If you do not own pets or smoke in your home, your blinds need only be cleaned about once every two weeks. Simply take a large static-free duster and wipe down the blinds in sections, beginning at the top and working your way down. When you are finished, apply a light coating of furniture polish to help keep dust from building up in the future. Once every two or three months, use the hose attachment on your vacuum to clean out the wheel mechanism in the top of the blind. If you raise and lower your blinds often, this should be done more frequently.
Cleaning Blinds for Smokers, Pet Owners, and Those With Dust Allergies
Because both nicotine and pet hair build up so easily, it is important to clean your blinds often to keep this from happening. Every week, take the hose from your vacuum, preferably with the brush attachment in place, and clean all the dust from the blinds, starting at the top and working your way down, making sure that the bristles are making good contact with the blinds on each pass. Since the slats don’t move around or bend under light pressure, it won’t hurt to “scrub” them with the brush. Be sure to suction out the wheel mechanism at the top. Use a thin coating of furniture polish when you are done. Every 3-6 months, follow the instructions for removing built up dust.
Cleaning in Arid Environments
If your home is in a dry climate which is prone to dust clouds, you will need to clean your blinds quite often. To begin the cleaning, spray out the wheel mechanism with “canned air” such as is used for dusting electronic equipment. The instructions are otherwise much the same as for a smoking or pet home, though you may need to clean the blinds more frequently. Furniture polish should be applied to a cloth and wiped on, instead of directly to the wood and rubbed in, so it will dry more quickly.
Removing Built Up Dust
Unlike the traditional thin white plastic blinds, wood blinds do not tend to stain with age. Since the dirt is also less noticeable, it may be tempting to clean them less often than traditional blinds. However, the porosity of the wood means this is not really a good idea. If the dust and lint is allowed to build up, then it may get into grooves and crevices in the wood, hang on any rough edges, and will be much harder to clean than if they are dusted on a weekly or biweekly basis.
If this build up has happened, start by spraying out the wheel mechanism with a can of pressurized air to loosen the dust, then use the vacuum hose to remove it. Next, mix half a cup of white vinegar with a cup of warm water in a small bucket. Add 4 Tablespoons of baking soda to a separate container. You will need one cloth for washing and another for drying. Soak one cloth in the vinegar water and ring out well, then dip lightly into the soda. Scrub each blind gently in a circular motion from left to right, then rinse and ring the cloth and wipe each blind down until all trace of baking soda has been removed. Wipe each slat down with the dry cloth. Apply a light coating of furniture polish.