How to Clean Cellular Shades

Clean cellular shades the right way
BY BLINDSTER | June 27, 2015
September 23, 2023

Your new cellular shades are an ideal solution for increasing the privacy and insulation of every room in your home. Still, like all décor, cellular blinds require regular upkeep and maintenance. Knowing how to clean cellular shades helps keep your window treatments looking and operating at their best.

What's the Difference between a Honeycomb and a Cellular shade?

Cellular shade fabrics

Before we get into how to clean cellular blinds, let's clear up a little confusion. You may have heard the term honeycomb shades mentioned when talking about cellular shades. The two names are interchangeable — all cellular shades are honeycomb shades and vice versa. The term honeycomb shade refers to the hexagonal honeycomb-like construction of cellular shades, that creates the blinds' insulating properties.

What You'll Need to Clean Cellular Shades

Sponge for rails only

You won't need specialized tools to clean your honeycomb shades. Everything you need is listed here:

  • Dust cloth or feather duster
  • Vacuum with soft brush attachment
  • Clean sponge or soft cloth
  • Clean bucket filled with warm water and a few drops of mild detergent
  • Large sheet to place under the shades to catch dust or water

How Long Does It Take to Clean Cellular Shades?

Feather duster for cellular shades

Time needed to properly clean your shades depends on the size and accessibility of your shade and the soil level. You can reduce the time needed to deep-clean honeycomb blinds by giving your shades a gentle dusting with a dust cloth or feather duster every few weeks. Using the duster, softly wipe each shade cell in one direction.

Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning Cellular Shades

1. Examine Your Shades for Signs of Dirt

Dust is the main reason cellular shades get dirty. Virtually every surface in your home will collect a fine layer of dust if left uncleaned, and your window coverings are no different. Shades installed in high-traffic areas, such as entryways, living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms may accumulate larger amounts of dust than shades in areas like guest bedrooms, guest bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

Examine your shades from top to bottom, including the rear side of the fabric, to determine how much cleaning they need. Doing so helps you determine how much time you'll need to clean them and whether you need the assistance of a professional cleaning service.

2. Consult the Manufacturer's Care and Cleaning Instructions

Check the manufacturer's cleaning and care instructions to avoid accidentally damaging your cellular shades, including the fabric and headrail. To find these instructions, check your shades' original installation instructions or consult the reps at Blindster for more information.

Pay special attention to any warnings about using specific types of soaps or detergents, as failing to heed these warnings could cause permanent damage or discoloration to the fabric.

3. Dust or Vacuum off Dirt and Dust

Use your duster or a light brush attachment on your vacuum to remove any loose dirt, dust, or pollen from the shades. Start at the top of the shade by the headrail and work your way down on the inside and outside of the blinds until you have removed as much debris as possible.

4. Sponge off the Headrail

Lightly moisten a clean sponge or cloth with warm water mixed with a mild detergent, and gently wipe off any dust or dirt on the blinds' headrail. Be sure to completely wring out the sponge before applying it to the shades and do not allow any water to enter any openings in the headrail, as this could damage the internal components of the shade.

5. Gently scrub away excess build-up or stains

For spot cleaning, or for a deep cleaning, continue down the shades with the damp sponge or cloth to remove built-up dirt and stains. Use very light pressure to avoid damaging the fabric, and take care not to soak the fabric, which can cause accidental discoloration or damage to the shade material (particularly blackout shades).

Can You Soak Honeycomb Shades?

Do not soak honeycomb shades in water, no matter how much dirt they accumulate. Soaking cellular blinds — or even getting them sopping wet — can irreparably damage the fabric (especially true for blackout honeycomb) and water intruding into the headrail or bottomrail of the shade can rust internal components and prevent your shade from operating correctly.

When to Consult a Professional

Sometimes, knowing how to clean honeycomb blinds isn't enough. Years of exposure to dirt and the elements can lead to heavily stained cellular shades that resist your cleaning efforts. If this is the case, consult with a professional cleaning service that specializes in cleaning window treatments. If possible, provide the cleaning service with a copy of the manufacturer's cleaning instructions to reduce the risk of accidental damage to your shades during the cleaning process.

What to Do When Your Shades Have Seen Better Days

Even a good cleaning may leave your shades looking like their best days are behind them. If you think it's time to consider new cellular shades for your home, Blindster.com has a wide assortment of cellular shade styles with great features like cordless lift, top-down/bottom-up, and even motorized shades you can operate by remote control. See what we have to offer and you will be amazed at what a new shade will do for your home!