To most, drapes and shades are often a one-and-done kind of deal; you hang em’ up and then forget about them. But even if you can’t see it, window treatments collect a lot of dust and dirt, just like any other surface. When left months without cleaning, the build-up can become visible grime and can stir up some serious allergies!
If you’ve started your spring cleaning list and haven’t added your window coverings, put them on the list. Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Determine which type of window treatment you own, and learn how you can clean them with this guide because everyone should have a cleaner, healthier home.
Types of Window Treatments
Roman Shades: Roman Shades are easy to clean - just use a brush vacuum attachment or a duster for dusting off the surface. To spot clean, blot the affected area with a damp rag with mild soap or detergent. Whatever you do, don’t rub! Treat your shades like a newborn baby, because gentleness is key.
Cellular/Honeycomb: These shades consist of multiple layers of fabric, creating small pockets that leave room for debris to build up. To avoid that, a good method is to regularly use the brush attachment on your vacuum to avoid having your blinds experience discoloration.
Use the low, cool setting of a blow dryer to loosen up dust inside the cells. If there is a stain, simply blot a damp cloth at the spot. Make sure you are gentle with all of these methods as to retain the shape and design of the shades.
Solar: Solar shades are very durable and are often resistant to mold and moisture. You can use a damp cloth to wipe them down or a feather duster or brush attachment on a vacuum for a lighter clean.
Wood: Do not use water, as it can cause unwanted warping and discoloration of the wood. Do not use chemical cleaning solutions either, as they can cause further damage. All you need to do is wipe each slat with a soft duster or cloth, or use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum if you have one.
Faux Wood: Faux wood is more resistant to moisture than real wood, allowing you more options for cleaning. Make sure to never use an abrasive sponge, however, because it can damage the surface. Wipe the slats with a dry cloth, and then run over them again with a warm, damp cloth with a bit of detergent or soap.
Aluminum: Aluminum blinds are extremely durable, making them very easy to clean. If a dry rag doesn’t do the trick, try using warm water. If the blinds are really grimy, you can remove them and soak them in a warm, mildly soapy bathtub to loosen up any debris, making it easier to wipe down the slats. Be sure not to bend the slats, though, as it may leave a crease due to the state of the aluminum.
Maintaining your drapes is quite simple - use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum to suck up and remove dust and debris. If you don’t have the attachment, you can use a broom with soft, synthetic fibers and brush it all off. If you want to wash the fabric, identify what kind of material it is and wash them based on material type recommendations.