Quick Tips & Tricks For Washing Mini-Blinds

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.

DustingThere’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).

Grime Busters:

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.

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What Readers Are Saying: 14 Comments
  1. Becky Green says:

    I’ve found using a degreaseing cleaner is EXCELLENT in cleaning mini-blinds, like Simple Green or Home Remedy Plus All-Purpose Cleaner plus Degreaser. Both can be found at Lowes!

  2. Lynn says:

    My kitchen blinds clean beautifully with degreaser.

  3. Karen says:

    Ive never been excited about cleaning my blinds, and I put it off til I just can’t anymore.I love the glove idea and I am going to get right on it…thanks for these tips…Love ’em!

  4. Dixie says:

    Do not soak, wood or fabric blinds, it will ruin them.

  5. judy says:

    Wonder if shampoo would not be good. It is a degreaser

  6. Janie Roberts says:

    If you have a whirlpool tub, follow the directions for the tub soak, then turn on the jets for a few minutes…no scrubbing needed!!

  7. Tara says:

    I would be very careful about mixing automatic dishwashing powder with Ammonia as the powder contains bleach and can make a toxic gas when mixed.
    Mixing Ammonia with dishwashing liquid like dawn is fine.

    Never mix Ammonia with Chlorine Bleach or any cleaner like comet, clorox cleaner, with Ammonia or Windex.

  8. pati says:

    If you are cleaning your blinds outside, try cleaning them with soapy water using a broom. Definitely a back saver

  9. Bonnie says:

    Dawn Dishsoap ( blue one ) works great in the tub to soak them .. Great degreaser..

  10. Ramona says:

    Use Fantastic.

  11. Ivana gerhard says:

    Or fill your bathtub with soapy water and dip them up & down

  12. Sherry says:

    Mean Green from Dollar General.
    degreaser & no scrubbing
    use n water with cloth or add to tub water

  13. Rita says:

    I put them over the fence, wet them with water hose, spray 409 on both sides and let them hang for about 10 minutes. Spray them down with water hose, let drip dry and put back up! I don’t like cleaning them either, but do it once a year. You can soak them in bathtub with a little bleach and dawn. Brush lightley with broom on both sides, rinse and hang!

  14. Marilyn says:

    Years ago I live in a rented duplex with the dirtiest, plastic blinds known to man (or woman). I took them down to the local do-it-yourself car wash. I laid them down all stretched out over an old sheet so they wouldn’t get scratched and then blasted away! The blinds and the cords came out amazing!! I did have to flip them over to get them really clean. They went from cigarette yellow to bright white!!


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