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How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Cleaning Window Blinds & Cellular Shades
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Keeping your window blinds clean will make them last a lot longer.
Keeping your window blinds clean will make them last a lot longer.
Cleaning your window blinds is an easy home cleaning project that should be done periodically to keep your blinds looking fresh and like new!

While it isn’t a fun chore, window blinds and shades are not cheap to replace, so keeping them clean can save you money too.

If you have Venetian blinds, mini blinds, or cellular shades in your home, read these quick cleaning tips to learn how best to clean and care for your window covering investment!

Tips for Cleaning Venetian, Wood Window Blinds and Vertical Blinds:

  • Wood window blinds may be vacuumed with a brush attachment to keep them clean and lint and dust free.
  • Use of the brush attachment should remove all dirt except that which has been embedded in the fabric. This type soil may be removed using a cloth which has been wet with a mild soapy solution.
  • More serious soil can be removed from a painted blind using a damp cloth with warm water and laundry detergent, such as tide or Era.
  • These are mild enough to leave the paint intact but to remove the soil. Do not ever use an abrasive cleaner on your painted wood blinds. Severely stained blinds must be treated with lemon oil or a wood restorative.
  • Never use a petroleum base soap to remove soil from your wooden blinds, whether or not they have been painted this may damage the water proof finish that coats them.

Cellular shades are easy to keep looking fresh and excellent for years to come.

Follow These Tips When Cleaning your Cellular Window Shades:

  • Cellular Shades will require frequent cleaning with a feather duster or a charged vacuum duster, and lightly vacuumed with a vacuum cleaner attachment.
  • If they become soiled with surface dirt, they can be spot cleaning using a mild soap and warm water.
  • Extra care should be used with cellular blinds so as not to crease the fabric permanently.
  • Ultrasonic cleaners are not recommended in use for these particular blinds.
  • Under no circumstances use a very strong detergent, bleach or spot removers as they may remove the dye and leave lighter spots on the cellular blinds.

Comments

39 comments
  1. Mads
    November 30, 2008

    Enter Your Comment I just washed both my Hunter Douglas and my Levolor cellular blinds in the bath tub using HE laundery detergent ( the kind you use in a frong load washer) and Oxi-clean. I agitated them gently to get the water within the cells and pulled them out of the water to allow the dirty water to drain out ( a couple of times). I also took a white wash cloth and gently rubbed the blinds. I rinsed them well and re-hung them to dry (open). Then I closed them to reinforce the orginal creases. Them came out beautifully clean. (And they were pretty dirty since we have a woodburing stove in the room where they are hung.)

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  2. Enter Your Name
    December 22, 2008
    Leave a reply
  3. Robert
    January 3, 2009

    I have shades that were in a bathroom and have mold I have tried a mold cleaner with no luck any suggestions

    Leave a reply
  4. fun in the sun Judy
    February 6, 2009

    GET RID OF THEM. MOLD STAINS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO GET OUT. TREAT YOURSELF TO SOME NEW.

    Leave a reply
  5. Ken
    March 10, 2009

    Did you remove them from the hardware or clean them assembled

    Leave a reply
  6. Jeff and Patti
    March 11, 2009

    We have cellular shades in bathroom and have a dust/dirt build up that does not come off with vacum or light water. looks like heavy dust build-up? They are only four years old. Looking for ideas!!

    Leave a reply
  7. Jack
    March 25, 2009

    I got this off of a blinds site:

    Fabric Pleated Shades
    Most of the cellular shades, like the Hunter Douglas Duette shade, are anti-static, and they require very little cleaning. A light sweep with your vacuum cleaner brush attachment is all that is needed to keep them dust free. For a more thorough cleaning, the entire shade assembly may be gently wiped with a soft damp cloth using lukewarm (not hot) water. Take special care when handling opaque (blackout) shades to avoid creasing, and do not immerse them in water. For tough stains, spot clean with a mild detergent. Some shades, like the Graber Crystal Pleat have a “soft hand” fabric. Be very careful when trying to clean these types of shades as they tend to “pill”.

    I assume that high humidity is not very good for these blinds. You may need to do what Mads did.

    Honeycomb cellular shades are both durable and functional. To keep your honeycomb cellular shades looking like new, we at http://www.blindsanddrapery.com recommend regular dusting with a feather duster. You can also use the brush attachment of your vacuum or even blow off dust with a can of compressed air. If you need to deal with stains, blot with a damp sponge and a very mild soap. If this does not take out the stain, you can remove the honeycomb cellular from its mounting bracket and soak it in warm, mild soapy water. Be very careful! Make sure to test the soap on a discreet corner first and rinse thoroughly. When you are ready to put your honeycomb cellular shade back in the window, make sure to raise the shade tightly to re-crease the pleats.

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  8. Mike
    March 25, 2009

    Ultrasonic Cleaning
    For a comprehensive cleaning of Cellular Shades, you can use a professional ultrasonic cleaning. However, the shade should be handled with a mild cleansing solution and should be washed carefully. In addition, makes sure that the fabric is in a stacked or closed position when it is being removed from the tank so that water can’t get trapped in the honeycombs.

    Leave a reply
  9. Gloria
    April 18, 2009

    Enter Your Comment Thanks Mads – I took your advice and washed in the bath tub with Tide w/bleach and they came out beautiful. I let them soak for about ten minutes and squeezed the water out with them closed and rinsed in the same closed position. Hung to dry and now my shades look like brand new.

    Leave a reply
  10. Oxymee
    July 15, 2009

    To wash my window blinds, I soak them in oxyclean. It’s amazing how clean they get! I use 1 to 1 1/2 scoops of oxyclean and 1/2 cup of laundry detergent, a long plastic storage container with hot or warm water and soak them for about 1/2 hour or so. Usually I pre-mix the oxyclean in a tall plastic cup to get it activated it in hot water and in 10 min or so it looks like a bluish slushy but then it’s good to go! I soak everything including the wand part and the little sliders for the ends.

    Leave a reply
  11. Susan
    August 22, 2009

    I just bought a home with pleated blinds on the windows. I love them, but noticed that when they are raised, the pleats of the larger blinds do not readily fold. Can I spray them with something that will make them retain their shape better?

    Leave a reply
  12. BB
    September 30, 2009

    WASH YOUR BLIND WITH A HOUSE AND MILD DETERGENT ON A SLOPING DRIVE WAY AND LET IT DRAIN THERE FOR SOME TIME AND HANG IT UP.

    Leave a reply
  13. chris
    July 21, 2010

    I plan on washing my Hunter Douglas cellular blinds (warm water, mild soap, soak in bathtub for 10 minutes then completely dry. I want to spray the back of the blinds with a total blackout spray which allows NO light to come through.

    Any suggestions or experience with sprays?

    Leave a reply
  14. Charles
    August 4, 2010

    I second the oxi-clean idea. I’ve done exactly as oxymee describes and they came out great!

    Leave a reply
  15. cindyloohoo
    October 18, 2010

    Do you soak them in the narrow/closed position? If so, do you loosen them to rinse them?

    Leave a reply
  16. Steve B
    December 13, 2010

    I have a set of blinds that have become habitually “slimed” by my cat. I have been able to retain the proper creases, but need to find a cure for the dirt my cat has left behind.. Any advise or previous experience would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Steve B.

    Leave a reply
  17. Sydney Carpet Cleaning
    January 18, 2011

    Fantastic blog and website. Nice article and layouts, if you are interested in exchanging information and expertise in blogging feel free emailing me.

    Leave a reply
  18. Cleaning Tasks
    February 17, 2011

    Thanks for these cleaning tips! I seem to have quite a problem with cellular blinds though. I’ve even tried soaking them in the tub, and I simply cannot get them clean. More information would be greatly appreciated.

    Leave a reply
  19. julie brogan
    March 28, 2011

    How to you get bugs out of wide window coverings? The bugs have gotten trapped in the pockets.

    Leave a reply
  20. Sarah Phelan
    June 7, 2011

    I just moved into a condo with honeycomb blinds on every window. While I love the look, I hate when bugs get caught in them!.. I’ve tried to use my vacuum attachment but it’s so awkward I can’t hold it up that high. Then I tried my hair blower but the nozzle is too big…Help, any and all suggestion will be appreciated!! Sarah

    Leave a reply
  21. Clare
    June 16, 2011

    Please, please help us Hunter Douglas!!! What kind of tool can I use to get the bugs out of my Hunter Douglas silhouette blinds!! I”ve also tried my hand held vacuum, my vacuum, my blow dryer and a stick with cloth on it. They are just not helping. So I took them all down (I have 12 windows in my sunroom that have these on them ) washed them as you said and now there’s dead wet bugs in them! I am so frustrated…please don’t make me regret having spent so much money on them!! Is there a product out there that I can purchase to get the bugs out??

    Leave a reply
  22. Connie
    July 6, 2011

    How do I get the dead insects out of the cells themselves? They seem to migrate there to die!

    Leave a reply
  23. Nancy
    August 6, 2011

    Enter Your Comment We have approximately 15 cellular shades in our home and dirtiest ones are in our living room; I’ve read all of these comments and just am so afraid of washing them in the tub, besides it would take forever to do all of them. I could just do the living room ones. Any ideas? I called a cleaning place to do them and you have to take them down yourself and take them to the cleaners and that sounds like a pain!!

    Leave a reply
  24. Laurel
    September 14, 2011

    Enter Your Comment
    My cellular shade doesn’t crease properly when I try to open it all the way. Any ideas on how to fix it or what the problem is?

    Leave a reply
  25. Darlene
    September 18, 2011

    I did it! (well I have some 96″ ones that are still dirty) but I had one room with 69″ cellular shades that I took on with the above advice.>I used some bleach, oxy clean and some HE laundry detergent in a bath tub of very hot water, soaked for about 20 minutes and used a large soft pot scrubber on the dirtiest part at the bottom> then I carted them outside (using a bucket on wheels) where I put up two ladders and hung the shade on a piece of PVC tube @ 8′ long, through one of the top cells>straddled it between the ladders (make sure your ladders are tall enough, measure both curtain length and ladder height) and I had to put pieces of foam in the holes at the top of the ladder to make sure the PVC would stay put.>then I put a PVC in a lower cell and positioned it between the ladder bottom.>I then used a hose to rinse the soap off>Then I used my electric blower to blow dry the drape about 80% dry! It worked perfectly and they are beautiful!! I took pictures and will try to find a place to post them. and re post the link. It was actually easier than I thought, the most tedious was using a ladder to remove the shade.

    Leave a reply
  26. Sue
    September 26, 2011

    I just cleaned all my duette blinds in the bath tub, 9. They came out really clean. I hung them outside to dry.

    Leave a reply
  27. Kari
    December 5, 2011

    We have the honeycomb blinds and they are filthy. They are cream, but turning black at the bottoms with dust/dirt. We are thinking of getting curtains because they are so gross, but if anyone has any ideas of how to clean them – it would save us some money. Please help!!

    Leave a reply
  28. Dana
    January 22, 2012

    Just did our first two. I’ve been putting it off for a while, but wow, what a difference. Very easy, if not time consuming. Saved us $$$$.

    Leave a reply
  29. judy
    February 3, 2012

    most all the windows in our home has paper accordian window shades…I have no idea how to clean then…the house was 9yrs. old when we bought it & I don;t think the shades have ever been cleaned…I have dusted, vaccumned them…is there anyway i can get these clean????I feel if I put water on them they will probably tear…HELP

    Leave a reply
  30. Water Damage Cleanup
    February 11, 2012

    My house suffered from water damage and I’m finding tips for water damage cleanup. Glad that I found this helpful post. Thanks for the share.

    Leave a reply
  31. LeeAnn
    March 15, 2012

    We just bought a houseboat that has the Hunter Douglas Silhouette shades and bugs get in them as well. I tried a stick with a soft brush on the end as well as the vacuum…a few of the blinds are to wide to get to the middle with the stick and vacuum hose. They were so dirty and dusty that I ended up getting my husband to help. Removing them is not an option as the windows have box like frames around them. So, we took the portable air compressor (with the “sprayer” attachment) and he blew all of the bugs and stuff out while I used the vacuum hose at the open end to catch all the bugs and dust before it could go everywhere. You may be able to use a wet/dry vac if you don’t have a portable air compressor and put the hose in the opposite end so that it will blow out rather than suck in.

    Leave a reply
  32. Lisa
    March 24, 2012

    is anyone still there? I have levolor natural wooden slat blinds. I live in Hawaii. There is a constant mold problem. Does anyone know if they can be sumbmerged in water w/ vinegar? I read that vinegar will kill the mold, but I’m worried that it might warp the wood. the pull cords are dirty and are a little moldy and need to be cleaned/soaked as well. Any body there to help?

    Leave a reply
  33. Janet
    April 13, 2012

    I just run the vacuum along the pleats and the bugs are moved to the edges by the suction and the vacuum sucks them right up. This works pretty well for me.

    Leave a reply
  34. Sam
    February 13, 2015

    Ooops! My bad! Use a 1/2″ piece of hose, not 5/8″ (that’s too big,you will tear the blind). Make it long enough to reach 1/2 way thru your blind width so you can reach bugs from either side all the way to the middle. Attach to your vacuum hose, put it in the cell that has debris, turn on the vacuum and suck the bugs out. Works great.

    This tool is also great for cleaning out lint below the lint guard in your dryer. Good tool for keeping the dryer free of lint and lint fires. I find lots of uses for this tool when you need precision suction in small places.

    Leave a reply
  35. Bert
    February 26, 2015

    While many cheaper blinds can be bath tub washed, older custom honeycomb shades if improperly washed or soaked at all may come apart as some glues that hold the fabrics together crystalize with age and UV exposure. A knowledgeable professional blind cleaner with ultrasonic equipment can do wonders if you don’t want to risk ruining them experimenting yourself.
    As for bugs in the honeycombs and Silhouettes, if you can’t blow them out with cold air or use a mini blind wand with a piece of soft rag taped to the tip then you can always buy a Camily Wand. They are great for all types of hard to reach cleaning or picking up tasks, not just bugs in blinds.

    Leave a reply
  36. Fran
    March 9, 2015

    Mine were horribly stained by an ice dam leak. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I took them down and washed them in the kitchen sink with dishwashing detergent and lukewarm water. They came out good as new! I swished them thru the soapy water, then let them soak a few min, and swished again, then rinsed well and hung back up, fully open, to dry.

    Leave a reply
  37. Francis
    March 28, 2015

    Our cellular blinds were 8 years old and had been dusted but never wet cleaned, we thought they might fall apart if we did. They were yellowed, had some water spot stains and the typical bugs trapped inside the tubes I followed the tip of soaking them in the bathtub with Oxyclean & He Tide for an hour. I agitated the water occasionally to get the solution inside the tubes to flow. I rinsed them off with the hand sprayer gathered them up to their pleated closed position, squeezed the excess water out of them then laid them flat to dry on a towel. They came out amazingly clean, looking like new! All spots, bugs, dirt and water spotting gone. Thanks for the tip, we were about to buy new ones.

    Leave a reply
  38. Barbara Brown
    June 14, 2015

    I have levelor ” honeycomb” ??? Not sure what kind of fabric. I have a spot of red food of some kind. I tried soap and water and it did not work, left a larger grey circle! Help!!!

    Leave a reply
  39. FKW
    July 24, 2015

    My duettes are in the jacuzzi bathtub right now with HE laundry detergent and Oxyclean. I am really hoping they will come out clean as for the others who have tried this method. I set the jacuzzi on for about 5 minutes to get the water agitated, now soaking and will rinse in another bath tubful of water Keeping fingers crossed.

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