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How to Clean Window Blinds

Wash your window blinds with a minimum of mess.


  • Step 1: Get the dust off Begin by removing loose dirt and dust with either a soft cloth or a vacuum with a brush-head attachment. Clean with the slats tilted upward first, then downward.
  • TIP: Regular fabric-softener sheets absorb dust just as well as cloths made specifically for that purpose.
  • Step 2: Remove from the window If your blinds are plastic, vinyl, or aluminum -- not wood -- remove them from the window for washing.
  • TIP: Wood blinds should never get wet; just dust them regularly. Only use a wood cleaner if the manufacturer says it’s safe.
  • Step 3: Take it outside If you have a yard, take the blinds outside. If you don’t, put them in the bathtub.
  • Step 4: Wash them Wash each slat with a sponge or brush. Don’t forget to wash the cords!
  • TIP: If you’re outdoors, use a water-filled bucket containing a half cup of ammonia. If you’re using your tub, a mild detergent works best. Never use hot water on plastic blinds; it could cause them to warp.
  • Step 5: Rinse thoroughly Rinse the blinds thoroughly, then hang them on a clothesline or shower rod.
  • Step 6: Wipe them down When they’re completely dry, wipe the blinds with a fabric-softener sheet. It will help prevent dust from clinging to them, so they’ll stay cleaner longer.
  • FACT: Thirty-one percent of homeowners say that cleaning window treatments is their least favorite cleaning job, according to a survey.

You Will Need

  • A dust cloth or a vacuum with a brush-head attachment
  • Towels or a drop cloth
  • A sponge or cleaning brush
  • All-purpose cleaner or ammonia
  • Fabric-softener sheets

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