Image of someone looking through window blinds

The best ways to clean blinds (plastic, fabric, wood & more).

Last Updated: December 22, 2021

Cleaning your blinds is actually pretty easy, as long as you have the right cleaning supplies and routine setup. Read on for a simple guide to which products to use and what steps to take to make cleaning your blinds a breeze.

You’ve probably cleaned your windows lately, but what about your blinds?

Cleaning the blinds is one of those tricky, overlooked chores that can easily get left off of the to-do list. That probably has something to do with the fact that going from window to window and figuring out how to remove the grime from each of those pesky slats in the blinds seems, well, kind of complicated.

Luckily, cleaning your blinds is actually pretty easy, as long as you have the right cleaning supplies and routine setup. Read on for a simple guide to which products to use and what steps to take to make cleaning your blinds a breeze.

What do you need to clean blinds?

The cleaning method you choose for your blinds will depend on the material they’re made of.

Blinds can be made of everything from aluminum, or plastic, wood, faux wood, and even fabric. Before cleaning, check all of your blinds to see what materials you’re working with.

In general, when you’re getting ready to clean blinds, some supplies to have on hand include:

Now that you know what supplies you need, let’s get into specifics about the easiest and most efficient ways to clean each type of blinds.

Mrs. Meyers cleaning products and Grove Co. cleaning caddy

Become a Grove member

Wondering who Grove is, what types of products we offer, and how to get a free gift set when you sign up? Learn more about flexible monthly shipments, customizing your shipment, and joining millions of happy households — no monthly fees or commitments required.

What is the best way to start cleaning blinds?

The first step to keeping blinds clean is dusting them regularly. Wood, faux wood, aluminum, and plastic blinds can be dusted weekly using any of the following methods:

For fabric blinds, gentle vacuuming is generally the best dusting method, but it’s a good idea to double check your manufacturer’s instructions before dusting to avoid accidentally damaging the blinds.

Even if blinds are dusted as a part of your usual cleaning routine, they will still need monthly deep cleaning to get rid of yucky build-up from grease, dust, and pet hair, as well as to ward off discoloration from sunlight.

If it’s time for a more substantial cleaning session, here’s how to get it done.

What is the best way to deep clean blinds without taking them down?

Blinds can be cleaned while they’re still hanging, as long as they aren’t excessively soiled or discolored.

You’ll want to prep the area with a drop cloth or towel to keep dust and drips from falling on the floor, and you may want to wear a pair of reusable cleaning gloves to protect your hands.

The specific products you use will vary with each type of blinds, but the cleaning process for hanging blinds typically follows three basic steps:

  1. Dust thoroughly.
  2. Wipe blinds slat by slat with a cleaning cloth and desired cleaning solution.
  3. Dry blinds completely with a dry cloth.

Watch this video for a closer look at how to do it:

Now, let’s break that process down for the specific type of blinds in your home.

What is the easiest way to clean plastic blinds?

Plastic blinds are versatile and durable, which makes them among the easiest types of blinds to clean.

You can use a cloth with a multi-purpose cleaning spray to wipe down each slat. Always spot-test cleaners first to check for discoloration.

Another option for cleaning plastic blinds is to use a gentle, DIY cleaning solution made from basic household ingredients, like vinegar and dish soap.

Here’s what to do once you have your cleaning solution picked:

  1. Tilt the blinds downward and dust, working from top to bottom.
  2. Make a solution of equal parts warm water and white vinegar with a few drops of dish soap.
  3. Dip a cleaning cloth or sponge in solution, and wipe each slat.
  4. Remove any remaining moisture with a dry towel or cloth.
  5. Turn the blinds so the slats face the other direction, and repeat steps 1-4.

Grove Tip

Use a dryer sheet to clean your blinds

As a final step in your cleaning process, try wiping both sides of the blinds with a fabric softener sheet.

This may help prevent future dust and build-up from accumulating on your freshly cleaned blinds.

How to clean stained or discolored plastic blinds

If your plastic blinds are very dirty or discolored, taking them down to clean them may be the best way to get them looking like new again.

First, fill a bathtub with a small amount of cool water, a cup of baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap.

Then, follow these steps:

  1. Remove blinds from window according to manufacturer instructions.
  2. Soak blinds in the bath for 10 minutes. Do not submerge the headrail or other working parts, as this may cause rust or damage.
  3. Rinse blinds thoroughly and remove from tub.
  4. Spread blinds out on a flat, dry surface and wipe away excess water.
  5. Allow blinds to air dry on a shower rod or flat surface before rehanging.

How do you clean fabric blinds?

Vacuuming away dust and spot-cleaning stains with a gentle stain remover is often all that’s needed to keep fabric blinds clean; however, certain types of fabric blinds may need professional cleaning to avoid damaging glue, folds, and seams.

Always review your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions before trying any new cleaning products or methods on fabric blinds.

How do you clean wooden blinds?

Wood blinds shouldn’t be cleaned with water like other kinds of blinds, as it can cause permanent damage to the slats.

Instead, dust your wood blinds regularly and check to see if your manufacturer allows wood cleaners. If so, you can clean wood blinds monthly with a gentle wood cleaner and wood-safe furniture polish.

  1. Dust the blinds from top to bottom.
  2. Spray wood cleaner onto a microfiber cloth and wipe each slat.
  3. Flip the blinds to clean the other side.
  4. Buff both sides of each slat with a natural wood polish to prevent future build-up.

How do you clean faux wood blinds?

Faux wood is water-safe, so you can clean faux wood blinds in a similar way to those made of plastic or other water-friendly materials.

Start with a thorough dusting, then:

  1. Mix a solution of equal parts warm water and white vinegar with a few drops of dish soap.
  2. Dip a cleaning cloth in solution, and wipe each slat.
  3. Wipe away moisture with a dry cloth or towel.
  4. Turn the blinds so the slats face the other direction and repeat the process.

Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners on blinds, as this may wear away protective finishes or paints and make blinds look discolored.

With regular maintenance and the right natural cleaning products, you can keep every type of blinds looking sparkling clean and fantastic.

Read more from Grove.