When You Want to Clean Your Blinds, Head for the Gutter!
When you hear the phrase “Venetian blind cleaner,” you should not be picturing a sight-impaired maid from northern Italy.
Obviously, the term refers to keeping those horizontally-slatted window coverings free of dirt, dust, and stains. Venetian blinds are one of the most commonly-seen options in interior design, especially in budget-friendly homes like apartments and small houses. Conversely, Venetian blinds are among the most difficult to clean; after all, you can’t just throw them in the wash or take them to the laundromat.
Instead, the most effective way to tidy up Venetian blinds is to target one slat at a time. While some people use their bathtub for Venetian blind cleaning, the process can be cumbersome; plus, many homes are equipped with showers only or round tubs which cannot hold the blinds without bending them. Thankfully, there’s an innovative way to accomplish this task for metal or plastic (but not wooden) blinds: head for the gutter!
Using one or more sections of old aluminum, vinyl, stainless steel, or even copper gutters will help you clean each Venetian blind piece easily and thoroughly.
- Start by measuring the length of your Venetian blinds and then choosing or cutting a gutter section so that it is at least six inches longer than your blinds. A used section of gutter will work just fine if it does not have any leaks or cracks.
- Affix an endcap to each end of the gutter using silicone caulking or sealant so that a closed area is created for water.
- Fasten two gutter hangers to the bottom of the gutter near each end using caulk instead of screws.
- Finally, affix the bottom of the gutter hangers to a long piece of wood that runs underneath the gutter section. For best results, allow a week for the caulking to cure.
- Once the gutter is fixed firmly in place to the wood, you are ready to start cleaning your Venetian blinds. Fill the gutter section about 2/3 full with hot water and a little detergent.
- Following product instructions, carefully remove your blinds from the window and then take one slat at a time and place it into the water.
- Move the slat up and down within the gutter section several times in order to remove the dirt.
- Take out the slat and stand it one end so that any excess water will drain. Do this for each slat of your Venetian blinds.
- You can even rehang your blinds while they are still damp if you just wipe them clean with a cloth or towel first.
Of course, you don’t have to clean your blinds in this manner every time you start seeing a little dirt. The “gutter section” method is only ideal for so-called deep cleaning of your blinds – perhaps once a year or so. For regular cleaning, you can simply use a feather duster, cloth, towel, or even an old sock and wipe off each slat. If there are any stains, a small amount of water and/or cleaning solution may be necessary. Some people use a vacuum attachment to clean their Venetian blinds; this is recommended only for durable blinds that won’t be damaged by the sucking power of the vacuum.
It’s important to keep your Venetian blinds clean not only for aesthetic reasons, but also to minimize the amount of dust and other allergens that are present in your home. The great thing about using a gutter section to clean each slat is that you only have to build the “cleaning trough” once; then, you can store it in a garage or closet and reuse it from year to year. It may even be a great way to get a DIY spouse or roommate involved in your housecleaning activities!
Written by Del Thebaud