How to Clean Blinds of All Types

By Kealia Reynolds

Dirty blinds can harbor dust, pet fur, and other allergens that affect the indoor air quality of your home. Fortunately, cleaning blinds is easy and can be done within an hour.

How to clean blinds of all kinds

Before cleaning your blinds, determine what type of material they’re made of. Most are made from wood, fabric, or plastic. For horizontal blinds (or venetian blinds), work top to bottom. For vertical blinds, work left to right, starting at the top, and slowly make your way toward the bottom.


  • Microfiber cloths
  • Microfiber mini blind duster
  • Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment
  • Dish soap
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Car-washing brush
  • Garden hose
  • Old towel or carpet square

How to clean blinds that require a simple dusting

Using a microfiber cloth

  1. Close the blinds so that the concave side faces you.
  2. Starting from the top, wipe away dust with a microfiber cloth and work your way down the blinds.
  3. Turn the tilt wand (the rod that opens and closes your blinds) until the blinds close and the convex side faces you.
  4. Dust the convex side from top to bottom.
  5. Vacuum any fallen dust with your vacuum cleaner attachment. Vacuum across the slats, not up and down.

Using a microfiber mini blind duster

  1. Keep the blinds open and run the duster along each blind, from top to bottom.
  2. After you’ve dusted the blinds, use the vacuum cleaner attachment to remove any fallen dust.

Since dust will quickly pile back up on your blinds, clean them every couple of weeks.

How to clean blinds that are extremely dirty

If your blinds have built up grime, they will require more than a simple dusting. Here’s how to clean blinds based on the material they’re made of.

How to clean plastic blinds
  1. Remove as much dust as possible by wiping each individual blind with a microfiber cloth.
  2. Fill your bathtub with warm water and unhook your blinds from the window.
  3. Soak the blinds in the water for at least one hour.
  4. A mixture of water and dish soap can be used if the blinds have been exposed to grease or have stubborn residue.
  5. Remove the blinds from the tub and wipe them dry with a microfiber cloth or hang them outside to dry.
  6. Replace the blinds back in the window.
How to clean wood blinds
  1. Keep your blinds closed.
  2. Remove as much dust as possible by using a microfiber cloth, starting from the top and working your way down.
  3. Flip the blinds so the other side is facing you and repeat the process with your microfiber cloth.
  4. Remove extra dust with a vacuum cleaner brush attachment.
  5. Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with warm water and wipe down extra grime. Though you can clean wood blinds with water, you should never soak them completely.
  6. Finish cleaning both sides of the blinds with a cleaner made specifically for wood, like lemon oil, and a microfiber cloth.
How to clean metal, aluminum, and vinyl blinds
  1. Remove the blinds from the window and take them outside to your patio or driveway.
  2. Lay them on a towel or small carpet square. Keep the blinds tilted downward, but not completely closed.
  3. Put a few drops of dish soap in a bucket of warm water.
  4. Wet a car-washing brush and brush the blinds from side to side, turning them over and doing the same on the other side.
  5. Gently rinse the blinds with a garden hose.
  6. To prevent water spots from forming, run your finger down the slats to remove excess water.
  7. Let the blinds hang over a fence to dry.
How to clean fabric blinds
  1. Remove the shades completely from the window.
  2. Use a soft brush attachment on a low suction setting to remove dust from your shades. You can also use a rubber sponge (or dry sponge) to remove dust and residue from fabric blinds. Start from the top and work your way down to the bottom.
  3. Spot clean any stains with a mixture of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Wet a microfiber cloth with the soapy water and dab the stain with the damp cloth. Do this multiple times depending on the severity of the stain.
  4. Let the blinds air dry.

Note: If fabric blinds are extremely dirty, you can take them to a dry cleaner.

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