Blinds add a lot to a house— they provide visual style, help keep your home private when necessary, and control the light entering your home. But when it comes to regular cleaning, our blinds usually get the short end of the stick. Even in homes where floors get regular vacuuming and the rooms are always tidy, blinds can often go weeks or even months or more without cleaning.
In some cases, it may be because many people simply don’t know how to clean wood blinds. Maybe some assume that it’s a difficult, complex process. But the truth is that the process for how to clean wood blinds is quite simple— and we’re here to help. Here’s our complete guide for how to clean wood blinds, along with answers to some of the most common questions we receive.
Determine if Your Blinds are Real or Faux Wood
Some blinds are made from real wood, while others are made from faux wood. Here are a few tips to help you tell the difference:
- Look at the grain: Real wood has a natural grain pattern that is unique to each piece of lumber. Faux wood, on the other hand, typically has a more uniform grain pattern that is less realistic.
- Check the weight: Faux wood blinds tend to be heavier than their real counterparts. This is because they are made from denser lumber.
- Inspect the edges: The edges of real wood blinds will often be left unpainted, leaving the color of the real wood exposed. Meanwhile, the edges of faux wood blinds tend to be the same color as the surface. There are exceptions to this rule, so it should not be used as the sole determining factor, but rather in conjunction with the other tips to better determine if your blinds are made from real or faux wood.
What Supplies Do You Need to Get Started?
Here are the supplies you need to clean wood blinds:
- A soft cloth or brush: This will be used to dust the blinds and remove any debris.
- A vacuum with a soft brush attachment: This will help to remove any dust that is clinging to the blinds.
- A mild soap: This will be used to clean the blinds if they are particularly dirty. Be sure to use a gentle soap that won’t damage the finish on the blinds.
- Distilled water: You may need this to dilute the soap if you are using a stronger soap or detergent.
Cleaning Your Wooden Blinds Step-by-Step
Step 1: Preparation
Remove any furniture or other items from below the windows. Not only will this help give you easy access to the windows, it will keep soap and water from dripping down onto them and potentially damaging them.
Next, gather the supplies listed in the previous section.
Finally, bring down your blinds all the way, then open the slats so you can access all of the blinds. Remove the valance, if one is attached.
Step 2: Vacuum
Start with a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove dust, debris, and other particles from the blinds. If your blinds are in relatively clean condition, you may be able to simply perform this step and you’ll be good to go. If your blinds are in serious need of cleaning, go to step 3.
Step 3: Cleaning Solution
Your cleaning solution will consist of the soap and distilled water mixed together according to the instructions found on whichever brand and type of detergent/soap you choose. Remember that failing to dilute the soap may result in damage to your blinds.
Step 4: Dry Thoroughly
This is a step that can’t be ignored. Wood blinds that are left wet can warp, become damaged, and experience discoloration. You should dry your blinds as soon as you finish cleaning them— and that means each window at a time, rather than cleaning all the blinds in your home and only then drying them.
Cleaning SmartPrivacy® Normandy® Wood Blinds with Osmo Finish
If you’ve installed a set of SmartPrivacy® Normandy® wood blinds from Norman® with an OSMO finish, you’ll want to take some special steps in order to maintain your unique supplemental finish.
First, dry clean your blinds with a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove the initial layer of dust or particles. Then, wipe down your blinds using a cloth and a cleaning solution of 1 cap of Osmo Wash & Care and 1 liter of water. If your cloth starts to collect dirt, rinse it out under warm water and dip it back into the cleaning solution to resume. Let your wood blinds air dry for at least an hour before handling them again.
Alternatively, you can also use Osmo Liquid Wax Cleaner. Make sure your blinds are dry and any dust or particles have been removed with a vacuum with a brush attachment. Then, apply the Osmo Liquid Wax Cleaner thinly to your blinds. You will want to make sure to thoroughly spread out the cleaner as much as possible and avoid any excess build up. Let your wood blinds air dry for at least an hour before handling them again.
How Often Should You Clean Wood Blinds?
How often you need to clean your wood blinds depends on a few factors, such as how much dust and dirt accumulate in your home and how frequently the blinds are used. In general, however, it is best to clean wood blinds at least once a month.
How to Clean Wood Blinds That Have Grime & Grease
Even though it may be tempting to bust out harsh chemical cleaners when you notice your blinds are caked with grime or grease, these types of cleaners should be avoided. While you might need to have a bit of patience and take a few passes at cleaning your blinds if they’re heavily soiled, you should still stick with the mild detergent solution mentioned above if you want to avoid permanently damaging your blinds.
How to Keep Your Wood Blinds Clean
The best way to clean blinds is to keep them from becoming dirty in the first place. The average person tends to vacuum their floors much more frequently than their blinds. With that in mind, consider taking the vacuum with a brush attachment to a few of your blinds every time you vacuum the floor. Switch up the window you vacuum each time, and over time you’ll help keep the windows in your home clean without the need for a time-consuming deep clean.
What is the fastest way to clean wood blinds?
If you’re looking for a quick clean, your best bet is a slightly damp cloth used to wipe down the slats on both sides.
Should you take wooden blinds down to clean them?
It’s usually not necessary to remove blinds from their installed place in order to clean them. Their hanging position is actually ideal for accessing both sides of the slats when fully extended, so in general you’re better off leaving them where they are.
Can you clean wooden blinds with vinegar?
You might have heard about cleaning blinds with vinegar. However, this is only effective when cleaning faux blinds made from PVC. It is not recommended for cleaning wood blinds, as it can cause damage to them.
Can you steam clean wooden blinds?
No, steam cleaners should not be used to clean wooden blinds. They can cause damage, warping, and other issues.
Ready to upgrade your blinds entirely? Browse our blinds today and find out why Norman® is one of the most trusted window treatment brands in the nation.