The Best Way To Clean All The Blinds In Your House

cleaning blinds

If there’s one chore that seems to be dreaded above all others, I’m pretty sure it would be cleaning the blinds. Whether they’re made of wood, faux wood, fabric, vinyl, or aluminum, most of us tend to procrastinate dusting them for far longer than we should!

Not only can it be a laborious and time-consuming task, but no one seems to be sure what best approach to cleaning blinds even is! So I decided to take it upon myself to put together a guide of easy and effective ways to clean window blinds of all shapes and sizes.

My hope is that maybe—just maybe—knowing the best way to tackle this chore will help us all loathe it a little bit less! ;-)

How To Clean Blinds The Easy Way

cleaning blinds

Faux-Wood Blinds

Faux-wood blinds are one of the most popular (if not the most popular) type of window covering in most homes. If your faux-wood blinds are just dusty, use your vacuum with the dust brush attachment to make short work of dusting them.

Simply close the blinds all the way, hold the bottom rail steady, and vacuum all the dust from the slats. (You may want to set the suction to the lightest setting in order to avoid damaging the slats.) Then flip the blinds the other way and vacuum that side too, and you’re done!

If you don’t have a dust brush attachment for your vacuum (or it’s too heavy lift for a sustained period of time), a handheld duster can also be effective for taking care of dusty blinds.

cleaning blinds

If your faux-wood blinds are in or near your kitchen, however, the slats are likely to be caked in a combination of dust and grease. These will require a more thorough cleaning, but it’s nothing that some good old white vinegar can’t handle!

Fill a small bowl equal parts vinegar and water, then pull a clean sock over your hand and dip it into the diluted vinegar solution. Closer your blinds and wipe them with the damp sock while holding the bottom rail, then turn them the other way and wipe the other side.

The vinegar will help cut through the greasy dust, and once you’re finished with them, they’ll be looking as clean as the day they were installed!

cleaning blinds

Genuine Wood Blinds

Most blinds made from real wood are treated with a special finish to repel dirt and stains, which has the added benefit of making them easy to dust. Spray a good quality furniture polish onto a soft cloth or clean sock and use it to wipe down each slat on both sides (and be sure to avoid touching the cords while you do it.)

For heavy or grimy dust, you can use plain water to help clean your wood blinds. Just be careful not to saturate the wood, and wipe away any excess water immediately to prevent spotting, discoloration, or warping.

cleaning blinds

Fabric Blinds (Cellular, Pleated, Roman, etc.)

For fabric shades, your vacuum makes an ideal tool for dusting. To clean and dust fabric shades and window coverings, use the dust brush attachment on a low setting.

Another tool that can help with dusting fabric blinds, especially cellular shades, is your hair dryer. Set it to “cool,” then use it to blow away any dirt or dust trapped within the creases or inside the honeycomb openings on the sides. (And if any bugs are lurking in the openings, use your hair dryer to blow them out.)

Treat stains or grime on fabric blinds with a microfiber cloth dampened with warm, soapy water. Blot the area until it’s clean, being careful not to oversaturate the fabric, then allow the shades to dry completely before raising them again. (If they’re extremely soiled, you may need the help of a professional cleaning service that specializes in window coverings.)

cleaning blinds

Vinyl/Aluminum Mini Blinds

There are a couple of different ways to clean vinyl or aluminum mini blinds, and they both work equally well. The first way is to use the same method I described for faux-wood blinds above (either vacuuming them with a dust brush attachment or wiping them down with diluted vinegar).

If you have a lot of aluminum blinds in your home, this option may be a bit time-consuming, especially if there is greasy grime in addition to the dust. In that case, you may prefer to use the second option!

The second way to clean mini blinds is to take each set down one at a time and soak it in your bathtub along with a small amount of Dawn dish soap. Use a soft brush, sponge, or soft mop to go over both sides of the slats, then drain the dirty water and refill the tub with clean water to rinse. (Make sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving spots behind.)

After rinsing, lay the blinds on top of a few bath towels to soak up some of the remaining water, then hang the blinds back up in the window to allow them to air dry the rest of the way. Once your aluminum blinds are clean, consider treating them with a dusting spray to help keep dust at bay down the line.

(If you’re cleaning your mini blinds on a nice, sunny day, you could lay them out on the grass, sprinkle with some dish soak, then spray them down with your garden hose. After you’ve rinsed them clean, let them dry on the grass, flipping them after a while so they dry on both sides.)

cleaning blinds

Vertical Blinds

The best way to dust vertical blinds is much the same as the methods outlined above depending on whether they are made of fabric or vinyl. You could also use a lint roller on your vertical blinds, which will pick up any dust and cobwebs along the way.

Bonus Tips For Dusting Blinds

  • DIY Dusting Tool – Use rubber bands to attach a couple of microfiber cloths to the ends of a pair of tongs. This handy DIY duster tool can dust both the top and bottom of each slat at once and cut your dusting time in half!
  • Keep Track With A Clothespin – Keep a clothespin in your pocket while dusting your blinds. If you get interrupted or distracted, you can attach it to the last slat you cleaned so you can start right where you left off.
  • Protect Your Blinds – When cleaning your windows, spray the cleaner onto a cloth rather than directly onto the glass to eliminate the potential of damaging your blinds. (And don’t spray air fresheners, hairsprays, or anything sticky near your blinds either!)
  • Make The Results Last – After dusting your blinds, with them down with a DIY dusting cloth (a cloth dipped into 1 cup of hot water + 2 tablespoons of lemon oil) or a fabric softener sheet. This extra step will help repel dust and keep your blinds clean longer.
  • Brush Pets Often – Pets who are brushed frequently shed less hair, which means there’s less pet hair around to get kicked up into the air so it can cling to your blinds.
  • Change HVAC Filters – The filters in your heating and cooling system help trap dust in the air, and they need to be replaced regularly to maintain good air quality and keep dust levels low.
  • Install Curtains – Consider adding curtains around your windows, because even a sheer curtain can help minimize dust from settling on your blinds!
  • Keep Ceiling Fans Clean – The blades of your ceiling fans can be dust-collecting magnets that fling dust bunnies across the room, but this method makes it easy to clean them.

Do you have any tips or tricks for cleaning blinds (or keeping them clean)?