Kathryn is a craft aficionado who loves writing about DIY home improvement projects. When she’s not writing, she loves reading, listening to musicals, and playing with her kids.
How To Clean Faux Wood Blinds (Step-by-Step Guide)
Faux wood blinds are a beautiful, practical alternative to real wood blinds. They’re easier to care for and less expensive while retaining the aesthetics of real wood.
To make your blinds last as long as possible, regular cleaning is essential. You can clean faux wood blinds by using a duster regularly, wiping them with a cloth and warm soapy water, and with vinegar. In this article, we’ll detail the steps of cleaning, and tell you how to save discolored, dingy blinds.
Table of Contents
- How Did My Blinds Get So Dirty?
- How to Clean Dust from Faux Wood Blinds
- How to Clean the Strings on Faux Wood Blinds
- Cleaning Faux Wood Blinds with Vinegar
- How to Clean Yellowing Blinds
- How to Repaint your Faux Wood Blinds
- How to Maintain Faux Wood Blinds
- Related Questions
How Did My Blinds Get So Dirty?
It’s hard to believe that something that mostly sits there all day can get so dirty. But there are a lot of factors that combine to make that grime:
- Dust particles in the air: Dust often accumulates faster than we anticipate. But vacuuming a carpet, clogged air filters, and air duct issues can all contribute to quick dust buildup.
- Pet dander: Anyone with dogs or cats might have a good amount of pet dander floating around their home, especially if their pet has dry skin or sheds a lot. And like dust, pet dander gets stirred up by vacuuming and can settle on your blinds.
- Skin cells: This is not something we like to think about, but our bodies shed millions of skin cells each day, all of which contribute to dust.
- Cooking grease, food particles: If your blinds are in the kitchen, they’re more likely to accumulate cooking grease and food particles.
How to Clean Dust from Faux Wood Blinds
Sometimes you can get away with using a microfiber duster to remove a light layer of dust from your blinds. But when you have a thicker layer of dust, a duster won’t remove all of it. Here’s how to get thicker layers of dust off of your blinds:
- Remove Loose Dust: Use a microfiber cloth to remove the loose dust and debris. You can also use a vacuum attachment to remove loose dust.
- Make Soapy Water: Fill a bowl with some mild dish soap and warm water.
- Take the Blinds Down: Make sure the blinds are closed all the way, then remove them from the window.
- Wipe Down the Blinds: Use a rag to wipe each slat at a time with the soapy water. It’s best to start at the top to prevent dust from higher slats from getting on the clean slats.
- Wipe the Other Side: Flip the blinds over to wipe the other side.
- Dry the Blinds: Use a fresh dry cloth to thoroughly dry both sides of the blinds.
- Wipe with a Dryer Sheet: Wipe the blinds with a dryer sheet. This will protect them from future dust buildup.
How to Clean the Strings on Faux Wood Blinds
Just as your blinds can get dingy over time, the strings do as well. There are a few different ways to get them clean:
- Shoe Polish: Use a rag and a small amount of shoe polish to wipe over the strings to remove dust and other dirt.
- Lemon Juice: Take the blinds apart and put the cords into a bag filled with hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice. Leave it overnight, then hang the string up to dry in the morning.
- Shaving Cream: Squirt some shaving cream onto a cloth and rub the strings to clean them.
Cleaning Faux Wood Blinds with Vinegar
If you’re a fan of the natural cleaning properties of vinegar, fortunately, this is a great way to clean blinds.
- Fill a Bowl with Vinegar: Pour some vinegar into a bowl.
- Dip a Glove in Vinegar: Put on a pair of cotton gloves or a clean pair of socks. Dip one of your gloved hands into the vinegar.
- Wipe the Blinds: Using your free hand to hold the blinds, run your gloved hand along each slat, starting at the top corner.
- Clean the Other Side: Flip the blinds and clean the opposite side the same way. When one gets dirty, let it soak in the vinegar and continue to clean with the other glove.
- Dry the Blinds: Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to dry the blinds. The strong smell of the vinegar will neutralize as it dries.
How to Clean Yellowing Blinds
After being in a sunny window, UV rays from the sun will cause any type of blinds to discolor. There are a few different ways to handle this. The first is to give them a bleach bath.
- Dust the Blinds: Use a duster to remove loose dust from the blinds.
- Remove the Blinds: Take the blinds out of the windowsill.
- Fill the Tub: Fill your bathtub with cold water and add 2-3 cups of bleach. Do not use hot water with bleach, as this can cause harmful fumes.
- Soak the Blinds: Place the blinds in the bleach water, completely submerging them. Let them soak for 10 minutes.
- Wipe the Blinds: Put on some rubber gloves to protect your hands from the bleach. Then use a cloth to wipe each slat.
- Dry the Blinds: Take the blinds out and dry them with a towel. You can also let them air dry.
- Replace the Blinds: Put the blinds back on the window.
How to Repaint your Faux Wood Blinds
If your blinds have yellowed beyond repair, or are irreversibly dingy, repainting is a good option. Depending on the quality of your blinds, this strategy is likely cheaper than investing in new blinds.
- Wood patch Kit
- Semi-gloss finish
- Paint of your choice (spray-on or brush-on)
- Clear finish
Step 1: Take the Blinds Apart
Take the end caps and the metal cover off of the bottom bar of the blinds. Then slide all the slats off of the strings and remove any hardware the blinds may have.
Step 2: Label Your Hardware
Label the hardware if you haven’t taken them apart before to make sure you know where to replace them. You may also want to number the slats so that you put them back in the correct order when you’re done.
Step 3: Clean the Blinds
Before you paint, you need to make sure the blinds are clean. Wipe each slat with some warm soapy water.
Step 4: Remove Paint
Use a non-toxic paint remover to take off any leftover paint.
Step 5: Patch Holes and Scratches
With a wood patch kit, smooth over holes, and scratches.
Step 6: Lay Out the Slats
Find a work surface. If you’re using brush-on paint, you just need to figure out where you will lay your slats until the paint dries. If you have somewhere to hang the slots using the little holes in them, this would work well too. If you’re using spray paint, you may want to do this outside.
Step 7: Apply a Base Coat
With a semi-gloss latex finish, apply your base coat to each slat. Let them dry for 24 hours, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 8: Paint the Blinds
Apply your paint to each slat. Be careful not to cover any of the hardware holes with the paint.
Step 9: Add Your Finish
Let the paint dry. If you’d like, finish off with a clear finish topcoat. This will protect the paint from scratches and chips. The finish can be glossy or matte depending on your preference.
Step 10: Reassemble the Blinds
Once the blinds are completely dry, put them back together and hang them up again.
How to Maintain Faux Wood Blinds
Regular cleaning is key to preserving the beauty of your blinds. Here’s what you should do to keep them looking as good as new:
- Dust your blinds at least once per week using either a duster or a vacuum attachment.
- When you’re dusting, try not to push the dust onto the strings that run through the blinds.
- Run a dryer sheet along both sides of your blinds twice per week to minimize dust buildup.
- When dust and dirt build-up, use a cloth and some warm soapy water to wipe each slat.
- Do not use abrasive cleaners on your blinds – these can damage the finish.
Can I use the same methods for my real wood blinds?
Real wood blinds need to be treated more gently than faux wood. Real wood blinds should not be submerged in a bath for deep cleaning. This will likely warp the wood. You should also avoid using bleach with real wood. Real wood should be wiped with a small amount of water (not saturated). You can also use furniture polish. Dry them thoroughly after cleaning.
Can you clean faux wood blinds with a hose?
For deep cleaning, hosing faux woods down is a convenient option. To do this, lay them outside on top of a towel in the driveway. Scrub them off gently using a car brush and a bucket of soapy water. Then rinse them off gently with a garden hose.
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