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How to Properly Clean Aluminum Blinds

See the right way to clean your aluminum blinds

Aluminum blinds are a practical and durable solution if you need an affordable window covering to provide privacy. They also help eliminate harsh sunlight coming into your home. To keep your aluminum blinds looking and operating their best, however, it's important that you clean them regularly to prevent a buildup of dirt and dust on both the slats and inside the moving parts of the headrail.

Follow Blindster's instructions below to safely and effectively clean your aluminum blinds and maintain their appearance and function for years to come.

Step 1: Inspect your blinds

Before you begin cleaning, take a moment to inspect your blinds and determine how thoroughly they need to be cleaned. Blinds that have a light accumulation of dirt and dust often require nothing more than simple spot-cleaning, while blinds with heavy amounts of mold, mildew and other debris may require more intensive cleaning.

Step 2: Follow the manufacturer's cleaning and care instructions

Your blinds came with instructions for cleaning and care that should always be followed to prevent damage. Aluminum blinds are more durable than many other types of blinds, but certain types of chemicals can strip away the metal or cause it to become discolored and damaged. Before using any cleaning chemicals on your blinds, always spot test an inconspicuous area first to test for possible damage or discoloration.

Step 3: Gather the items you'll need to clean your blinds

Once you've determined how thoroughly you need to clean your blinds and how to safely clean them, it's time to gather the items you'll need. Grab a bucket filled with warm water and a mild soap or detergent, a soft sponge, a feather duster and a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to get started.

These items should be sufficient to remove caked-on dirt, dust, mildew, mold and pet hair from your blinds without causing damage. To prevent water from pooling and possibly damaging your floor or windowsill, you should also place something underneath the blinds, like a drop cloth or old towel to absorb any water or cleaning products that run off the blinds.

Step 4: Dust and Vacuum Your Blinds

With all of your cleaning supplies in hand, it's time to get to work. Start by using a feather duster to remove any surface dust and dirt from the blinds. Run it along every exposed surface and rinse it as necessary to remove any accumulations.

As you go about doing this step, you want to ensure you have full access to your aluminum blinds' surface area. As such, turn the blinds closed, until the convex side is pointed toward you. Then, with the feather duster or dusting cloth, wipe them down, ideally working from the top toward the bottom and starting from the left and removing accumulation as you go toward the right. After going over everything at this angle, turn the blinds 90 degrees to dust off the sides. Another 90-degree turn gives you access to the other side.

After using the feather duster, use your vacuum's soft brush attachment to remove any dirt or dust from more hard-to-reach places or from areas where the feather duster won't fit, such as near the headrail and near the internal components of the blinds.

Because many of us might go months, if not years, without cleaning a set of aluminum blinds, vacuuming is ideal when you spot heavy dust accumulation. The small brush attachment allows you to target dirt, dust and debris better, and to avoid damaging the material, it's always a good idea to keep the vacuum on the lowest setting possible.

Step 5: Wash Your Blinds

If your blinds require more extensive cleaning, a sponge dipped in warm water mixed with a mild soap or detergent can help lift any caked-on debris. Be careful while cleaning to avoid putting excess pressure on the blinds, as that can cause them to bend or even break. In addition, always wipe away any excess moisture left behind by the sponge.

Because the material is fairly delicate, wash your blinds lightly with a sponge, microfiber towel or soft brush after you've soaked it in water and dish soap. Here, do the same motion you did to dust: top to bottom and left to right, angling the slats to reach the full surface area.

If the blinds are located in a kitchen or other cooking area, you might also be dealing with grease deposits and damage from cooking fumes. Because dish soap by itself won't do the trick, be sure to apply a degreaser directly to the slat before lightly scrubbing the material.

Finally, if your blinds aren't coming clean with spot cleaning, you can remove them from your window or wall and wash them either outdoors or in your bathtub. Be careful to not get water inside the headrail, as this can cause the blind to malfunction.

Afterward, realize that your blinds need to dry. It's recommended that you keep them in the bathtub hanging up on the shower rod. Once all droplets are gone, hang them up in the window with the slats fully open for optimal air circulation.

Step 6: Maintain Your Blinds

It's a fact of life that blinds tend to attract and accumulate dirt, dust and debris. However, a few preventative measures and regular cleaning can keep them looking great year-round and eliminate the need for extensive cleaning in the future.

One of the best ways to prevent accumulation on your blinds is to install screens on your windows. This prevents most airborne particles, including allergens, from getting inside your home and collecting on your blinds. Another preventative measure you can take is to always spray window cleaner on a paper towel or rag and never on the window itself. This keeps it from spraying backwards and ending up on the blinds, where it can attract dirt and dust. Finally, make it a habit to use a feather duster on your aluminum blinds at least once per week to prevent debris from accumulating.

With these points in mind, make sure whichever blinds you select from get a regular dusting. Browse our full selection of aluminum blinds, as well as wood blinds, faux wood blinds and more.