Miniblinds are a useful and decorative home accessory. The old-fashioned Venetian blind has gone the way of the dinosaur and been replaced by its colorful and talented cousin. Miniblinds can soften, filter, or block light. They can provide a room with semi- or total privacy. They come in a wide array of colors and price ranges.
They’re also a bear to clean. Miniblinds attract dust, dirt, grease, hair, pollen, bugs—you name it, it’s probably on your miniblinds. Having tried everything on the market–including those finger-like, shammy-covered contraptions sold next to the miniblind display at the local department store— I have developed my own tried-and-true method of cleaning my miniblinds and keeping them that way.
You will need: a bathtub, grease-cutting dish detergent, heavy cloth gloves or old washcloths; large, old towels; Static-Guard cheap fabric softener sheets.
First, vacuum your miniblinds while they’re still hanging. If you don’t have a suitable attachment on your vacuum cleaner, you can also use a naturally electrostatically-charged wool duster. These are available at most home stores. The new electrostatic cloths don’t work as well because it is very hard to get in-between and behind the blinds unless you use the cloth in your hand. Anyone who has dusted miniblinds with a dustrag knows how time consuming and difficult this is.
Next, remove the blinds from the windows. This is best done by raising the blind, locking it in position, and removing it from its holder. Lay the folded blinds in the bathroom, where the real cleaning process takes place.
Spread a number of large, old towels on the floor to be used to dry clean blinds.
Lay one blind in the bathtub, open to its full extension with slats either up or down, as you prefer. You will be cleaning both sides. Cover the blind with warm water to which you’ve added grease-cutting dish detergent. Follow the detergent manufacturer’s guidelines if you’re unsure of the amount. Just think of the tub as a huge load of dishes. Let the blind soak for at least 5 minutes.
Wearing an old pair of cotton gloves, start washing each individual slat with your fingers. Using the gloves allows you to clean both sides of the blind at the same time, like washing forks. If your must use a cloth, you will have to wash each side separately.
If the water is really dirty, drain the tub. If not, save the water. In either case, lift the blind clear of the water, turn on your shower, and rinse the blind well. Lay it on a towel, and using another towel, blot dry.
If you have a large enough space, you could do a number of blinds before moving on to the next step. When the blind is completely dry, spray it lightly with Static Guard, or bunch up some cheap softener sheets and run them across the slats. This will help prevent the blinds from attracting dust, dirt, and hair.
Re-hang the blind.