How to Clean Roller Blinds


Liliane asked: How do I clean a very dirty white roller blind? The blind is made of stiffened white cotton and has been up for a long time. Stains include general dust, dirt and squashed insects. Ewww!

Roller blinds offer simple, elegant window coverings that fit in with nearly every d├ęcor. Cleaning methods depend largely on the material that the roller blinds are made of. If the material can be submerged in water, then follow the simple cleaning procedures below. If they are made from a material that cannot become saturated with water, then spot cleaning will be the only safe cleaning option.

You Will Need:

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Bleach (optional)
  • Sponge or soft cloths
  • Old toothbrush
  • Vacuum with brush attachment
  • Drying rack or outside clothesline
  • Bath tub
  • Warm water
  • Friend to help (optional)

Steps to Clean the Blinds:

  1. If the blinds are especially dirty, it will be best to begin with a thorough vacuuming to remove the surface dirt.
  2. Remove the blinds from the roller and carefully lay them flat on the floor.
  3. Use the brush attachment on the vacuum to gently brush over the surface and vacuum away any loose dirt, dead bugs, etc.
  4. Next, fill the bathtub about half full of warm water.
  5. Add some laundry detergent to the water and mix together until a few suds begin to form on the surface. If the blinds are white, a small amount of bleach can be added to the water as well.
  6. Next, carefully lay the blinds in the tub. If the blinds are long, it is okay to loosely layer them in an accordion fashion.
  7. Allow them to soak in the soapy water for a couple of hours.
  8. Next, start at one end of the blinds and gently wipe them back and forth with a soft cloth or sponge. This will help remove any remaining dirt and/or stains.
  9. For tough stains, scrub them gently with an old toothbrush.
  10. Drain the sudsy water from the tub.
  11. Fill with clean water and rinse the blinds. Repeat until all of the soap is removed. If soap residue remains on the blinds, it will act as a magnet quickly collecting dirt and dust.
  12. If a partner is available to assist, the blinds can be held up and rinsed with a shower sprayer for quicker soap removal.
  13. Lay the blinds over a drying rack or outside on a clothesline until they are completely dried.
  14. Attach them back onto the roller and reinstall them over the window.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Color-safe bleach can be utilized for added cleaning power on colored blinds.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaners on the fabric as it may damage the material.
  • For paper blinds, spot clean with a slightly moist cloth and allow them to dry completely before reinstalling over the window.
  • Regular cleanings will help keep major dirt and stains from building up on roller blinds.


  1. Geoffrey says:

    Roller blinds can only be cleaned successfully before they get really dirty. Wipe with a damp cloth every time the window is cleaned.

    You have left it too late. Dead insects will stain the fabric, as will old dirt and grime. Any cleaning action you take will look patchy, you will make it look worse, and your time will have been wasted. Replacement is the only answer.

  2. Polti Vaporetto 1400 using water only very successfully cleaned my white cotton blind. Stubborn insect marks can be removed by rubbing with hydrogen peroxide on a damp sponge and then steamed. STEAMING ALSO REMOVES YELLOWING FROM UPHOLSTERED CREAM-COLORED EASY CHAIRS AND SOFAS. Beds and mattresses can be freshened. I have not yet used the window cleaning brush to spray clean my windows. Does anyone have tips on how best to use it? There is also a wallpaper stripper attachment.

  3. I have a six foot wide window in my sitting room. My daughter put her pink powder makeup on it, and I’m looking for tips on how to clean it. The blind is cream in color.

  4. I just cleaned my three roller blinds, but I am having trouble putting the blinds back on rollers. Any suggestions?

  5. Rodney,
    Lay the blinds flat on a table or other clean, flat surface, align the roller with the top of the blind and roll up the blinds. If the roller does not have enough adhesive left for the blinds to stick firmly, you can apply a strip of double-sided tape across the top of the blinds before setting the roller on the tape.

    Source: Design Sponge – Sewing 101: Roller Blinds
    Source: – Fitting Guidelines for Roller Blinds

  6. Good old fashioned bleach is the answer – every time!
    We’ve had spectacular results, even with really old blinds.
    When I say bleach, I mean BLEACH – CONCENTRATED! No water added, but wearing rubber gloves is a must.
    1. Get one of those pan-scrubs – the sort that has yellow foam on one side and green, harsher stuff on the other.
    2. Put some bleach, straight from the bottle, onto the green, harsh surface and apply to your blind. Do NOT use force! Use a gentle, circular motion and allow the bleach to work its magic.
    3. Hose or shower down the blind and repeat the other side and SEE the difference!
    If your blind is too weak to withstand the rigours of bleach, it probably wasn’t worth saving anyway!

  7. You can use double-sided sticky tape to put blinds back on rollers.

  8. Hi, I have a cream velvet roller blind and I cleaned with a sponge, just water. It came blackish. I only had 2 small stains. Any suggestions, please, how to remove it?

  9. Elaine,
    It could have something to do with the types of stains that you had. If they were alcohol stains or other sugar-based stains, then sponging them with water may not have fully removed the residue and what you are seeing now is the oxidized sugar. Velvet responds well to dry cleaning, so you can try a home dry cleaning kit (found in the laundry aisle of supermarkets). See the How to Clean Velvet article for more information.

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