Vertical Blinds and Panel Glides: Top Tips for Making Them Look Like New Again
Vertical blinds are a more modern alternative to traditional shades or curtains. With vertical hanging slats arranged along the length of a panel glide, vertical blinds offer you easy control over the amount of light that you let in and the privacy you get.
You can find quality, cheap blinds online at outlets run by trusted vendors. Better still, these blinds are very low on maintenance – far lower than, say, horizontal blinds (which are dust magnets) or curtains, that need constant washing.
As low-maintenance as vertical blinds are, though, they do need a certain amount of cleaning from time to time. Thankfully, vertical blinds are simple to clean. You only need a few pieces of easy-to-find cleaning equipment and a little time.
Gather the bits and pieces that you’ll need
You’ll probably find everything you need to clean your vertical blinds right at home.
- Mild laundry soaker
- Mild laundry detergent or carpet cleaning fluid
- A scrubbing brush
- A bucket and a few clean rags
- A stepladder
- A large tub
For the easiest cleaning, take down the blades of the blinds
While you certainly can clean your blinds in place, you’ll have a much easier time if you take them down and clean them in a tub. Taking down the blades is easy.
- First, use the pull cord to draw all the blades together on one end of the guide. Then, rotate the blades so that they are all in the open position.
- Each blade is connected to the guide on top by a hanger. To release each blade, you simply need to gently lift it up to unhook it from the guide.
- Once you have all the blades removed, you need to lay them carefully on the floor to make sure that you don’t crease them.
Soaking the blades to loosen the dirt
It isn’t a good idea to use a washing machine – the rough action could break the hooks off or crease of the fabric . You need to wash them the old-fashioned way – with a tub of soapy water.
- Fill the tub halfway with cold water and add in a quarter-cup of bleach-free laundry soaker.
- If your blinds are particularly dirty, you can add carpet cleaning fluid or liquid laundry detergent to the mix.
- Depending on the size of the tub, you can soak four or more blades at one time.
- When your blades have soaked for an hour, the dirt will have sufficiently loosened.
- You should use a scrubbing brush to give the blades a thorough scrubbing. If you see any stubborn spots, you can use a toothbrush or nail brush on them.
Don’t forget to clean the track system
You don’t need to wait around while the blades soak – you can use the time to clean the track system.
- You should first prepare your work area to protect it from spills and stains – spread newspaper sheets or old towels on the floor below the tracking system.
- Moisten the track system with carpet cleaning fluid and wipe it down.
- Be sure to not spray anything into the tracking system – you could ruin the lubrication in it.
Get the blinds ready again
Now that you have a clean set of blinds, it’s time to rinse them out and dry them.
- Pour the dirty water out of the tub and fill it with fresh water.
- You can gently clean each blade by dropping it in the water and sloshing at around.
- Once you’re done, you can hang the blades out to dry.
That’s about it – it’s time to put your blades back
If you remember the way your blades were hung before you took them down, you should be able to put them back the same way. Your vertical blind system should be as good as it was when you first got it.
Scott Coleman is an experienced home repair whiz. With years on the job doing maintenance and caring for materials, he often writes about the basics to keeping a home in good shape from pipes to windows and more.