How to Clean Venetian Blinds

Venetian blinds can be dust collectors and depending on their location, can be a magnet for dirt and grime. Regular maintenance and cleaning is important.

You Can Clean Them Outside

What you will need:

  • Large blankets or tarps (to lay your blinds on)
  • Bucket
  • Cleaning liquid (the type of cleaner you use should be dependent on the material your blinds are made of)
  • Hose
  • Soft scrub brush or sponge mop
  • Old towels

Instructions:

  1. Remove the blinds from the window, leaving the hardware in place. Assemblies for Venetian blinds vary, and you may need a screwdriver for this step. CAUTION: It is always recommended that you have a helper, especially if you need to use a step stool or ladder.
  2. Take the blinds (one at a time) outside and place on top of one of the blankets or tarps, making sure they are fully extended, slats closed.
  3. Mix cleaning liquid with water in the bucket (typically 1 part cleaner to 4 parts water for non-fabric blinds). TIP: Car wash liquid or vinyl cleaning products work best, especially if you have stuck-on dirt or grease, but liquid dish soap will work well also.
  4. Pour the bucket of soapy liquid over the blinds, being sure to wet all slats.
  5. Using the soft scrub brush or sponge mop, scrub the slats thoroughly.
  6. Turn the blinds over, and repeat procedure on the other side.
  7. Hose off all soapy residue. TIP: Hose off both sides thoroughly—if soap dries on the slats, it will attract excess dirt and grime.
  8. Mop up excess water from the blinds with the towels.
  9. Bring blinds indoors and lay flat (on towel) to dry completely before re-hanging.

Or You Can Clean Them Inside

 

What you will need:

  • Bathtub
  • Cleaning liquid (they type of cleaner you use should be dependent on the material your blinds are made of)
  • Soft scrub brush
  • Old towels

Instructions:

    1. Fill tub with warm soapy water.
    2. Remove the blinds from the window, leaving the hardware intact. Assemblies for Venetian blinds vary, and you may need a screwdriver for this step. CAUTION: It is always recommended that you have a helper, especially if you need to use a step stool or ladder to reach the top of the blinds for removal.

Take the blinds (one at a time) and place in the tub, fully extended, slats closed. TIP: Depending on the size of your blinds, it may be necessary to fold them over.

  • Let soak for 15 minutes.
  • Using the soft scrub brush, scrub each slat to remove dirt and grime.
  • Flip the blinds, and scrub again.
  • Drain the dirty water.
  • Turn on the shower and rinse the blinds (both sides). TIP: A hand-held shower nozzle is quite handy for this step.
  • Place the blinds on their side (leaning against the edge of the tub) and let the water drain.
  • After about 20 minutes, place on the opposite side to avoid pooling of excess water in the crevices, let air dry for another 20 minutes. TIP: If you’re short on time, use a hair dryer set at its lowest temperature to help speed up the drying process. strong>CAUTION:Do not hold the hair dryer too close to the slats, or use it on a high temperature, or you may damage the slats.
  • Towel off any remaining water, and re-hang.

 

Maintenance Cleanings

Regular maintenance will cut down on the frequency of deep cleaning.

  1. Extend your blinds all the way.
  2. Tilt the slats up (or to one side if they are vertical) and dust lightly with a cloth or duster.
  3. Tilt the slats down (or to the opposite side if they are vertical) and dust the other side lightly with a cloth or duster.
  4. As an alternative, try using a soft cloth glove. Hold each slat between your thumb and forefinger; gently run them along each slat. To avoid damage, don’t exert too much pressure or crimp the slats.
  5. A vacuum cleaner may also be used. Place the soft brush attachment on the hose and run very lightly over the slats first in their up position then in their down position. You should first test a small area of the blinds to make sure the suction is not too great. Some vacuums may damage the slats.
  6. For individual stains on any given slat, spray with window cleaner, wait 1 to 2 minutes, and wipe with a soft cloth. If your blinds are cloth, test this on a hidden area first.

A Cleaning Trick(et)

To save time and energy, try using a “tricket.” A tricket is a tool that looks like a multi-pronged squeegee. One type has sponges on both sides, one type has squeegees on both sides, and they clean both sides of the slats without taking the blinds down. They are not perfect but they can save you a lot of hassle and can be purchased at most janitorial supply stores.

Some carpet/upholstery cleaning services will clean your Venetian blinds for a fee. Although pricey, it may be an option, depending on your circumstances.

Additional Tips

Once you’re blinds are cleaned rub each slat with a dryer sheet. This will help cut down on the amount of dust and grime that accumulates.

It is always best to use cleaning products and detergents that are natural and gentle to the environment. With today’s increased awareness such products are easier to find..

 

Comments

  1. Rosalie says:

    How to clean metal venetian blinds. Use rubber gloves. Hang the top of the blind outside over a clothesline when there is at least a few hours of sunlight remaining. Use an old washcloth and scrub bucket. Fill half the bucket with hot water and add approx. 1/8th cup of Spic N Span. Mix the contents. Starting at the top of the blind, generously wipe the blind on one side then the other until clean. Rinse with a garden hose and allow it to air dry. This process makes the blind stay cleaner than just dusting it.

  2. Kathy says:

    I hang my blinds on nails on the side of the shed and use a car wash brush and Dawn dish soap and water. Then, let them dry in the air and rehang. Works well.

  3. Artemisia says:

    Couldn’t get the blind down, so I lined the sill with newsprint, made a spray solution of cleaning liquid and water and sprayed, wiped and rinsed with a sponge. 90% successful. Good enough.

  4. Julie says:

    I bought a plastic kiddie pool and soaked the blinds, then scrubbed them with a brush, hung them up on the clothesline and rinsed with a garden hose.

  5. Phyllis says:

    Is there anyway I can remove smoke stains from my blinds? My blinds are the 2″ white, wood-like blinds.

  6. Beverlee says:

    I made extra brackets on a board the same sizes as my blinds and hung them outside, sprayed with cleaning solution made with Woolite (which is gentle yet effective), brushed lightly on both sides, rinsed thoroughly and wiped off excess water when nearly dry. After drying, I wiped with fabric softener sheets, which helps keep them cleaner longer.

  7. Tony says:

    Venetian blinds in a kitchen area collect grease and dust. The dust sticks to the grease, and the grease is very hard to remove with all the usual stuff. So, we tried an aerosol pack of car engine de-greaser.

    You can leave the blinds in the window. Just close them with the top-side towards you and spray all over with de-greaser. Leave it on for 5–10 minutes, and wash over with warm water, using a dish brush or similar.

  8. Mark says:

    Hey ladies, I’m a man and there’s no way I’m scrubbing anything. Here’s the solution. Put three inches of hot water in the tub. Add one scoop of OxyClean. Let soak for two minutes. Lift up and down five times. You will be amazed. Rinse with shower head. You are done.

  9. Susan says:

    Mark, thanks for OxiCclean tip. AWESOME results with no scrubbing. Only 32 more blinds to go (I’m not kidding).

  10. Maria says:

    Or (for inside): Soak them in a Dawn dish soap bath, then hang them on three plastic S hooks on the shower curtain rod. Hold them inside the tub to brush/scrub/rinse as needed, then do the other side. Blow dry until most of the moisture’s off and hang back up, leaving the cords to air-dry.

  11. Deb says:

    Mark, THANK YOU! So simple and easy; it’s ingenious!

  12. Warren says:

    The easy way to clean metal venetion blinds.
    1. Remove from window and take outside; lay down on pavement (make sure blind is in closed position).
    2.Spray with Windex outdoor cleaner and leave for 5-10 minutes. (Use Coles multipurpose cleaner for grease build up and stubborn stains.)
    3. Using a soft broom, scrub gently all over to remove dirt and grime.
    4. Hose off gently with fresh water.
    5. Hang out to dry (a clothes line or fence will do for most sizes.)
    6. When dry, take them inside and rehang.

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