Window Blinds

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  • This laundry aid is also an effective disinfectant, but be careful.


  1. Traditional window blinds can be a pain to clean. You can minimize this hassle by vacuuming or dusting each side of the blinds regularly, turning the slats all the way, each way, to get at the dust on both sides. Use the dusting or upholstery brush attachment to vacuum; dusting is best accomplished with a microfiber, damp or treated cloth.

  2. If you have vinyl or metal blinds, sooner or later you’ll need to wash away the dinginess. It’s much easier to do this – and easier on the blinds – to take them down from the windows and wash them outside. The job should take 30 minutes or less per blind. Here’s how to do it:

      • Tack up a drop cloth or an old terry towel to a wall using a couple of 2 1/2-inch finish nails spaced slightly narrower than the top bar of the blind. Hang the bar on top of the nails, make sure the slats are completely flat, and extend the blind all the way down.
      • Put mild detergent in a bucket and fill with water to make a soapy solution. Properly diluted household cleaners, ammonia, dishwashing detergent, and even mild car-washing liquids, all will do the job well. Caution: Don't mix ammonia with bleach or anything that might contain it. The combination forms ammonium chloride vapor, which is toxic.
      • Wash one side of the blinds with a soft brush, then turn the blinds around and repeat. You’ll stay a lot dryer if you use a long handled brush.
      • Rinse each side completely using a garden hose. Once done, remove rinse water remaining in the blind by holding the top bar at an angle, so that much of the water drains off each slat.
      • Allow the blind to air-dry before re-installing it on the window.

    This method can also work with faux wood blinds, but check manufacturer recommendations before proceeding. Wooden and cloth-covered blinds should not be washed in this manner. Cloth-covered slats may be cleaned in place if necessary by wiping with a cloth moistened in a solution of upholstery or carpet cleaner and water. Dust and clean finished wooden blinds with the same methods used for wood furniture.

  3. If you have many sets of blinds, or otherwise don't want to tackle this job, professionals can do it for you. Contractors are available in many areas; look them up in the Yellow Pages under "Blind Repair & Cleaning."

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