Wooden blinds keep a room pleasantly shaded while providing a feeling of comfort and elegance. Unfortunately, they also tend to collect dust. To keep your blinds looking good throughout the year, you'll want to clean them frequently. Fortunately, caring for them is simple as long as you follow a few simple tips.
Don't get them wet
While PVC or fabric blinds can get wet without coming to harm, wooden blinds run the risk of swelling or warping if you get them wet. Moisture left in contact with the surface of the blind can also damage the varnish. Almost all of your cleaning will be done with dry dusters; if you do have to get your blinds a little wet, be sure to dry them thoroughly as soon as possible.
Most of the time, a simple dusting should suffice to keep your blinds looking great. Simply close the blinds and run over them with a soft cloth or duster, wiping in a downward direction. Once you've done this, reverse the blinds so that the other side of the slats is showing. Dust this side in the same way. If your blinds are particularly dusty, you may need to pay some extra attention to the areas where the cords run through the slats. Do this regularly, though, and you shouldn't have a problem. If you have a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment, you can use it to clean slats individually. Take a slat in your hand and gently run the brush over it, starting from the centre and working your way out. Only do this with a low-suction cleaner; too much suction can pull a slat out of alignment.
Dealing with serious stains
For more difficult stains, rub the affected area gently with a damp cloth. Be patient and don't scrub too hard or you risk damaging the slat's finish. Once the stain is gone, rub the area gently with a dry cloth to remove any remaining moisture.
Restoring stained blinds
If you have timber blinds that have discoloured from exposure to sun or water damage, you may be able to restore their shine by applying a solution of linseed oil. Remove the blinds from the window and mix equal parts vinegar, linseed oil and turpentine. Firmly rub this solution into the wood with a soft cloth, then wipe off any excess not absorbed by the blind. The oil will restore some of the wood's natural shine and help protect it against the elements.
With proper care and cleaning, your wood blinds will keep their new gleam for years to come.