The Best Way to Clean Blinds, According to Professional Cleaners

published Oct 30, 2023
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Office blinds. Modern wooden jalousie. Office meeting room lighting range control.
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Window blinds are, for many of us, a necessity. Along with adding privacy to your home, blinds offer much-needed shade and temperature control. That said, blinds tend to collect pesky dust, dirt, and other debris, so it’s important to keep on top of a cleaning routine. (A bit of regular maintenance is a whole lot easier than dealing with stuck-on grime later on, right?)

Quick Overview

How to Clean Blinds

  • Step 1: Gather your supplies.
  • Step 2: Prepare the workspace.
  • Step 3: Close the blinds.
  • Step 4: Dust the slats.
  • Step 5: Make a DIY cleaning solution.
  • Step 6: Wipe down each slat.
  • Step 7: Rinse away the cleaner.
  • Step 8: Dry and reopen your blinds.

Don’t know exactly where to start? Don’t worry. You definitely don’t have to take your blinds off the window, and you’ll only need a few basic tools to effectively clean them, whether yours are made of wood, aluminum, vinyl, or plastic. Below, everything you need to know about how to clean blinds, according to professional cleaners. 

How to Clean Blinds 

Here’s how to clean any window blinds in eight steps.

Step 1: Gather your supplies. 

To effectively clean your blinds, you’ll need a few important tools.

  • Microfiber cloth or dusting glove 
  • Bucket or bowl of water
  • Mild dish soap 
  • Spray bottle (optional)
  • Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment 

As a caveat, it’s always best to use mild cleaners on blinds. Don’t use any harsh cleaners, such as ammonia or bleach, or you might end up with irreversible damage. 

Step 2: Prepare your workspace.

Because you’ll be working with soapy water, lay down a drop cloth or old towels that can catch any drips during the cleaning process, suggests Muffetta Krueger, owner of Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants. Otherwise, you’ll just have more of a mess to clean later. 

Step 3: Close your blinds. 

Before cleaning your blinds, lower them so they cover the entire window. If you have wood blinds, close them completely; plastic and aluminum blinds can be kept partially open (ideally facing downward). 

Step 4: Dust the slats.

Always remove loose dust and debris before using a wet cleaner. For blinds, use your microfiber cloth or dusting glove to gently wipe across each slat, starting from the top and working your way down. Microfiber is important here because it attracts dust — other cloths will simply push the dust around. 

“If your blinds are exceptionally dusty, you might want to give them a quick vacuum with a brush attachment first,” says Karina Toner, operations manager at Spekless Cleaning. Krueger recommends running the vacuum nozzle along each slat, both front and back, as well as along the headrail, to ensure you get into all the nooks and crannies. 

Step 5: Make your DIY cleaning solution.

Toner says you can find dedicated cleaners for blinds, but it’s also easy to make your own solution: Just add a few drops of mild dish soap into a bowl or bucket of warm water. “Stir the solution until it forms a soapy mixture,” says Krueger.

Step 6: Wipe down each slat.

Dip your cloth or glove into the cleaning solution and wring out any excess liquid. Then, go back over each slat, working from top to bottom again to tackle any remaining grime. Krueger suggests rinsing your cloth frequently into clean water as you go. 

If you’d rather have more control over the amount of moisture on the blinds — especially important for wood, which can warp if it gets too wet — Toner says you can also put your mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on the blinds before wiping. 

Step 7: Rinse away the cleaner.

If you used a DIY cleaning solution, now’s the time to grab a clean, damp cloth or sponge and wipe off any soapy residue. 

Step 8: Dry and reopen your blinds. 

Finally, use a clean, dry cloth to dry each slat, or give your blinds a chance to air dry as long as necessary before opening them to your preferred position. If necessary, dust, wipe, or dry the windowsill below your blinds, which may have collected rogue debris or soap.