Cleaning Blinds and Curtains

It’s official. I have met my worst chore yet — cleaning blinds. You may think toilet cleaning, sink scrubbing, and grout scraping are tedious, but nothing compares with the labor-intensive work of cleaning mini blinds.

I know this from experience. I recently moved into an apartment where the previous tenants left me a lovely parting gift — filthy blinds. The grime and build-up on those suckers must have been there for years. So I got to work. But, man, was it a big job. With hindsight, I should have researched some smart cleaning tips first.

In preparation for my next spring cleaning, I turned to the Keep Home Simple blog for some easy and inexpensive tips on how to clean with ease.
Dust Away

Before you try to clean and scrub, you must first dust those blinds. Otherwise, the dust will turn to a dirty paste and make the cleaning process even harder. A simple duster or a vacuum cleaner with the brush tool will do the trick.
Sock It to ‘em

Don’t throw away those mismatched socks — save them for occasions like this. Put an old sock over your hand and dip it into a solution of equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl. Run your hand along each slat of the blind. The plastic and metal varieties can actually slice your finger if you’re not careful, so the sock not only cleans but it protects your fingers from cuts.
Keep It Regular

Try to clean your blinds on a fairly regular basis, or at least run the vacuum or a duster on them every few weeks so that the cleaning doesn’t become such a big job.
Clean Up the Curtains, too

Curtains can be deceiving. Unless they are white or cream, they probably won’t show any major dirt or grime build up, but dirty curtains can be responsible for that old, musty smell that hits you when you walk into some houses.

Most people don’t clean them until they start showing signs of dirt, but curtains should really not go longer than two years without a deep clean. They can collect dust, grime and smells from cooking long before they show outward signs of dirt. Oily atmospheric dirt (think grease that gets carried around the house from the kitchen) can deteriorate the fabric and shorten the life of your drapery.

Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner once a week to remove dust from heavyweight curtains and give sheer or lightweight curtains a good shake (preferably outside). Many good quality drapes are not machine-washable and should be taken to the dry cleaners at least every two years, or you can call in a professional in-home cleaning service.
Hands Off!

There’s natural oil on our skin and it can easily be transferred to the curtains if you touch them while opening and closing. To avoid creating these shiny, oily areas, install curtain pull rods to keep hands clear of the fabric.

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