Even if you dust them regularly, sometimes window blinds just need a good deep clean. The easiest way to accomplish the task is to take the blinds down and wash them in your bathtub. You can do this with vinyl and aluminum blinds along with some fabric blinds. The only way to know for sure if it's safe is to check with the manufacturer. This ensures there aren't any internal parts that can't get wet and that the blinds aren't made from a fabric that might shrink or develop water stains.
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Cleaning Blinds in a Bathtub
Step 1: Remove the Dust
Dust and dirt tend to clump up when wet, and you don't need dust bunnies clogging your bathtub drain. Before you toss your blinds in the tub, give them a quick once-over to shake off any loose debris.
- Run a vacuum cleaner brush attachment over your blinds. If they're Venetian blinds, lower them all the way and turn the slats so they're closed. This will expose more surface area.
- Dust the blinds once more with a damp microfiber cloth.
- Turn the slats on the blind so they're fully open, if applicable. Then, open the blind as far as it will go and take it down out of the window.
Step 2: Soak and Wash the Blinds
When washing your blinds in the bathtub, there are two schools of thought to choose from. You should always open fabric blinds as far as you can to let the soap and water do their job. You may choose a different path for Venetian blinds.
Some folks like to leave these blinds in the open position, closing (lowering) them just far enough for the soapy water to get in between the slats. Others open the blind as far as they can. This makes them a bit easier to clean but a little more unwieldy. You'll need to decide which works best for you.
- Place a towel in the bottom of the bathtub. This prevents the blinds from damaging the tub and vice versa. It will also add some extra grip so your blinds aren't sliding around while you try to clean them.
- Place your blinds in the tub. Fill the tub with enough warm water to cover them. Don't use hot water as this can damage or shrink fabric blinds.
- Add about two squirts of dish soap to the bathtub and mix it in a bit. If you prefer, you can opt for 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Let the blinds soak for about an hour.
- Wipe Venetian blinds down with a soft sponge or wet microfiber cloth after they soak. If cleaning fabric blinds, dab at any stains or tough dirt that remains, but don't scrub the fabric.
- Drain the bathtub and rinse the blinds. If you have Venetian blinds, the easier way to rinse them is to open them so all the slats are at the top of the blind and run warm water over them.
Step 3: Make Them White Again
If your Venetian blinds are vinyl or plastic, they may look yellow after you clean them. This is the result of damage from constant sun exposure. Fortunately, you can often turn the blinds white again with a little bleach. Skip this step if you're washing fabric blinds — bleach and fabrics don't always mix well.
- Refill your tub with enough warm or cold water to cover the blinds.
- Add 3 cups of liquid bleach into the tub and mix it in. If you value the towel you laid in the bottom of the tub earlier, remove it before you add bleach.
- Soak the blinds for 10 minutes. Drain the tub and rinse the blinds thoroughly.
Step 4: Dry and Rehang
Wet blinds are heavy, so you don't want to hang them back up until they've dried completely. You probably don't want to drip water through your house from the tub to the window either.
- Lay your blinds flat in the bottom of the bathtub to dry. Don't hang them as the water weight could distort their shape, especially if they're made from fabric.
- Allow the blinds to dry for at least 30 minutes. Some fabrics may need more time.
- Rehang the blinds when they're dry. If they're still a little damp, leave them closed so air can circulate through the slats. You can also finish drying Venetian blinds manually with a clean towel.
Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.