After reading some great tips from half a dozen online resources, I got to work putting them to work, adding some of my own customizations along the way. All told, the whole process of cleaning a set of Venetian (horizontal) blinds on a medium-sized bedroom window didn't take more than 15 minutes, and I'm happy enough with the results to ignore the blinds for the rest of the spring.
Your mileage may vary depending on your degree of tolerance to dust and how much naturally settles on your windows. Remember that if you also plan to vacuum the room, do the blinds and other dusting first and save the vacuuming for the last time. This is what I did.
First get all your junk
Clearly this can be, save don't cross this step. Dust and dirt will rain on all clothing, papers or other items on the floor under the window, even a fine layer. Put your things on the desk or bed, or better yet, store them all.
If the blinds are really dirty, consider covering your face.
The dirt on my blinds was light enough this time that I wasn't too concerned about inhaling too many particles. You can help protect your lungs by putting on aor wrapping your nose and mouth in a scarf – you can always throw it in the wash when you're done.
ben-bryant / iStock
Clean, Dry, Not Wet
My biggest mistake is trying to wet my plastic blinds and then using dry paper towels. This makes for a muddy mess that smears around the dirt. Moist paper towels absorb a lot of the foam and seem to dissolve some of the dust in hard-to-reach corners. But when it was first cleaned dry, the work went faster and more effectively.
Here's an exception: If your blinds are very dirty, you may need a different action plan than what I outline below, such as combinations of detergent, vinegar and water solutions, or even take your blinds out the window and put them in the bathtub Wash. Wooden blinds may also need more specialized treatment.
Secret weapon: bring out the vacuum cleaner
Yes, you can use a dustpan or microfibre cloth (more below), but the groundbreaking method for me is to use the small duster mount (the one with the brushes) on my vacuum cleaner . It quickly does a job that would normally take me at least three times longer if I did it by hand.
Vacuum cleaners of all sizes can have such attachments that can be snapped or clamped onto a rod or hose. Here are some of CNET & # 39; s favorite. have no attachment, but are good for picking up dust particles that fall when you clean, without having to make an effort.
Clean in a zigzag pattern, one section at a time
The general recommendation is to angle the blinds so that you start with the hollow part (the side that usually collects more dust) and move from top to bottom so the fabric will fall down, and you can sweep it up as you go.
This makes sense, but to walk back and forth taking things row by row, I worked vertically by section vertically, divided by those support cords running across most blinds.
Choose one side, top right or top left. Start with one vertical section at a time and vacuum the top bar in one direction, for example, from left to right. When you reach the end of the bar, drag the vacuum onto the bar below it, so you start on the right side of that bar and work to the left. When you are done with the second slat, drop the vacuum cleaner head to the third and pick it up on the left. When you have completed a section, start over from the top of the next.
Finally, you follow a zigzag pattern that ensures that the work continues quickly, from section to section.
Now do the other side
When you are done with one side, turn the rod to tilt the blinds in the other direction and do it all over again. The dust was lighter on this side, so I broke the "rules" and vacuumed each section from top to bottom, working over it with long swipes. (But you get cosmic brownie points if you do it the right way.)
Microfiber, socks and vacuum cleaners work too
If you don't have a vacuum cleaner or dustpan, or just prefer to use something else , microfibre cloth seems to be the most widely accepted method. You can also use a fluffy duster on a magic wand or a specialized tool, such as athat has finger-shaped attachments to really get inside.
I saw some DIY suggestions for making your own blinds by clamping rubber sponges or microfibre cloths inside a kitchen tongs (one on each side), clamping over a venetian blind and sliding along to dust. collect. Smart! You could even put your hand in a sock, but that seems like more manual labor than I like.
Get the rest of the dirt out
When I inspected the blinds in the light, I was satisfied enough with my efforts, but the dirt in and on the windowsill nagged at me. I used the dust extractor of the vacuum cleaner to vacuum as many particles as possible. Then I went for the dry paper towel because old habits are dying off hard and I didn't feel like sacrificing a microfiber cloth then I used the damp paper towel to get into the corners and fix more dirt. Not a perfect technique, but I got enough out of it to continue my day.
Vacuum the floor and then clean the brushes
The last few steps involve using your standing, shop or hand vacuum cleaner to remove the dust particles hanging on the floor, especially if you have carpet. You can shake or wipe the bristles of the duster attachment over the debris to clean them or toss the entire attachment into the sink with some liquid hand wash soap like I did, soak a little before rinsing it and then air dry.
Take a load off you. You deserve it. I celebrated this by writing this article while lying back on the couch.
For more home cleaning tips, learn the easy way toprevent and against faulty faecal particles (coarse).