How to clean Venetian blinds like a pro

No more dusty and grimy blinds! Use this guide during your cleaning routines, or hire a cleaner to take care of deep cleaning.

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We're all guilty of having a mental dread list when cleaning our homes and offices -- those cabinets filled with stuff we don't use but aren't ready to get rid of; hard-to-reach surfaces and corners; and those Venetian blinds that could be tricky to clean.

Luckily, you don't have to dread cleaning your blinds anymore. Read on to find out how to clean Venetian blinds like a pro -- from simple dusting to deep cleaning.

Dusting vs deep cleaning Venetian blinds

Dusting or light cleaning your Venetian blinds will minimize the need for regular deep cleaning. How are these two cleaning methods different?

Light cleaning is the quick removal of dust and dirt. You should do this at least once a week, especially if you or someone in your home or office has sensitivities to dust. 

On the other hand, deep cleaning removes dust, dirt, grease, and stubborn stains from your Venetian blinds. This could involve wiping your blinds with a cloth and a cleaning solution, or taking them down your windows and washing them clean. Deep clean at least once every six months or as often as you’d like (especially if you frequently invite guests into your home or office).

Supplies for cleaning Venetian blinds

The supplies you need depend on the type of cleaning you intend to do, as well as the condition of your Venetian blinds. Below are some cleaning supplies you’ll likely need.

  • Feather duster or a vacuum cleaner fitted with a soft brush attachment

  • Microfiber cloth, a microfiber mini blind duster, or dryer sheets

  • White vinegar

  • Soft brush

  • Non-abrasive sponge

  • Spray bottle

  • Garden hose

  • Hand gloves

Pro tip: Before using a cleaning solution on your Venetian blinds, do a test sample on a small area first. This will help you ensure that the solution is safe to use and wouldn’t cause discoloration or any other damage to your blinds. 

How to light clean Venetian blinds

Light cleaning is the easiest way to clean Venetian blinds. It's less time-consuming and can be done once every few days without taking down the blinds. With consistent light cleaning, you minimize or eliminate the need to give your blinds a deep clean. Here’s how to do it.

1. If you have a feather duster, microfiber cloth, an antistatic cloth, or dryer sheets:

  • Close your blinds so that you can see one side of all the slats.

  • Dust one side of the slats from one end to the other, or from the topmost slat to the bottommost slat.

  • Dust the other side.

a man showing how to clean Venetian blinds

2. If you have a blinds cleaning brush:

  • Keep the blinds open and start cleaning your blinds from the top.

  • Work your way down, until you’ve wiped all the slats.

Cleaning with a blinds cleaner brush

3. You could also opt to vacuum clean with an upholstery attachment or other Venetian blind attachments. Keep the suction levels low to avoid sucking in and damaging the slats.

4. If you spot grease or stain marks, use a cleaning solution like a window cleaner or a blinds cleaner spray that leaves the slats in an antistatic state. This helps cut the amount of dust that attaches to the slats.

Consult your local household store for a Venetian blind cleaner that they recommend. Also, if you’re using any household cleaning solution, use only a small amount and quickly dry the slates to avoid spreading the dust. 

If after light cleaning you are still unsatisfied with the results, then now might be a good time for some deep cleaning.

How to deep clean Venetian blinds 

Even with regular cleaning, dust can accumulate in hard-to-reach areas of your Venetian blinds – and this can only be addressed by deep cleaning.

Note that the best way to deep clean depends largely on the type of Venetian blinds you have (we’ll talk about cleaning wooden, faux wood, fabric, vinyl, and aluminum blinds in the next sections). The steps below outline how deep cleaning is usually done. 

  1. Take down your Venetian blinds and place them in a bathtub (optional: you can lay some towels on the bottom and sides of the tub to avoid scratching).

  2. Put enough water into the tub and add a suitable cleaning solution for your blinds.

  3. Allow the blinds to soak for one to two hours.

  4. Use a soft brush to remove the loosened dirt and grease on the slats. Wear hand gloves if you want, especially if your skin is sensitive to household cleaning products.

  5. After cleaning the blinds, dip them again in clean plain water and rinse them in the shower.

  6. Air-dry the blinds by hanging them up to prevent the formation of water stains. 

Important: If your Venetian blinds are made with wood or faux wood, don’t soak them in water! Scroll further down to read our guidelines for cleaning wooden blinds. 

Don’t have a bathtub or your blinds cannot fit in a tub? Clean them outdoors instead! Here’s how:

  1. Start by laying a blanket or any other material on the surface where you intend to clean your blinds. This will protect your blinds from scratches and ensure they don’t pick up more dirt.

  2. Next, place your Venetian blinds on your chosen cleaning area. You could hang them on a fence or wash them in your driveway, lawn, or path using a garden hose.

  3. Use a soft brush, water, and cleaning solution to gently scrub down each of the slats.

  4. Clean and rinse them a few times to get the desired level of cleanliness. 

  5. Once done, air-dry the blinds then hang them back to their rightful place.

Faux wood Venetian blinds

Faux wood blinds are generally easy to clean, especially with a vacuum cleaner.

  1. Before vacuuming, close the blinds and hold the bottom rail.

  2. Vacuum one side and then turn to the other side.

  3. Remember to use the lowest suction setting to avoid warping the slats.

If your faux wood blinds have grime and grease, you need to give them a thorough cleaning using white vinegar. 

  1. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a bowl.

  2. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution, and wipe down each slat.

  3. Wipe both sides of the slats, as well as the hard-to-reach corners. 

Wooden Venetian blinds

Clean wooden Venetian blinds

Because high-end wooden blinds have a unique finish that doesn’t hold dirt and stains, light cleaning is usually enough to have them cleaned. Here’s how to clean wooden Venetian blinds:

  1. Wipe your wooden blinds using a clean cloth.

  2.  If you want to polish them, apply furniture polish on the cloth and wipe each slat.

Pro tip: Always keep track of the slats as you clean them! To avoid forgetting where you left off, hook a pin to the last slat you cleaned. This way, you know which slat to work on next even if you get distracted or you need to take a break.

Wood blinds and faux wood blinds are absorbent, and you shouldn’t clean them with water or any other form of liquids. The timber slats can take in water and then warp when drying. Also, some of the color finishes on faux wood and wood blinds should not come into contact with water as they can cause the finish layer to peel off.

Fabric Venetian blinds

Vacuuming is usually enough to clean fabric blinds – regardless if they are pleated, Roman, or cellular.

  1. Clean and dust the fabrics using a vacuum cleaner at the lowest setting. You can use a hairdryer if you don’t have a household vacuum.

  2. Blow the dirt caught between the creases and the openings.

  3. Blow any bugs that you find between the honeycombs. Do not squish them because they will leave a stain.

  4. If the blinds are stained, clean them with a damp microfiber cloth. Just don’t oversaturate the cloth with water or any cleaning solution.

Pro tip: While cleaning Venetian blinds, you might want to check your window sills and window tracks as well. Clean off dust and cobwebs if you have the time.

Vinyl, plastic, and aluminum Venetian blinds

Cleaning vinyl Venetian blinds

You can clean plastic and aluminum blinds by dusting or light cleaning with a cloth. But, if you have a few pieces of blinds from your living room, kitchen, and bedrooms, then this cleaning method might take a lot of time and it might be best to do a deep clean. Here’s how to wash Venetian blinds:

  1. Unhook the blinds and soak one set at a time in a bathtub.

  2. Use a sponge to work on both sides of the slats.

  3. After cleaning, dip them again in clean and plain water to rinse away the soap suds.

  4. Lay the blinds on some towels to soak up all the water.

  5. Hang them up to air-dry.

If your tub is not big enough to soak your blinds, hang them outside on a clothesline on a hot sunny day, spray them with soap and spray with a garden hose. Work on both sides, and scrub with a soft brush. Then, rinse and leave them out to air-dry.

When to hire a cleaner

If you can't squeeze blind cleaning into your busy schedule, you can choose to hire a Venetian blind cleaner instead. They can dust or deep clean your blinds and even bring the necessary cleaning supplies.

If your blinds are damaged, get someone to repair your blinds before cleaning them. This will help prevent further damage and save you from spending money on new blinds.

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