How to Clean Different Types of Home Window Coverings

Nov 10

Looking out a crystal-clear window on a bright afternoon is a pleasant experience. Doing so when your window coverings are dirty or dusty? Less so.

You may be surprised to find that the tools needed to clean them are probably already available in your home. Doing so ensures that they look great and last for many years.

Let’s look at various ways to keep your window treatments – including shades, blinds and shutters –clean.

The Best Ways to Clean Various Window Coverings

How to keep a window treatment clean depends on two main factors: its type and which room it’s being used in. These tips will make the job easier.

  1. Fabric Window Coverings (Cellular, Roller, Roman or Pleated)

To thoroughly get rid of dust and dirt accumulated on fabric window treatments, choose the gentlest setting on your vacuum to reduce the possibility of damage.

Don’t have a vacuum? Use a blow dryer set on cool to blow away dust and dirt. (The surrounding area may need cleaning once you’re done.)

fabric window coverings

When dealing with soiled or stained fabric, you can try blotting it away with a damp microfibre cloth. For stains that are set-in, use a small amount of mild fabric detergent when blotting the stained area. Alternatively, depending on the type of treatment and stain, you can also machine wash them. Just remember to let them dry completely before re-hanging them.

You can also dry clean your window coverings for best results.

  1. Blinds

When cleaning blinds, get rid of dirt and dust by using your vacuum’s brush attachment. Or use a feather or wool duster.

Just be sure to clean in the direction of the blinds. For instance, clean vertical blinds starting from the top and working your way down; for horizontal ones, clean across the slats.

To ensure the treatments are cleaned properly, always start (if possible) at the top and work your way down. This method can be used to clean both plastic and wood blinds.

When cleaning vinyl or metal blinds, you may need to use a brush and soapy water to get rid of dirt the vacuum or duster misses.


  1. Shutters

To properly clean shutters, regularly vacuum them with the brush attachment. You can get rid of finger marks and smudges by occasionally wiping them with a sponge.

Clean heavily soiled painted shutters with warm soapy water and then wipe with a soft microfibre cloth. It’s best to clean each louvre separately, both inside and out, to ensure all the dust and dirt are removed.

If you think your window coverings need to be waxed, use a paste variety once a year.

  1. Solar Shades

Both exterior and interior solar shades are among the most durable window treatments. But to protect both you and your interiors from damaging UV rays, regular cleaning is required.

For a light dusting, use either your vacuum’s brush attachment or a feather duster. Next, mix some mild detergent in warm water and wipe them from top to bottom with a soft cloth. Remember to rinse the shades once they’ve been cleaned and allow them to air dry.

If soapy water isn’t enough to clean them properly, use a commercially available cleaner. To ensure it doesn’t leave any spots or damage, make sure you first test the product on an inconspicuous area before using it on the solar shades. Avoid overly strong disinfectants and cleaning solutions. These can cause your window coverings more harm than good.

Solar Shades

  1. Window Sheers

Many homeowners consider window sheers one of the most challenging window coverings to maintain as they’re extremely fragile and stretch easily. Your best option is to dust them lightly with a feather duster once or twice weekly. When using a vacuum cleaner, use the lowest setting to keep the material from puckering or stretching. When they need to be washed, contact a drapery cleaning service who can do it without damaging the sheers.

No matter the type of window coverings you have, cleaning them properly makes for a healthier home. By staying on top of this job and following these tips, you can rest assured knowing your window coverings will stay beautiful for years to come.