A Guide to Cleaning Blinds, Shutters, Shades & Drapery

The ideal atmosphere in your home is set once you have the right window treatments. But, how do you keep them looking good? It’s all about the maintenance. Cleaning blinds, shades, shutters, and drapery should be added to your regular cleaning routine to reduce the dust and allergens in your home.

Expert Advice

It’s important to keep in mind that the manufacturer has specific recommendations for taking care of your window coverings. Look on the website, or inside manuals, to identify the best practices for the materials and fabrics. If you purchased your window treatments from our team at Blue Sky Shutters & Shades, we’d be happy to help answer any questions.

Cleaning Blinds & Shutters: Hard Treatments

Oftentimes, blinds and shutters are made of similar materials, so the instructions will sound alike. Wood, metal and composite blinds and shutters are known as hard treatments, and they are quite simple to clean. 

Regular Cleaning

The key to keeping blinds and shutters looking pristine is regular cleaning. Using a handheld duster, cloth, or glove (made from clean, dry microfiber fabric) wipe the window coverings from side-to-side with louvers/slats closed flat. Adjust them toward the ceiling to clean the back side. Considering a window blind cleaning kit that comes with a variety of tools. Windows high up on the wall? Choose an extension dusting kit to clean blinds in high places. If you’re struggling to get to tight spaces, like the hinges of shutters, a clean toothbrush or natural fiber paintbrush are good options.

vinyl shutters in master bathroom shower Reno NV
Palm Beach® Polysatin Shutters


Keeping Fabric Shades Tidy

Cleaning the “Soft Treatments” of your home is another topic. While we advise regular cleaning to keep them free of dust, the approach must be more gentle and intentional. That’s why we have a number of options for you to consider…

Microfiber: Cloth, Duster, Gloves

This is similar to the method you’ll use for cleaning blinds and shutters. Use a gentle side-to-side dusting for horizontal shades and top to bottom for vertical fabric blinds. Be cautious of dust or dirt build-up, as the dusting motion can can dust to spread and dirty the fabrics. Try one of these other methods first for more in-depth cleaning…

Canned Air

An increasingly popular method for cleaning window shades, canned air is gentle on fabrics and doesn’t fuss with the shape. Two options are available when using canned air, a rechargeable canned air dusting tool or disposable cans of air that you may have seen before. 

The Vacuum 

A traditional cleaning process for fabrics, the vacuum can remove dust and allergens easily. The caution comes with the tools used. It’s recommended that you use a vacuum on the low setting, and even better if you have an upholstery tool that attaches to the vacuum. Here is an example of a vacuum cleaner with adjustable settings, along with two upholstery attachments.

Cleaning Tricky Spots

If you have visible dirt or possible stains, you may be able to clean your shades with a spot cleaning method. Use a clean sponge, lightly dampened with lukewarm water. Squeeze the sponge to ensure no water droplets remain. Use a gentle motion to wipe the spot. Keep your window shades in the closed position until they are completely dry. 

Provenance® Woven Wood Shades
Provenance® Woven Wood Shades


Maintenance for Draperies & Curtains

There are a number of ways to maintain the beauty of your draperies and curtains while removing dust, allergens and even pet hair.

  1. Identify Your Fabric: Start by knowing what kind of fabrics you have in your home. This way, you’ll be able to figure out which cleaning methods will work best without causing any damage.
  2. Test the Fabric: If you want to check to see if the colors in your fabric will bleed, test a small, inconspicuous area before applying cleaner, steam or water.
  3. Dry Cleaning Methods: Many draperies will clean best by dry cleaning. Specialty fabrics and stitching techniques can be delicate and may require special cleaning to prevent shrinking. Check local businesses for pricing.
  4. Using a Steam Cleaner: Steam cleaning your drapes can be one way to remove dust and freshen the fabrics. They can remain hanging while being cleaned, and then left to air dry.
  5. Machine Wash: If the fabric of your curtains can be machine washed, the recommendation will most likely have you using cold water on a delicate cycle. Promptly remove the curtains from the wash basin to hang dry or lie flat to dry.
  6. Wrinkle Remover: Ironing can be done following the fabric type guidance. It may be advised to test a small area before applying to the entire set.
  7. Tackling Pet Hair: This is a common question: How should pet hair be removed from drapes? By keeping a lint roller on hand, you can quickly and efficiently remove pet hair from curtains. The vacuum methods we referred to for fabric shades are also great options: upholstery attachments and low settings are great ways to get the pet hair away from your window treatments.
loft apartment downtown with large roller shade blinds and beige drapery panels
Designer Screen Shades with Custom Drapery


Here’s to Keeping a Clean Home!

At Blue Sky Shutters & Shades, we know that keeping your home looking and feeling fresh is important. While we recommend regular dusting, we know that sometimes your window treatments might need more! If you have questions about cleaning blinds, shades, shutters or drapery, let us know. We’d be happy to help point you in the right direction or offer guidance on your Hunter Douglas products. Get in touch today!