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 décor. 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.
Washing the Blinds
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:
- Remove the blinds from the roller if possible and carefully lay them flat on the floor. If you cannot remove them from the roller, it would be best to spot clean them as washing could loosen the glue that is holding the blind onto the roller; use the section below for spot cleaning instead.
- If the blinds are especially dirty, it will be best to begin with a thorough vacuuming to remove the surface dirt.
- Use the brush attachment on the vacuum to gently brush over the surface and vacuum away any loose dirt, dead bugs, etc.
- Next, fill the bathtub about half full of warm water. (If your blinds are too large for the bathtub, see the additional tips section.)
- 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.
- Next, carefully lay the blinds in the tub. If the blinds are long, it is okay to loosely layer them in an accordion fashion.
- Allow them to soak in the soapy water for a couple of hours.
- 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.
- For tough stains, scrub them gently with an old toothbrush.
- Drain the sudsy water from the tub.
- 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.
- If a partner is available to assist, the blinds can be held up and rinsed with a shower sprayer for quicker soap removal.
- Lay the blinds over a drying rack, shower rod, or outside on a clothesline until they are completely dried. It can help to point a fan on the blinds if indoors to speed drying time and prevent water stains.
- Attach them back onto the roller and reinstall them over the window.
Spot Cleaning the Blinds
You Will Need:
- A vacuum
- Post-It notes
- White foam shaving cream or upholstery foam
- A scrub brush
- Two cloths
- A fan or hair dryer
Steps to Clean the Blinds:
- If the material is glued onto the roller then the blinds must be cleaned while hanging. Use these tips to keep them looking great.
- Inspect the blinds for any stains or dirt spots. You can mark the spots with a Post-It note as you inspect.
- If the blinds are dusty or generally dirty, begin by vacuuming them with the upholstery brush attachment. Always brush with the grain of the blinds if they have one (usually side-to-side).
- Clean the stains or dirt spots with some white foam shaving cream or with an upholstery foam cleaner by applying the foam on the dirty spot and scrubbing it gently with a soft scrub brush like an old toothbrush or nail brush. Wipe off any excess foam, then blot with a damp cloth to rinse. The blotting is not strictly necessary, however, when there is a residue from a cleaner that remains on a surface it will often attract dirt, quickly leading to stains once again.
- If the blinds are dirty all over, you can use the foam all over them. Use a larger brush to save time, such as an old soft-bristled dish brush. Work in small sections, scrubbing the foam in, wiping off the foam with a cloth, then blotting the area with a damp cloth to rinse. Again, the blotting is not strictly necessary, but will help to keep the blinds clean for longer.
- Open the windows and/or point a fan on the area to speed drying time, which will help to prevent water stains. Drying the blinds with a hair dryer on cool air can also help.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- For large roller blinds that are too big to soak in a bathtub, you can either use a rectangular kiddie pool or create a makeshift tub by laying a tarp flat on the ground, standing 2x4s of wood on their sides along each edge and wrapping the tarp up and around each piece of wood to hold the water in.
- 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.
- If you do end up with water stains, they can be removed by wiping a damp cloth over the blind (work in small sections), and then drying the area with a hair dryer on cool air. The cloth should be only slightly damp, not dripping, so be sure to wring it out well.
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.
You don’t agree as I have just cleaned an insect-dirty blind and most of the marks have come off. ???? Much cheaper than buying new ones, especially if one is on a budget with really long windows!
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.
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.
I just cleaned my three roller blinds, but I am having trouble putting the blinds back on rollers. Any suggestions?
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: Curtains-blinds.co.uk – Fitting Guidelines for Roller Blinds
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!
You can use double-sided sticky tape to put blinds back on rollers.
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?
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.
I need to know how to remove water marks off our dark grey roller blinds.
This is the article you need: How to Remove Water Stains from Fabric Blinds. Good luck!
I have a cream roller blind in my setting room. I have used warm water and washing up liquid; moved some of the stains, but the beasts are still there. What shall I do to remove them?
The best treatment method depends on what the stains are from. For a good general stain remover, try a pet enzyme digester like Nature’s Miracle or Kids ‘N’ Pets. They are available in the pet aisle of most supermarkets or at pet stores. Another option is to use a foaming carpet cleaner or some plain white shaving foam. Try the enzyme digester first though because it won’t work after one of the chemical cleaners has been used on the area. Also, be sure to test any cleaner on a small hidden area first to look for any adverse reaction. Good luck!
I have a black material blind with a white rubber backing to further protect against heat. I have chalky residue and it looks terrible. After doing some research, I washed with a mild solution of cleaning vinigar and rinsed well. The blind looks exactly the same. ???? Help.
It sounds like you were using vinegar in the hopes that the residue is limescale (mineral deposits from hard water). Unfortunately, those can be very difficult to remove. If you want to try again, scrubbing the blind may help. However, be very gentle so as not to damage the material. However, it’s possible that the either the chalky residue is being caused by the rubber backing or that it’s simply dust from the area, such as construction or drywall dust if any construction was done in the area over the last year or two. For that, it would be best to use detergent. The detergent is needed to lift the dust off of the blind so it can be washed away. Use the method in the article, including vacuuming the blind first to see if any of the resdiue can be removed that way. Good luck!