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Cleaning mini-blinds

Moms View Message Board: Get Organized: Cleaning mini-blinds
By Happynerdmom on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 06:08 pm:

Does anyone have any nifty tricks for getting mini-blinds clean without a ton of work? (Okay, I'm lazy!) I have mini-blinds on the window above my kitchen sink, and I would be embarrased to tell you when they were last cleaned! Being in the kitchen they are greasy and grimy. Luckily they're blue, so they don't look quite as disgusting as they would if they were white. Anyway, I'm finally sick of them and was hoping for any tips. TIA

By Palmbchprincess on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 07:21 pm:

It's going to be a pain to clean them this time, but once you do you can stay on top of it by wiping them down every couple days. As for right now, try some 409 orange cleaner, spray, wipe with a damp cloth. Thanks pretty much the only way I know. HTH, and maybe someone will have a better idea!

By Ginny~moderator on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 08:43 pm:

I am lazy, and my screensaver says "Efficiency is organized laziness - don't recreate the wheel!" Which is how I feel about most tasks. So I generally try to find the easiest, least boring way to do housework (which I have always loathed).

When my miniblinds start looking like they need cleaning (or else in the two weeks I do heavy housecleaning before a family holiday dinner, 2 or 3 times a year), I take them down, run warm to hot water in the tub deep enough to hold 4 sets of miniblinds, add about a cup or so of dishwasher detergent (I use a gel), and about a cup of ammonia. (With your blue blinds, you might skip the ammonia.) Lower the blinds into the water, swishing them up a down a time or two, and walk away. Come back a couple of hours later (during which time I clean the windows - I have the kind that drop in so I can clean the outsides also, and at the same time I put the curtains through the washer & dryer.) Rinse thoroughly, stand up in the tub so they can drain. Come back an hour later, and hang the blinds. They will not have drained thoroughly dry so some of the slats will stick together, and you have to plop them with a finger to get them to come apart.

I do this 3-4 times a year, and my white blinds look absolutely sparkling when I re-hang them. No streaks, no smudges, no having to wipe down each slat. And my windows and inside window frames are clean - which is so much easier to do when the blinds are in the tub and the curtains in the washer & dryer. My curtains don't need ironing or dry-cleaning, so I can just rehang them after I rehang the blinds.

I am a firm believer in (a) soaking with the appropriate chemical or detergent and (b) letting the chemical do the work.

And, I don't have blinds in the kitchen, because of the greasy dirt. I have cafe curtains which I can take down and wash as often as I think they need it (or when I can't ignore them any more).

My son and dear dil opted for off-white carpet in the "family room" in their new house. Personally, I think they're crazy, especially as they have a dog and a fireplace. My idea of good decorating planning is to think about "how am I going to clean that and keep it looking clean if I put that in my house" - before I have to clean it. Which is why one of these days I am going to replace the off-white patterned tile on my kitchen floor (installed before I bought the house) with something much darker and less likely to show spots.

By Dana on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 08:55 pm:

I always took mine outside and "hung" them up on the porch. First rinse w/ hose. Then I would spray w/ Grease Lightning and run a brush over the closed blind. Then redo closing in opposite direction. Then hose it down again. Let the sun dry it and hang back on window.

By Dawnk777 on Thursday, February 26, 2004 - 11:17 pm:

My kitchen blinds by the kitchen sink need some attention. I like the hose idea, but it would have to wait until the snow is done melting! Unless we put them on the driveway and hosed them down.

By Palmbchprincess on Friday, February 27, 2004 - 12:23 pm:

We tried your method when helping Amy move out of an apartment. I guess it could have been the time constraints but that idea really blew up in my face! It's good to know it can work!

By Happynerdmom on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 01:42 pm:

Can you believe I just cleaned those darned blinds today?? (It only took me a month and a half!!) Ginny, I tried your method, and it worked great. I soaked them in dishwashing liquid and ammonia in the tub. Even after soaking them more than an hour, I still did need to quickly wipe each one with a rag (just the fronts) while it was still in the tub, but the grime wiped right off. Next time I do it, I can probably skip that step, since I don't plan on letting the grime get that thick again. Now they're hanging all shiny and clean! It's amazing how those kind of jobs really don't take as much time and energy as you'd expect. It's just a matter of DOING THEM! Anyway, thanks for all of your suggestions!

By Cocoabutter on Thursday, July 1, 2004 - 10:04 pm:

This is real funny!

Once I tried taking my blinds (I have 9 windows with mini's on them) to the do it yourself car wash!

I wouldn't recommend it, since the spray is so high powered, and I got a few funny looks, but they came out looking great!

By Susan on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 09:16 pm:

A word of warning! All of the dishwasher detergents on my grocery story shelf contain bleach which, when mixed with ammonia, can give off lethal fumes! Please be very careful about mixing cleansers. As for cleaning my blinds, I soaked them in warm water and dishwasher detergent (gel) alone, and they came out just fine.

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 09:52 pm:

You are absolutely right, Susan. Never, never, never mix bleach and ammonia. I look for detergents without bleach. And, I suspect the dishwasher detergent would probably do the job alone. I'll try that next time - I'm overdue, now that my dear dil is host(ess)ing most holiday events.

By Morningstar on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 04:30 pm:

I have always heard that dishwasher detergent alone will work really well. I picked up that tub trick at the Scott Common Sense Community

By Dawnk777 on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 11:51 pm:

Cleaning blinds

I'll have to take a look at the link soon!

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