
  14. When the cycle ends, remove each slat and place each one on a flat surface to dry (a dining room table would be ideal, just remember to cover it in a neutral-coloured towel to protect it).
  15. When every single slat is dry, you can pop them back on the headrail.


How to Clean Vertical Blinds by Hand

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning vertical blinds by hand:

  1. Remove the blinds from the headrail.
  2. Clean the headrail with a damp cloth or duster at this point but be careful.
  3. Optional: Hoover your blinds before you wash them. This will remove any debris and dust from them and may speed up the cleaning process for you.
  4. Fill a bathtub or large bucket with warm water (below 30°C). This is to protect the weight at the bottom of the blind that is glued in place (won’t apply to all vertical blinds).
  5. Add a mild, non-bio detergent, like Persil’s Silk & Wool Washing Liquid, to the water.
  6. Swish the water around to mix the soap in.
  7. Pop one blind in the water at a time.
  8. Grab a microfibre cloth.
  9. Rub the entire slat clean with the cloth. Remember to clean both sides.
  10. Lay the slat on a flat surface to dry. Don’t tumble dry (causes shrinking), and don’t hang the slats up when they’re wet (they’ll go out of shape).
  11. Repeat Steps 7 to 10 for every slat.
  12. When every single slat is dry, you can replace each one onto the headrail.

Putting up vertical blinds


How to Clean Vertical Blinds with Mould on Them

Mould can be pretty obvious on vertical blinds, but it can be removed. All you need to do is apply a little lemon juice and water to the stained area, wait a few minutes, and then rinse the solution off with a damp cloth.

The blemish should lift right off. Alternatively, you could use white vinegar to remove the mould.

Continuously cleaning the dust and debris off the blinds, combined with leaving the slats in sunlight and allowing lots of fresh air to circulate them, will also limit this problem for you. 


How Often Do You Need to Clean Vertical Blinds?

Vertical blinds don’t need to be deep cleaned very often. A thorough clean should be done every few months to once a year.

You do, however, need to dust/hoover your blinds on a weekly or fortnightly basis at a minimum, as this will keep the dust and general grime away.

You can, of course, increase this frequency if your blinds are in a high-traffic area or there’s a smoker in the house.

In addition to the above, you should try to clean stains as soon as they appear so they don’t tarnish the blinds.

Regularly maintaining your blinds means they won’t need to be deep cleaned that often.

They will, in turn, stay fresher for longer in between washes! Plus, blinds that are maintained generally stick around for a very long time too.

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