Window treatments need routine care and maintenance to keep them looking fresh and to maintain their decorative look. The most diligent housekeeping can't stop blinds from turning yellow, though. Even with a protective UV coating, the sun's harmful rays will still cause damage to your blinds and most of the discoloration from the sun is permanent. Still, with proper care and maintenance, you can slow the yellowing process.
Why Blinds Turn Yellow
Blinds protect you and your home from the elements. These window treatments block out the light when you're sleeping and ease the sun's harsh brightness during the hottest time of the day. They can also keep your furniture and other interior furnishings from fading or deteriorating due to the sun's UV rays.
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Sheltering your home from the sun takes a toll on blinds. Like any armor, this protection wears thin. Over time, exposure to UV rays breaks down any protective coating. Without this safeguard, the blinds lose their original color and turn yellow.
Sometimes, the yellowing comes from pollution inside your home. Smoking, in particular, has a yellowing effect due to the nicotine residue. You often don't notice the damage or buildup on the blinds until it's too late, but it happens gradually and builds until it becomes noticeable.
Why Regular Cleaning Is Important
There is no real solution to the yellowing blinds problem. Still, with regular cleaning, you might be able to prevent the blinds from yellowing too much. It also helps to remove the gunk that naturally builds up on blinds.
Sun-yellowed blinds that are dirty can look even more discolored. Dust, grime, and cigarette smoke also cause stains. Giving blinds a routine washing helps remove the staining that comes from indoor pollution. Although this doesn't solve the sun problem, it does keep your blinds from looking yellow and dingy.
How to Clean Yellow Blinds
The regular cleanings should help your blinds to keep their color longer. Start by dusting the blinds well to remove dust before washing the blinds, and take them down from the window. If plastic or aluminum blinds still have stains after routine cleaning, you can try a bleach bath.
To do so, add 2 to 3 cups of bleach to a bathtub of cold water. Then, remove the blinds from your windows and place them in the bleach bath. Make sure to submerge every part of your blinds in the water and soak them for at least 10 minutes. Take a sponge to the blind slats to scrub them individually.
When you're satisfied with the color of your blinds, remove them from the tub. Wipe them dry with a clean towel, taking care not to bend the slats. Hang the blinds back up in their proper places to finish drying in the air. Bleach and detergent can damage wooden blinds. Rather than washing them with soap, dust them often and wipe them with a damp sponge.
Better UV Coating on Blinds
Today's window treatment manufacturers finish blinds with a strong UV-resistant coating. Invest in higher-quality blinds with a strong coating to slow down the yellowing process. This coating will still break down over time, but better blinds often last longer. With regular cleaning, the blinds will stay true to their original color longer.