How to Whiten Yellowed Blinds

One of the most dreaded of all household chores is cleaning your blinds. The smaller the slats, usually the tougher it is to keep them clean. Occasionally, household blinds can accumulate a buildup of dirt, smoke residue and debris that will yellow the light surface of the blind and is impervious to normal cleaning methods. You will need to remove your blinds from the window in order to properly treat them.

Step 1

Remove the blinds from your window by unscrewing the endcaps that hold the unit in place. Blinds are often heavier than they look, so be careful when removing them if you are standing on a chair or ladder.

Step 2

Carefully place your blinds in the bathtub. If you have aluminum blinds, take special care not to scratch the surface of the tub.

Step 3

Extend the blinds so their full length is exposed, and partially open the slats to access the full surface of one side of the unit. You will be flipping the blinds over to clean other side when finished with the first.

Step 4

Mix up a solution of 1 cup ammonia to 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Turn on a bathroom fan and open a window to ventilate the area.

Step 5

Thoroughly spray each slat with the ammonia solution and allow it to sit for ten minutes on the blinds.

Step 6

Put on a pair of heavy rubber gloves. Spray the slats a second time and scrub each slat individually using a soft microfiber cloth, sponge or thick sock. Use firm strokes to clean from one end of the slat to the other.

Step 7

Turn the blinds over carefully in the tub and repeat on the other side.

Step 8

Rinse the slats well with plain water, flipping over once to rinse the second side. Allow the water to drain from the tub. Examine the slats for any remaining yellow residue. Repeat if needed.

Step 9

Use a hand-held shower device, if available, or move the blinds to a shower. Rinse both sides thoroughly under the spray. Allow the water to drip out of the blinds before moving to a toweled surface (you may lay the towels over the empty tub bottom for convenience).

Step 10

Extend the slats into a fully-opened position. Use a soft microfiber towel or lint-free rag to dry each slat individually and to remove any hidden dirt or grime.

Step 11

Return the blinds to the window only after they have completely dried, and affix the unit back into the cap ends.