Brandon Barton

Tips On Cleaning Your Window Treatments

So it's time to clean your blinds and shades, eh? Go ahead and roll up your sleeves, find a dust mask, and pull out the vacuum and attachments. Thankfully, only minimal care and cleaning is needed to maintain most window treatments


Break out the're going to need it!

For most window coverings, like shades and blinds, you should be able to clean them with a low suction, hand held vacuum or dust with a soft, clean cloth or feather duster. And hey...this is important: NEVER immerse your cloth or fabric treatment in liquid of any type!

Practical Tips For Cleaning the Most Common Window Coverings

These tips are provided by the professionals at

With minimal care, your blinds, shades, shutters, and draperies will add classic elegance to any room in your home for many years to come. To keep them looking beautiful, most window treatments should be periodically dusted with a feather duster or vacuumed with an upholstery attachment.

Small stains on blinds and shades can be easily wiped clean with a sponge soaked in warm water and mild detergent. Gently blot the material to dry.

Vertical Blinds—Vinyl Vanes

  • Vinyl vanes may be removed and immersed in water for cleaning.
  • To eliminate static electricity, coat the vanes with a thin layer of mild detergent.

Vertical Blinds—Fabric Vanes

These should not be immersed in water or dry cleaned.

Vertical Blinds Sheer

  • Sheer fabrics are steam pressed during the manufacturing process, but may need to be re-steamed at a low temperature before hanging.
  • Be careful not to iron out the permanent pleats. Also make sure to remove the fabric from the vanes before steaming.
  • Sheer fabrics are machine washable. Use the gentle cycle with warm water and a mild detergent. (For best results, avoid chlorine bleach.) Hang damp fabric on the louvers and re-shape them. To dry, keep the louvers in the open position.

Wood Blinds

For blinds with painted and stained finishes, clean with spray polish and a soft cloth. For best results, do not use water on any wood products.

Artisan Custom Fabric Window Treatments

  • Spot cleaning is not recommended for decorative fabric window treatments. Fabrics should not be cleaned with water, club soda, soaps, or cleansers.
  • Decorative fabrics are not meant to be washed. It is recommended that all decorative fabric products be cleaned by a professional drapery cleaner or dry cleaner with specific experience in decorative fabric window treatments. Please note that dry cleaning for drapes and decorative fabric window treatments is different from the way apparel goods are dry cleaned.
  • For regular maintenance of your decorative fabric window treatments, use the brush attachment on your vacuum and run it lightly over the treatments, including up and down the folds on draperies, to remove dust and particles. If draperies need more thorough cleaning, have them professionally cleaned.

Pleated Shades

  • Before cleaning, be sure to remove the shade from its window. Open the shade fully and lay the fabric on a flat surface.
  • To remove fingerprints or spots, use a spray foam upholstery or fabric cleaner. Spray the cleaner on the entire area and gently rub back and forth with a clean, damp sponge. Be careful not to crush or wrinkle the fabric.
  • Dry the fabric by patting with a clean towel. Hang the shade up once again when it is completely dry.
  • Do not use strong detergents or spot removers. Dry cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning methods are also not recommended.
  • Finally, be aware that frequent cleaning may affect the fullness and body of pleated fabric.

Cellular Shades

  • Strong detergents or spot removers may harm your cellular shades. Dry cleaning is also not recommended.
  • When deep cleaning is desired, you may wish to enlist a professional cleaning service.


  • For minor dirt and stains, clean with warm water on a damp cloth. Wipe dry.
  • If more thorough cleaning is necessary, use a mild detergent diluted in water to a 5% solution and apply with a cotton cloth. Rinse area with plain water to remove any detergent residue and dry with a cloth.
  • Occasional light vacuuming with a brush attachment should keep shutters clean.
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