How to Clean Silhouettes, Roller Shades, Horizontal and Vertical Blind
Although all of these window treatments serve the same purpose, the method of cleaning them varies. Some of these window treatments can be cleaned by wiping them down to remove dust. Others require the use of equipment used by professionals.
Dust – A like-new appearance for many window panels, shutters, sheers, shading, shades, and blinds is maintained by regularly dusting the window treatments.
Vacuum – Vacuuming gently, using a brush attachment can be used for some cleaning. A vertical stroke is used on most treatments that can be vacuumed. Vacuums remove surface dust but do not remove embedded dirt. A vacuum brush can spread and embed grime deeper into the fabric. Dirty streaks are left on the material.
Hair Dryer or Air Compressor – Using a non-heat setting, dust can be blown off of selected window coverings.
Spot Clean – Blinds and shades can be spot cleaned with a sponge or soft cloth moistened with lukewarm water. Mild detergent can be added if necessary. Gently blot to avoid damaging or creasing the fabric. Rubbing can cause damage to the material. When spot cleaning is done, some areas may be noticeably cleaner than others.
Cleaning Specific Types of Window Treatments
A soft cloth and over-the-counter blind cleaner can be used on aluminum blinds. Static electricity can be reduced by applying a thin detergent film on the vanes of aluminum and vertical blinds.
Water or bathtub immersion can be used to clean some, but not all, wood and aluminum blinds. Most honeycomb fabrics cannot be washed with a water immersion method.
Ultrasonic Technology – Many manufacturers recommend professional ultrasound cleaning for some window treatments. The ultrasonic technology used by a professional window treatment technician is a process that is environmentally friendly and simple.
The system has advantages over other cleaning methods. It uses no liquids. No waste is produced, and there are no cleaning fluids to get rid of. Soil residue is extracted and captured with the use of a series of filters.
The process has been lab-tested to verify the residual waste from this on-site process is non-toxic and eco-friendly. The service can be performed in one day with a mobile drying cleaning unit.
This unique process removes existing flame retardant from the fabric. A new flame retardant can be applied. Flame retardants do not adhere to dirty fabric fibers. The technician will apply a light spray evenly over the clean window treatments while they are hanging.
Injection/Extraction – Another cleaning method used by professionals is an injection/extraction system. A cleaning product is injected into the fabric. The dirty solution that is created is immediately extracted.
It is an efficient way to deep clean window treatments. This process is also performed on-site. The window treatments do not have to be removed. This method is used on most fabric-based window treatments.
Knowing which cleaning method is required for each type of window treatment can be confusing. A wrong choice can cause irreparable damage. For expensive window treatments, it is highly recommended to seek the services of a professional window treatment technician.
Mini blinds gather dust like all areas of a home. Cleaning them often is low on the priority list, due to the perception of their trickiness. Dust will harden on blinds exposed to sunlight. Trying to clean individual mini blind slats with a cleaning solution will lead to the discovery that cleaning each one perfectly is extremely difficult.
Frequently, wiping off the dirt from a slat reveals the top or bottom of the slat is still dirty. It now sticks out as an eyesore. Either follow the steps outline below or have a professional clean your mini blinds.
Basic Cleaning Steps
The convex side of the blinds should face the room. Loose dust is brushed away toward the floor. Dusters are available from grocery stores, or dust cloths can be used. Open the blinds half-way.
Using rubber gloves and folded dusting wipes, remove the dust that has become stuck to the blinds. Each blind is wiped slowly from left to right. The area between the title cords needs to be also cleaned.
With the blinds in the lowered position, damp dust the bottom of the blind slats. Turn the blinds so that the concave side faces the room. Begin the process again.
Heavy Duty Blind Cleaning
If dusting does not clean the blinds well enough, they need to be soaked. You might consider letting professional cleaners do the job. If you choose to tackle the job on your own, the blinds will be placed in the bathtub. Blinds that are too long for the tub fit inside rain gutters.
Hardware stores have gutters. You will need a gutter at least as long as the longest set of blinds. End caps and attaching hardware must also be purchased to form a mini blind cleaning tank.
A clean driveway is a good location to clean the blinds. Fill the gutter with a bit of cleaner and water. Dish soap rinses clean. Be careful about adding too much cleaner. Only an amount that produces suds is needed.
Allow the binds to soak for several minutes. Let the soap do its job. Spread the blinds on a flat surface such as a patio or driveway. Wipe any remaining soil with a wet cloth to loosen it. Clean both sides of the blinds. Use a garden hose to rinse the blinds. Allow the blinds to sun dry. They can then be rehung.
To ensure mini blinds can safely be cleaned at home, check the directions provided by the manufacturer. Some materials such as fabric or real wood cannot be immersed in water. Do not use bleach to clean mini blinds. The fabric cords holding the assembly together will be weakened or damaged.
The process can also be very intimidating when blinds are large. Consider having the mini blinds cleaned professionally. Experts come to your residence to clean and rehang the mini blinds for you. High-frequency sound waves are used to clean the blinds. This process is ideal for cleaning accumulated grime and tight spaces.
Professional curtain cleaners excel at cleaning intricate pieces and fine fabrics. After careful inspection, fabrics are tested to determine the most appropriate cleaning method.
Draperies that need to be cleaned should only be dry-cleaned. Some curtain cleaning services take down draperies and transport them to their place of business. Here, the cleaning process used, removes soil, odors, pollen, smoke, and dust. The service will guarantee the drapes are returned with no shrinkage, even hems, and parallel pleats. Specialists re-hang the drapes with the utmost care.
Others avoid having an office of home exposed while draperies are out. Professionals have equipment specifically designed to clean draperies. The process can be done in the home or office. A solvent, that is specially formulated, is injected into the drapery. The solvent is administered under pressure then extracted from the fabric, leaving the drapes in clean condition. No shrinkage or damage to the fabric occurs during the process.
When a professional decides what clean process is best to clean curtains, the fiber content of the fabric and the dye fastness are taken into consideration. A synthetic hydrocarbon solvent is the product most frequently used by technicians, because it is nonflammable. This solution cannot be used with dyes that will fade or bleed.
A soft non-aggressive solvent is used on fabric prone to dye problems or color loss. The paradox to this solution is that it is gentler than detergent but flammable. It can only be used where fire precautions are taken. It is not toxic and can be hung to dry in a ventilated space where fire precautions are in place.
If cleaning instructions instruction have the symbol ‘P,’ perkcholorethylene is used to clean curtains. Professionals refer to the cleaner as ‘Perk.” It has to be used in the cleaning facility because tumble drying is required, and the toxic fumes are collected in a sealed machine.
If the fabric has water born stains, soap and water are added to the solvent to remove them. Mechanical action, heat, and moisture can cause shrinkage. A clothing press is used to finish the curtains.
Other window treatments that a curtain cleaning service will treat include:
•Austrian and Roman Shades
Curtains made of very heavy material and difficult to take down may be steam cleaned in the home or business. Technicians start at the top of the curtain and work down. Technicians know how far to keep the appliance away from the fabric to prevent it from becoming too wet. Steam can burn. Professionals wear protective clothing, appropriate for the job.
Hot Water Extraction
Hot water extraction is used on curtains that are not harmed by large amounts of water. The method is gentle on fabric while effective in dirt and dust removal. A combination of special solution and hot water cleans stubborn stains. Ninety-five percent of the combination, along with the dirt from the fabric, is extracted back. This method requires some time to dry fully.
Getting professional help with window treatment
Window treatments are a form of personal expression. That does not mean you have to do the work yourself. A company offering window treatment services helps to create a look perfect for your home or business. Crafted window treatments finish a room and frame the view.
Window treatment services specialize in custom designing windows for commercial and residential properties. A home or business consultation is conducted to measure windows. Ideas, design options, and fabric choices are discussed. Services include:
• Custom Window Design
• Cornice Boards
• Cushions and Pillows
• Drapery Panels and Treatments
• Mini, Woven, and Honeycomb Blinds
• Rods and Decorative Rods
• Shades and Shutters
• Roman Shades and Vertical Blinds
• Jabots and Swags
Trim, hardware, and finishing details will complete the process that yields a beautiful, functioning, lasting window treatment that complements the lifestyle of the client and the décor of the home or business. The designs range from eclectic to traditional, contemporary to country. Working with a window treatment service takes the confusion and worry out of the process.
Custom Window Design
The focus of creating custom window treatments is to provide both decoration and functionality. Accessories such as pillows and cushions can add to the design. Window décor enriches a home. Window treatment needs are met with solutions ranging from efficient solar screens to fine draperies.
Bedroom and living room décor is greatly influenced by window treatments. A casual style that offers a decorative accent to a room can be accomplished by simple curtains that are light in color or layers of sheers. For an elegant and refined finish, use velvet drapes paired with sheers.
Window Treatment Effects
Cornices give the allusion that windows are bigger than they are. The stationary toppers add extra elegance. Coordinate the texture and color of area rugs and pillows with window treatments for a cohesive look. Accent pillows are a welcomed addition to any bed or sofa. They provide easy seasonal updates.
Adding shades or blinds offers privacy. Sliding panel shades are a popular option for walls of glass or large windows. Another large window or sliding glass door window treatment is vertical honeycomb shades. They have insulated cellular air pockets. The most elegant shades are soft vertical shades that combine vertical blind vanes and soft sheer fabric that provides greater light control.
Certain window treatments create different décor and style effects of a room. Woven window shades enhance a living room by giving it a sophisticated, yet casual look. When looking for a quick way to freshen up a kitchen without too many changes, consider the addition of valances to windows. They make a tremendous impact. Valances are a popular treatment idea when floor-length draperies are not practical. Only the top portion of a window is covered. Countless styles and fabrics are available. Poles, rods, or boards can be used to mount them. They can be used in conjunction or without drapery panels. Valance options include fusing existing treatments, creating your own, or custom designs. The scope of a project is determined by style, shape, and budget.