This article was originally published on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter by Alexandra Filiaci.
By Katie Laird
Your blinds and curtains can be sneaky. They can collect dirt, dust and grime without you ever noticing, because, well, you probably don’t examine your blinds and curtains when you get home every day.
Like any accessory in your home, your blinds and curtains need attention from time to time. It’s important to clean them regularly—dusting once a month and deep-cleaning twice a year is a good rule of thumb—to avoid any lasting damage from dirt and dust buildup. The more you keep the buildup off, the longer your window treatments will last. Cover all your bases with these simple steps.
#1 Bust Out the Vacuum
Have you ever raised your blinds, only to be met with a shower of dust? It’s time to get the vacuum cleaner out of the closet and use an attachment to suck up loose dirt and dust. If you go right into cleaning extra dusty window treatments with any sort of spray or wet cleaner without using a vacuum, you’re going to make an even bigger mess. You can also try a feather duster or microfiber cloth in place of a vacuum, but you’ll likely have to vacuum the dust you knock onto the floor either way.
In many cases it’s a good idea to approach your curtains the same way, but be careful that the vacuum doesn’t tear up any thin or delicate fabrics. If you’re worried about that happening, simply take the curtains down and shake them out outside.
#2 Wash Away the Grime
Even with regular dusting, it’s important to do a more thorough cleaning of your treatments a couple of times a year. There are several ways to tackle deep cleaning curtain and blinds. A damp sponge with some soapy water typically does the trick with dirty blinds, but be careful if you have real or faux wood blinds. Too much moisture can cause them to warp or split. For faux wood blinds, a mixture of water and vinegar or dusting spray can also be used to clean away dirt and grime.
When it comes to your curtains, check the washing instructions on the tag. Some curtains can be machine washed and ironed. If there are no instructions, take them to the dry cleaner.
#3 Block Out the Sun
Keeping your window treatments clean is a great way to ensure that they live long and prosper. But the biggest issue when it comes to protecting your window treatments for the long run is the sun. The sun can cause some major fading and discoloration in your treatments, and of course, there’s no real way to turn that off. But there are a few things you can do to protect your treatments.
You can put shutters on the outside of your home to open and close on occasion, but that’s a big undertaking. The best thing to do is look into window tinting. There are dozens of options when it comes to window film: Some will darken the look of the window, others will remain translucent but block harmful UV rays. This a good option if you want to keep the look and feel of your windows and their treatments, and you won’t have to replace them in a couple of years due to fading or yellowing.
Katie Laird is the Director of Social Marketing for Blinds.com and a frequent public speaker on Social Media Marketing, Social Customer Care and profitable company culture. An active blogger and early social technology adopter, you can find her online as ‘happykatie’ sharing home décor, yoga, parenting and vegetarian cooking tips. Check out the newest faux wood blinds, drapes and shades on blinds.com.