To keep your shutters and blinds looking as fresh and clean as the day you first installed them takes a bit of light maintenance. Unfortunately, many people struggle finding the best and most efficient way of cleaning their shutters and blinds, i.e. the method that will give them the best return without having to apply maximum effort!
Your least favourite household chore doesn’t have to be such a chore though, with the help of these handy tips:
Internal PVC Shutters are a breeze to clean and maintain. Extruded PVC is incredibly durable and is guaranteed to never crack, warp or change colour, and no maintenance is required at all.
Over time your shutters will collect dust. As shutters don’t blow around in the breeze or move when handled, they can be simply wiped down like you would a piece of furniture.
A micro fibre ‘anti static’ cloth or glove is ideal. Otherwise a damp cloth to collect the dust with a quick wipe. Simple and easy.
For real wood shutters, painted or stained, should be kept dry at all times. If wet from a window left open. Dry off with a towel as soon as possible. Continued exposure to water or steam can damage or alter the timber. Do NOT use any kind of water or soap. Dust with a dry micro fibre cloth. Some furniture polishes are suitable for stained timber, or lacquered cedar shutters.
Because your outdoor shutters are subjected to harsher grime, dust, and debris, you can stand to be a little bit more ‘robust’ in your approach.
With the shutters closed, use a broom to brush away as much dirt as possible. Using a garden hose, rinse your outdoor shutters thoroughly. Make a mix of detergent and warm water in a bucket, and then use a mop to gently wipe away any remaining dirt from your shutters.
Finally, get out your hose again to wash away the remaining soapy water, so it doesn’t leave residue on your shutters.
To prevent the build up of dust, run your vacuum cleaner over your venetian blinds once a week, using the soft brush attachment and your vacuum on the lowest setting.
Simply close the blind, hold the bottom slats for support, and gently run the vacuum nozzle across each slat. Don’t forget to reverse the slats to clean the other side, too.
Always work your way from top to bottom so that any dust and dirt falls down into your uncleaned zone.
Alternatively, you can also use a pair of cotton gloves or sock over your hand to run your fingers over each slat to remove dust and grime.
Once a month, a more extensive clean of your venetian blinds is recommended.
For PVC venetian blinds:
Combine a little bit of dishwashing soap and warm water to create a nice sudsy mix, and then wipe down each slat using a clean cloth. Make sure to use a second clean cloth to dry the slats afterwards.
For real wood venetian blinds:
Do NOT use any kind of water or soap, as this can damage your blinds. For wood products, use a small amount of a good quality wood cleaner or furniture polish on a clean cloth and apply it to each slat. Avoid getting the polish onto any parts of the shutters not made of real wood, such as the cords.
Oiled Western Red Cedar Venetians require re-oiling. This can be time consuming, but does bring dried faded cedar back to its lush original finish. Carefully wipe each slat with cedar oil being careful not to use too much. Allow the oil to soak into the wood and re-apply if necessary. Leave the Venetian in the open slat position until dry.
For aluminium venetian blinds or shutters:
Use the same method with a lightly dampened (not wet) cloth. Do not be tempted to remove put your aluminium venetian blinds in the bath to wash them liberally - you may damage your slats and the blind, as well as have issues reinstalling them.
Fabric Blinds - Roller Blinds, Panel Glide Blinds, Roman Blinds, etc.
Similar to indoor shutters and venetian blinds, fabric blinds should be maintained regularly by removing dust using the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner, on its lowest setting.
To get rid of stains or built-up dirt, create a very diluted soap mixture (1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap to every 4 cups of water is recommended). Soak a clean sponge in your soap mixture, squeeze out excess water, then gently dab your blinds. Do not scrub them, as this can cause more damage.
Finish off by wiping away the soapy residue with a clean, damp cloth, and then leaving them to dry completely.
Keeping your shutters and blinds looking near new doesn’t require a whole lot of effort - just regular consistency in removing dust, and an occasional deeper clean. And all up, you’ll find the results are well worth it!