Decorating & Design - Window Treatments

How to: Clean window coverings

The tools to use and the timetables to follow to perfectly clean all your window coverings, from curtains and shades to blinds of all kinds.

Window treatments are not just decorative; they allow you to control the amount of light coming in -- essential to avoid the bleaching of furniture or the sun's staining of wooden floors -- as well as the degree of privacy. All window treatments should be dusted monthly. Deep-cleaning techniques depend on the material you're treating.

Fabric shades
Monthly: Dust using the dust-brush tool on the vacuum (set on low suction).
Once a year: Dry clean.

Fabric vertical blinds
Monthly: Close blinds so they lie flat. Dust with the dust-brush tool on the vacuum (set on low suction). To spot clean, take down the slat and lay it on a flat surface. Blot the stain with a sponge dampened with mild dishwashing liquid and tepid water. Treat heavy stains with a commercial upholstery cleaner (test on an inconspicuous spot).
Once a year: Have a professional clean blinds using a dry ultrasonic technique (look in the Yellow Pages under "Window Treatments -- Cleaning and Repair.")

Honeycomb shades
Monthly: Dust with a feather duster or the dust-brush tool of the vacuum (set on low suction). Spot clean with a white cloth dampened with tepid water and mild dishwashing liquid. Blot only; do not rub.
Once a year: Have a professional clean the blinds using the injection/extraction method (check the Yellow Pages under "Window Treatments -- Cleaning and Repair.")

Metal and vinyl venetian and vertical blinds
Monthly: Close blinds so they lie flat. Moving from top to bottom, dust with a feather duster, lamb's-wool duster, barely damp soft cloth, or the dust-brush tool on the vacuum (set on low suction). Close them in the opposite direction and repeat.
Twice a year: Wipe each slat individually with a cloth dampened with warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Never use abrasive cleaners, which will damage the finish. The slats of vertical blinds can be taken down several at a time and laid flat to make wiping easier.

Pleated shades
Monthly: Dust using the dust-brush tool on the vacuum (set suction on low). Regular vacuuming is the only way to clean these shades.

Solar shades
Monthly: Dust using the dust-brush tool on the vacuum (set on low suction) or wipe with a damp cloth.
Twice a year: Wipe with a cloth dampened with warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid.

Draperies and curtains
Monthly: Dust using the upholstery tool on the vacuum (set on low suction).
Once a year: If fabric is washable, launder in the machine on the Gentle cycle. Hang to dry and iron while still damp. If fabric is not washable, dry clean. Draperies and curtains in the kitchen or bath or in particularly dusty climates may need to be cleaned more frequently.

Wood blinds and shutters
Monthly: Close slats so they lie flat. Working from top to bottom, dust with a feather duster, a lamb's-wool duster, an electrostatic cloth, or the dust-brush tool on the vacuum (set on low suction). Close them in the opposite direction and repeat. Wood blinds and shutters should not be exposed to steam or moisture in a kitchen or bath.
Twice a year: Wipe each slat with a slightly dampened cloth, then dry.

Woven wood and bamboo shades
Monthly: Dust with the dust-brush tool of the vacuum (set on low suction).
Twice a year: Gently wipe with a lightly dampened white cloth.



Excerpted from Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook by Martha Stewart. Copyright 2006 by Martha Stewart. Excerpted with permission by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

Advertisement
   Visit Budget Blinds for vertical blinds or pleated shades

Read more in Decorating & Design and Window Treatments

Facebook Activity

Contests

Latest Contests

more contests

Top