Vertical blinds are a fashionable and functional addition to your windows and patio doors in high traffic areas inside your home. However, because they are in such crowded locations in the house, they may need to be cleaned periodically to keep them maintained. Below are some of the ways for you to keep your vertical blinds looking their best. 

As a general rule, thoroughly cleaning them annually should be enough, but this depends on the usage and location of your vertical blinds. There isn’t a time set in stone for when you need to clean your blinds; if they look dirty to you, then it’s time to clean them, or if it’s been a year, give your blinds a thorough clean. 

While some people prefer to remove their blinds before cleaning them, it’s not a necessity to do so. This is especially true for vinyl blinds — think about it, removing blinds takes more space, time, and care because of the added risk of damaging them. 

The best way to clean vertical blinds is by taking the “as needed” approach, (this applies to all types of vertical blinds: wood, vinyl, fabric, cellular) which implements this sequence: 

1. Using an upholstery wand attachment, vacuum the vertical blinds. 

  • Close the blinds fully to avoid having slats bunched on one end.
  • Turn the blinds entirely to one side.
  • Take your time by slowly and carefully vacuum the slats individually from top to bottom. 
  • Turn the blinds onto the other side and repeat. 
  • DO: Avoid lifting the slats off their hooks.
  • DO: Always follow the length of the vanes
  • DON’T: Use a vacuum on full power, as this can increase the risk of damage.

2. Dust off the blinds using household items — feather dusting is the most common way to clean vertical blinds. However, people may also prefer to use a white glove or a paintbrush instead. 

  • Feather dusting cleaning: Close blinds fully and dust with up and down strokes, one vane at a time. Reverse and rotate blinds fully and repeat. 
  • White glove cleaning: (Vinyl/PVC/plastic blinds only, not for fabric) Fully close blinds to avoid having slats on one end. Open the blinds to rotate the vanes and out on the white cloth gloves, then carefully guide your hands over the vanes. Note: if the blinds are more than a little dirty, then it’s best to brush off the dust from the gloves and wash it. 
  • Paintbrush cleaning: Fully close the blinds and then open and close them to make them rotate. Then, wipe the vanes clean using a paintbrush with natural fibers (not plastic.) Any broad, high-quality paintbrush will be ideal for this job. Make sure to periodically shake or tap the brush to get rid of dust. Once finished, reverse the blinds and rotate them fully then repeat. DO: use a high quality 


3. If you would still like to do additional cleaning after vacuuming and dusting, then wash or spot clean the blinds. Applies to vinyl, PVC, plastic, and painted wood. 

  • Close doors and windows to prevent wind and dust from coming in. 
  • Collect drips by placing towels under the vanes about to be cleaned. 
  • Wet 1 or more sponges in a mild solution of warm water and soap. 
  • Squeeze the excess water off the sponge
  • Using the sponge, squeeze gently and slide downward slowly.
  • If needed, wipe a single vane in sections to avoid diminished cleaning quality. 
  • Use a clean and almost dry sponge to do a light drying pass. (Using a microfiber cloth to dry your blinds would be the ideal choice.) DO: refresh your bucket of water frequently or use another bucket to avoid contact with a dirty sponge. DO: Be gentle when cleaning vanes to prevent damaging it. DON’T: Use abrasive soaps.

Optional Step: Wood preservative or lemon oil can be used on wood blinds to give them a stained finish. 

To spot clean fabric vertical blinds, it’s best to blot the area with a wild cleansing solution, first testing on an area away from sight. Taking care not to harm the fabric material, use a sponge or soft cloth to blot the area softly and allow it to dry. 

If there is cleaning other than spot cleaning or dusting needed, it is best to consult with the blind manufacturer since cleaning instructions differ from brand to brand. Washing fabric blinds via immersion may damage blinds with heat and chemicals, while other types may respond well. It is best to consult the manufacturer before trying more aggressive methods of cleaning your fabric blinds.