How to Clean Window Treatments (They Really Need It)

How to Clean Window Treatments

The sun is pouring in your living room window. The day outside is stark and bright. As you stand there admiring the beauty, you notice dust–and lots of it–on the blinds, the sheers, and the curtains. You’re horrified; it looks as if no one has ever cleaned the window treatments before. You wonder how that much dust can exist in your otherwise clean house. Then you remember that you were supposed to start cleaning things this year that you kept forgetting to clean last year. But now you can get an article out of it…  [photo via flickr]

You’re not supposed to think about cleaning window treatments. It’s not a fun job, but keeping up with the window treatments isn’t that difficult, either.Implement some regular weekly dusting (with the occasional deep clean), and your window treatments can be showroom perfect all the time.

Cleaning Blinds

Most people think cleaning blinds is hard work. Mini-blinds, vertical blinds, wooden blinds, etc., can all be easily maintained by taking a vacuum hose to them once a week. With the soft brush attachment, vacuum the blinds to remove dust and dirt. For a more thorough cleaning on plastic or metal blinds, use an all-purpose cleaner and a cleaning cloth to gently wipe each slat. For wooden blinds, use a cleaner made specifically for wood surfaces and a soft cloth once a month and they will stay new looking for a long time.

Cleaning Drapes and Curtains

Many curtain panels are machine washable, which makes the job much easier. Simply take the curtains down, throw them in the washer, and re-hang while still wet. Never dry curtains because they will shrink and not fit your windows correctly again. If your drapes or curtains are dry-clean only, you can use a lint-roller or the vacuum to remove dust, hair and debris in between trips to the dry cleaner. You may even want to take them down every couple of months, take them outside and shake them out like you would a rug.

Cleaning Sheer Curtains

Sheer curtains are made of delicate fabric, but you can launder them at home without fear of destroying them. The key is to use the gentle cycle on the washing machine and the low heat setting on the dryer. If you’re concerned about tearing during washing, even on the gentle cycle, place the sheers in a mesh laundry bag before tossing into the washer. As soon as the dryer stops, remove the sheers and hang them immediately to prevent wrinkles.

Regularly cleaning the window treatments in your home makes a big difference in how bright the inside of your house is. Just as dirty windows can make a house seem dim, so can dirty window treatments. Keeping them dust-free will also improve the air quality in your home, which benefits everyone.