How to Clean and Maintain Window Treatments

How to Clean and Maintain Window Treatments

Like other areas of your home, curtains, blinds, shades and shutters can collect dust and dirt. Regular window treatment upkeep can reduce allergens in your home while enhancing their appearance and longevity. While some window treatments might require a light dusting and vacuuming occasionally, sometimes spot cleaning or deeper cleanings are necessary to restore their original beauty.

How you clean your window treatments will depend on their material, construction and size. In this guide, you’ll learn tips for cleaning and maintaining your window treatments to ensure they look their best.

Table of Contents

Importance of Regularly Cleaning Your Window Treatments

Regularly cleaning your window treatments can keep dust and allergens at bay, prolong their life span and enhance their appearance. A few factors can dictate how often to clean your window treatments, including their material and design, as well as how quickly dust accumulates in your home. Generally, you should dust and vacuum your window treatments once a week and deep clean once or twice a year.

Benefits of regularly cleaning your window treatments include:

  • Enhanced indoor air quality: Blinds, curtains, shades and shutters can quickly collect dust, pet dander and other allergens that can trigger allergies and respiratory problems. Regular cleaning can reduce these particles, ensuring a healthier indoor environment. Minimizing allergens helps improve the quality of the air you and your family breathe.
  • Prolonged life span: Dust and dirt particles can settle on the surface of your window treatments and cause abrasions or scratches when opening and closing them. Over time, this can damage your window treatments and require costly replacements. Regular upkeep to remove these particles can preserve the life span of your window treatments.
  • Promotes better airflow: Dirty blinds can prevent air from properly circulating within a room. Grime and dust on your window treatments can create a barrier that prevents fresh air from entering and stale air from exiting. Keeping your blinds clean helps promote better airflow and ventilation, creating a more comfortable and refreshing atmosphere.
  • Retained aesthetic appeal: Regular cleaning and maintenance prevent dirt and grime from building up on your window treatments, ensuring they always look their best. Investing just a small amount of time in cleaning can maintain the visual appeal of your windows and create a more inviting space.

You can avoid a more labor-intensive task in the long run by keeping up with regular window treatment cleanings. Routine maintenance can prevent dirt and grime from building up and make cleaning faster and easier. Dedicating just a few minutes a week to spot-cleaning or dusting your window treatments can help you avoid needing more time-consuming cleaning sessions later.

Understanding Different Types of Window Treatments

Different types of window treatments require specific cleaning methods to avoid damage. For instance, wood blinds often require dusting with a soft cloth, while fabric blinds might require professional steam cleaning.

Here’s how to tell the difference between window treatments:

  • Blinds: While often compared to shades, blinds are hard window treatments, while shades are soft window treatments. Additionally, blinds can be pulled across a window to stack towards the sides, while shades are designed to operate on a continuous roll to cover a large window opening. Common types of blinds include wood, aluminum and vertical.
  • Drapes and curtains: Curtains are fabric panels typically cut to fit a window or drop a few inches below it. Drapes are also fabric panels but are usually made from thicker fabrics and cut to floor length or to puddle on the floor.
  • Shutters: Shutters come with a rod attached to the slats for rotation. Plantation shutters are a popular type, made from vinyl or genuine wood. They tend to be more durable than blinds due to their sturdy materials and improved climate control.
  • Shades: Unlike blinds, shades are often made of fabric and soft materials. They also tend to come in single pieces, as opposed to slats found in blinds or plantation shutters, making them some of the easiest window treatments to clean. Shades can be raised or lowered, but they cannot filter or angle light like blinds or shutters. Types of shades include roman, pleated and honeycomb.

Understanding the right cleaning techniques for your specific window treatments is crucial to ensure effective cleaning, prevent unintentional damage and ensure they look their best.

How to Clean Blinds

To clean pleated fabric blinds, an occasional light vacuum with a brush attachment is the best choice. Spot clean with a soft cloth or sponge, soapy water or all-purpose cleaner and use a clean, moistened cloth to rinse.

When it comes to cleaning aluminum or vinyl blinds, you can clean them with soap, water and a soft cloth. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Lay your blinds flat in a bathtub or flat outdoor surface.
  2. Add just enough water to cover them.
  3. Mix in two to three cups of white vinegar and a squirt of dishwashing soap.
  4. Let your blinds soak for five to 10 minutes on each side.
  5. Wipe both sides of the slats with a soft cloth.
  6. Use an old toothbrush to deep clean the cracks and crevices.
  7. Rinse your blinds with clean water.
  8. Hang the blinds outside, lay flat on the floor or place on a towel rack to dry.
  9. Wipe blinds dry with a soft cloth, such as an old T-shirt.

If you’d prefer not to submerse your blinds, you can use warm water, mild detergent and a sponge to clean them before blotting them dry. Just place towels or a tarp beneath the blinds to catch drips.

To clean wooden window blinds, use a soft cloth or vacuum with a brush attachment and wood cleaner or wood soap to remove stubborn dirt. Use a microfiber towel to keep the blinds damp instead of wet, and run it against each slat to ensure maximum cleanliness.

How to Clean Blinds

How to Clean Window Curtains and Drapes

Draperies can remain beautiful for years with proper care. When it comes to cleaning your curtains and drapes, it’s important to consider the style of the treatment and the type of fabric they’re made from. Some fabrics require minimal upkeep, while others may need professional cleanings, such as when cleaning linen drapes, silks or embroidered fabrics with multiple layers.

To clean drapes at home so they look good as new, follow these guidelines:

  • Dust or vacuum the front and back of the drapes, paying close attention to the top, where dust accumulates.
  • Check for damage and repair loose strings, loops or torn stitching.
  • Spot clean soiled areas by mixing a teaspoon of mild laundry detergent with warm water and dabbing the spot. Rinse with clean water and blot.
  • If the curtain fabric is washable, follow manufacturer care instructions or use cool water, gentle cycle and hang dry.

Avoid stronger detergents or spot removers, as these can fade the color of your curtains and weaken fibers. Also, remember that dry cleaning can cause drapery treatments to shrink, making regular and careful vacuums sufficient. If discoloration remains after spot cleaning, you might see professionals or opt for a reputable blind and drapery cleaner.

How to Clean Window Curtains and Drapes

How to Clean Shades

When cleaning shades, you’ll want to consider the exact type you have before starting. Common window shades and cleaning instructions include:

  • Pleated: To clean pleated shades, remove them from the window, open and lay them on a clean, flat surface. Gently vacuum both sides following the pleats. Use a foam fabric or upholstery cleaner to remove fingerprints or soiled areas. Spray and then gently rub the area with a clean, damp sponge, moving parallel to the pleats until the stains are removed. Avoid stretching or wrinkling the fabric, and remove excess water by blotting with a dry cloth. Rehang the shade when fully dry.
  • Roman: To clean Roman shades, dust or vacuum to remove dirt. If they are washable, remove all dowels from flat shades and leave strings attached. Wash according to instructions and hang dry. For silk, linen, wool or fiberglass-blend Roman shades, dry clean only when they are soiled.
  • Fabric: To clean fabric shades, dust or vacuum with an upholstery attachment. To spot clean, mix two cups of lukewarm water with a few drops of dish detergent. Dip a microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution, wring it out and gently dab the stain. For stains that are difficult to remove, dip the damp cloth in dry baking soda and gently rub the stain. To rinse, dip a clean microfiber cloth in plain water, wring until damp and wipe away the soapy residue. Leave the blinds fully extended and air dry.
  • Wooden and roller: For roller or woven wood shades, a regular dusting with a duster or lint-free soft cloth is all that’s needed. You can also vacuum with an upholstery or brush attachment from side to side, top to bottom. If soiled, gently wipe with a dampened cloth. Avoid using water or liquid cleaners to preserve the natural wood.
  • Honeycomb: To clean honeycomb window shades, use a slightly damp sponge and mild detergent with warm water and blot dry. It’s generally not recommended to dry clean or ultrasonic clean honeycomb shades. To remove dust, use a feather duster or vacuum with an upholstery attachment. To remove the dust inside the cells, use a blow dryer on the lowest, cool air setting to blow all particles out.

How to Clean Shutters

Cleaning plantation shutters requires a specific routine. You’ll want to determine whether your shutters are real or faux wood before proceeding. Like all other window treatments, regular dusting will keep shutters free of dust and dirt buildup. You can then follow these cleaning tips depending on the style and material of the shutter:

  • How to clean wooden shutters: When cleaning real wood plantation shutters, avoid getting them wet. Spray a small amount of furniture polish onto a clean, soft cloth and dust from top to bottom, going over the bottom and side of each slat while the shutter is still in the window. For a soiled wood product, use a mild detergent in a small amount of water and clean with a cotton cloth.
  • How to clean vinyl shutters: Cleaning vinyl shutters requires a few household products. Mix ⅓ cup of detergent, ⅔ cup of tri-sodium and 4 quarts of water. Then, using a soft bristle brush, gently scrub the shutters with your homemade cleaning solution — washing from the top to the bottom. Rinse the shutters thoroughly to avoid streaking or staining. Avoid cleaning vinyl shutters if they have been painted, as this can strip the paint.

Additional Tips for Long-Term Window Treatment Maintenance

In addition to regularly cleaning your window treatments, consider the following maintenance tips to enhance their longevity:

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your window treatments, as these can damage or discolor them. Use mild cleaning solutions and avoid abrasive materials when caring for your window treatments, whether you have shades, shutters, blinds or curtains. Reach out for professional help when you need deep cleaning or specialized treatments.

Protect Against Sunlight and Moisture

Excessive sunlight exposure can fade and damage your window treatments, impacting their longevity. To avoid this, use UV-protective films, shades or curtains to minimize sun damage. You might also rotate or rearrange your window treatments periodically to ensure even sunlight exposure. To protect your window treatments from condensation or humidity, turn on fans or open your blinds to circulate air so they can dry properly. You might also consider a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.

Handle With Care

Always treat your window treatments with care during daily use. Avoid yanking or pulling on cords, which can lead to breakage or fraying. Gently raise or lower blinds and shades to extend their life span. It’s also important to regularly inspect them for signs of wear or damage, such as loose strings, fading or broken slats. Promptly addressing damage can prevent further issues and extend the life span of your treatments.

Hire Professional Installation

When looking for new window treatments, always choose top-quality products and professional installation services. At Shutter & Shade Shoppe, we offer durable custom window treatments to meet your needs and style preferences. No matter your style, you’ll have a premier product that adds functionality and beauty to your home.

Our experienced team will handle everything from start to finish, including taking precise measurements, providing interior design recommendations and installing your window treatments quickly and cleanly. With professional installation, we ensure your coverings are properly placed and mounted using strong hardware built to last.

Schedule Your Free In-Home Consultation With Shutter & Shade Shoppe Today!

Routine cleanings are crucial to maintain the longevity and aesthetics of your window treatments. You can keep your window covers looking beautiful and functional for years through gentle handling and care. To upgrade your window treatments, turn to Shutter & Shade Shoppe for custom, high-quality window treatments and accessories to elevate your space.

Our experts will help you explore the ideal shutters, drapery and shade options for each room of your home. Choose from various designs to curate your space, and we will ensure professional and timely installation. When you’re ready to start, contact us to schedule your free in-home consultation today.

Schedule Your Free In-Home Consultation With Shutter & Shade Shoppe Today!

Scroll to Top