California shutters are a great addition to your home because they not only enhance the visual appeal of your windows but increase the privacy of your space.
They also make your home appear bigger and add insulation by blocking excess sunlight and keeping air from escaping outside. In short, they have many perks.
The best thing about California shutters is that they don’t require special cleaners or need to be taken down for cleaning.
But you do need to know the right cleaning methods to make the most of these versatile window coverings.
From light and deep cleaning to cleaning mistakes, this guide has everything you need to know to keep your California shutters spotless and ensure their upkeep.
Cleaning and Maintenance of California Shutters 101
Regular cleaning is the key to keeping your California shutters in good shape. If you’re new to owning shutters and don’t know the right methods of upkeep, this guide will come in handy.
Light cleaning refers to the type of weekly cleaning you do to keep your window treatments dust-free.
Fully open your shutters and run a feather duster between each louver at least once a week to remove dust build-up.
Hint: Always clean from top to bottom. If you start at the bottom and work up, dust from the top louvers will fall on the bottom ones you’ve already cleaned. Also, clean from the centre of each louver and move to the sides.
Lingering dust is sometimes not removed by dusting. In that case use the soft brush or upholstery attachment of a vacuum cleaner.
If you don’t have an upholstery attachment, stretch a nylon stocking over the hose instead. Follow the same feather duster process of vacuuming from the top and working your way to the bottom. Make sure you vacuum both the front and back of the shutters to ensure louvers are completely clean.
Once the dust and debris are removed, wipe down the shutters with dryer sheets or a dry cloth. This will help prevent dust from sticking to surfaces.
Monthly deep cleaning is needed to get rid of stains and accumulated dust or dirt. However, the method of cleaning and what cleaning solution you use will depend on the material from which the shutters are made.
1) Real Wood Shutters
The key to cleaning real wood California shutters without damaging them is to make sure they never get wet. While regular dusting and cleaning will prevent dust accumulation, you need to clean each louver with a soft cloth that’s been lightly sprayed with furniture polish or lemon oil. This gives them a clean and shiny appearance and will help preserve the real wood’s natural beauty.
2) Faux Wood Shutters
Faux wood shutters are easier to clean than real wood ones because they’re moisture-resistant. Simply use a clean cotton cloth and a solution of water and mild detergent to wipe the louvers. After cleaning, rinse the area with clear water and dry with a cotton cloth.
2) Vinyl Shutters
Unlike wooden California shutters, vinyl ones clean up well with water. Make a solution of water and white vinegar. (The amount of solution depends on the size of your shutters and how much cleaning they need.) Dip a cotton glove in the white vinegar solution and wring it thoroughly until it is just barely damp. Put the glove on and run it over the louvers slowly to wipe off dust and stains. Always use the clean part of the glove. If it becomes dirty, dip the glove into the solution again and wring it thoroughly to remove the dirt. Or you can use another piece of cloth once the glove gets dirty.
California Shutters: Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid
Now that you know how to keep your California shutters clean and shiny, it’s time to learn what not to do.
- Cleaning with Water
As mentioned, real wood shutters are prone to moisture damage. Never use water to clean them, as this will lead to warping or discolouration of the wood.
- Excessive Use of Liquid Cleaners
Although liquid cleaners like white vinegar are an effective way to get rid of stains, only use them when shutters become very dirty. In general, it’s advisable to stick to dusting and vacuuming. If using liquid cleaners, employ the smallest amount possible.
- Not Cleaning Regularly
You might not feel like cleaning your shutters every day, but make a habit of dusting them every week. Skipping regular dusting will lead to dust accumulation and a greater need for liquid cleaners which can damage your shutters.
California shutters add luxury to your home. They allow in light and air while enhancing the beauty and practicality of your living space. Their style, durability, and versatility make them one of the most sought-after window treatments. Amid all these perks, don’t forget that they need to be cleaned and maintained to enjoy their benefits over many years. To learn more about keeping your California shutters beautiful, talk to our window treatment specialists.