Wood Furniture, Cleaning Furniture

How to Clean Wooden Blinds

by Anita Alvarez

wooden blinds

Window blinds do two things: They soften sunlight to bring out a room's best qualities, and enhance the clean, modern look of the home itself. Wooden blinds are especially good at the latter, but they require slightly more maintenance. Learn how to clean wooden blinds to minimize the amount of dust in your home, boost indoor air quality and promote a clean look. With the right tools and strategy, you can get the job done in no time.

What Kind of Blinds Do You Have?

If you still have the manufacturer's instructions, kudos to you! Get these out before you clean. Your manufacturer will have included tips for cleaning wooden blinds, as well as what cleaners and tools are safe to use on its product in particular.

If you don't have the instructions, see if you can identify the kind of wood the manufacturer used during construction. Many wooden blinds are made from real wood like cherry, walnut, bamboo or oak, but faux wood is popular for its use of a finish that ensures the blinds are resistant to scratches, moisture and fading. For most woods or faux woods, the key is in using tools and natural cleaners like Murphy® Oil Soap that don't scratch, leave streaks or remove the finish.

Dusting

Over time, blinds can harbor dirt and grime that's difficult to remove. Every so often, or at least once a year, you'll want to thoroughly wash your blinds to remove dirt buildup. Before washing, however, it's important to dust the blinds to remove loose dirt and other particles. Use a soft tool for this, such as a dry cloth or rag, a soft furniture wipe, a feather duster, a microfiber duster or a vacuum brush (be sure it's soft).

Moving across the slats one at a time top to bottom sweep your dusting tool over the surface, picking up dust as you go. Good Housekeeping suggests angling the blinds to a near-closed position, exposing dust and debris that may sit hidden on slats that are above your line of sight. If you work with them flattened, corner dust can go untouched as you move from one end to the other.

Washing

Now, you can wash them. Keep in mind that excess moisture is bad for wooden and faux blinds. Every spot you clean should be left as dry as you found it.

Fill a bucket with warm water and your natural cleaner. Dip a rag into your bucket and thoroughly squeeze it out. With the rag merely damp, use the same pattern for washing as you did cleaning: start from the top and work your way down, firmly rubbing the rag from one side of the slat to the other.

Once you're done washing your blinds, go over the slats once again with a dry cloth to remove lingering moisture.

By learning how to clean wooden blinds the right way, you can ensure that your window coverings can continue to add warmth and character to your home.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.