Spring has arrived and there is no better way to let the sun inside than dusting off your window treatments after a long winter of neglect. However not all window treatments can be cleaned the same. Cindy Reed, window treatment and interior specialist with Lucinda’s Interiors in Lynn, IN is available to offer her expert advice on cleaning your window treatments this spring. Consider the following helpful tips:
If you’re unsure of where to start, it’s a good idea to consider all your options before you diverge into a cleaning spree. For removing dust build up, it’s commonly recommended to use dusting cloths. Frequently dusting your window treatments gives them a refreshing and like-new appearance, but it is best not to use a magnetic dusting cleaner as this will damage light dimming fabrics on the back of your drapes. Vacuuming can also be a great cleaning alternative, but always be sure to use a clean brush with gentle bristles as to not pick or harm your window treatment fabrics or accidentally scrape your hard surfaces. Also, set your vacuum to the lowest and most gentle setting possible as to prevent damaging your treatments. If you’ve chosen sheer fabrics for your windows, vacuuming may be too harsh, in which case you can use compressed air or a hair dryer on the non-heat setting to simply blow the dust away. It is suggested that you dust your window treatments at least quarterly in the fashion that suites your needs.
Wood shutters and blinds are by far the most delicate material when it comes to cleaning. Dust can easily scratch the surface of polished wood while harsh cleaning chemicals can quickly discolor them. The best rule of thumb when spring cleaning your wood shutters or blinds is to keep in mind that using water is never acceptable. Water has the potential to spot, discolor, and disfigure wood. The recommended method for cleaning wood window treatments is to begin by vacuuming the slates gently from side to side to remove any debris without scratching. Once you’ve vacuumed, you can then use a dry and soft cloth to gently wipe away any excess dirt. If you have hard to reach spots in your shutters, consider using a small soft bristled brush, such as a toothbrush.
Unlike real wood, faux wood can handle a much more abrasive cleaning method. Much like aluminum blinds, using water for your spring cleaning is no problem when it comes to these sturdy construction materials. It’s first suggested that you remove dust with a microfiber cloth, and often times a damp cloth may be necessary to combat the static cling some aluminum blinds can attract. Afterward, mixing a solution of water and soap then gently scrubbing or wiping the faux wood or aluminum will further remove any dirt left behind. Be sure to wipe both of these treatments dry after wetting, as to prevent any additional debris from clinging to the material or drying with visible water marks.
If you’re cleaning fabric shades, such as the honeycomb design or roman shades, begin by vacuuming the fabric or using compressed air to remove dust. If your treatments need a spot cleaning, it is acceptable to apply soap and warm water, however it is always recommended to test a small area of the fabric first to see how the material will react. For a professional touch this spring, you can also opt for a thorough ultrasonic cleaning as well.