Mini-blinds may be a nice, affordable window treatment, but they sure can be a pain to maintain since each slat has to be attended to one by one.
There’s no way around that but here are a few quick ideas to help make the job easier…
Before getting started:
- First remove loose surface dirt and dust by either vacuuming the slats, or swiping them with a foam paint brush, sweeping with a paint brush or feather duster. More ideas: try a pastry brush, shaving brush or a makeup brush.
- With the slats turned down and at their full length, clean with desired method from the top down then reverse the slats and wipe again.
Wipe each piece (from side to side) with a soapy wet sponge (excess liquid squeezed out), or try one of these methods to make the job a little easier:
- Wrap a piece of cotton or flannel around a wooden ruler. Spray with cleaner then run the ruler back and forth across each slat.
- Put a cotton sock over one hand, apply some cleaner then swipe across as noted above. Dry with another sock.
- Wearing a soft cotton or knit glove will also work (mentioned previously on this page).
If they are really dirty or greasy, a good soak can do the trick:
- Lay a towel on the bottom of the bathtub and fill with warm water, add a good squirt of liquid dish detergent. Remove blinds then lay them on top of the towel, the water level should be deep enough to cover them completely.
- Let them soak for about 30 minutes then holding them by the top frame, plunge them up and down in the water. Wipe each slat with a sponge or scrub gently with a soft nylon bristle brush. A toothbrush will get into small nooks easily. If the grime doesn’t come off, soak longer and try again. Empty the tub then rinse well (you can use the shower head if you have one). Gently dry with a soft towel.
- Another option: Instead of soaking in the tub, you can lay them out on the grass on a hot sunny day, squirt a bit of soap on them then spray with a garden hose. Flip them over and spray again. Scrub with a soft nylon bristle brush if needed. Rinse. To dry: hang them on a clothesline or let them dry on the grass (flip them over so they dry on both sides).
All you need is a quick squirt of liquid dish detergent in a bucket of warm water or spray with a general household cleaner. If you need more grime-busting power, here are a couple things you can try:
- Recipe: 1 cup ammonia & 1 cup warm water.
- Add 1 TBS of automatic dishwasher detergent to a pail of warm, soapy water (can also add a scoop to the bathtub water if using that method).
Tips: Sweep or vacuum them regularly and you’ll only need to wash them once or twice a year. After washing, you can treat them with dusting cloths (mix 1 cup hot water and 2 TBS lemon oil), this will help repel dust.
Note: The soaking or spraying methods should work for vinyl, aluminum and plastic varieties but check manufacturer’s information first just to make sure. Avoid using the ammonia recipe if slats are aluminum.