Designer Roller Shades PowerView® Motorization

Do you know what cleaning methods are safe for your blinds, shades, curtains, and drapes?

High-quality window treatments are designed to need only minimal maintenance, but if you want to preserve them and keep them looking their best, you should still give them a gentle cleaning every once in a while. Here’s how to safely and effectively care for the window coverings in your home.

Find cleaning guidelines in the product manual

Different window treatments require different cleaning methods. In fact, it’s even possible to damage the material by cleaning improperly. The first step is to consult your product’s operation manual. If you don’t have one, check the manufacturer’s website to find care and cleaning guidelines for your specific product. When it comes to the Hunter Douglas window coverings that we sell, you’ll find a list of operation manuals here.

Still can’t find your product’s manual? If you bought your window treatments through Portland Window Coverings, give us a call at (503) 676-6374, and we’d be happy to help.

How to dust blinds and shades

Well-made blinds and shades will continue to look like new if you regularly give them a light dusting. Here are two easy methods for removing dust:

  1. A gentle duster is safe to use for almost all blinds and shades.
  2. With most products, you can also blow dust away with a can of compressed air or a hair dryer on a zero-heat setting.

Avoid using any kind of magnetic cleaner on light-dimming fabrics, since it can damage the backing.

If you’re looking for low-maintenance blinds that don’t need to be dusted as often, take a look at our aluminum horizontal blinds. They’re treated with an anti-static paint additive that helps prevent dust build-up.

How to spot clean blinds and shades

Most window treatments can also be spot treated. If your manual says yours can, here’s how to do it:

Wet a sponge or soft white cloth with lukewarm water and gently dab at the spot (instead of rubbing) to avoid wrinkling or damaging the fabric. If necessary, add a mild, non-abrasive household detergent that has no additives. For more delicate fabrics, just use cool, distilled water instead. Then let the window covering dry in a completely lowered position. 

Not sure if it’s safe to spot clean your window treatments? If you bought Hunter Douglas window treatments through Portland Window Coverings or somewhere else, check out this Care & Cleaning brochure, which has a helpful chart showing which cleaning methods are safe and not safe for various products.

Can I vacuum my window treatments?

Modern Precious Metals® Aluminum Blinds

Vacuuming can be a great way to do a deeper cleaning. Most products can be vacuumed by using a soft brush attachment and sweeping it over the window covering in vertical strokes. Wood products in particular are very unlikely to be damaged by vacuuming. 

You may not want to use a brush attachment with fabrics that crease easily, though. The Luminette® Privacy Sheers we carry are an example of a product that shouldn’t be vacuumed with a brush attachment.

How to de-wrinkle curtains and drapes

Smooth, wrinkle-free curtains and drapes make your home feel just that much fresher! 

With most types, you can use a hand-held, travel-size steamer that lets out continuous steam. Hold the steamer about 8 inches away from the fabric and try not to keep it in one place for too long. 

The great thing about hand-held garment steamers is that they’re meant to be used on clothes, which means:

  • They’re gentle enough for most fabrics
  • You don’t need to remove your curtains/drapes from the window frame like you would if you were ironing them
  • You can use your garment steamer to de-wrinkle your clothes right on the hanger too!

What to do if your window treatments need a deep clean

If your window treatment operation manual says it can be cleaned with “water immersion,” you can clean it in your bathtub! Here’s how:

  • Remove the window covering from the window frame
  • Fill the tub with warm water and a mild detergent and put the window covering in
  • Make sure not to immerse the headrail or any other hardware
  • Rinse with clean water
  • Lift the shade up to let excess water drain off
  • Put your window covering back in the window frame and let it dry in the lowered position

Not all window coverings should be cleaned this way, though. Certain materials (like room-darkening fabrics) can lose their effectiveness if they’re not cleaned properly. A combination of light at-home maintenance and an occasional professional cleaning is a better solution in those cases.

Consider a professional cleaning

Do you have a window covering that’s not safe to clean in the tub? If you’ve got a stubborn stain, you’re worried about ruining the material, or you simply don’t want to invest the time trying to clean your window coverings yourself, a professional cleaning might be your best option.

Good professional cleaners have the skills and equipment to clean window treatments without causing damage or shrinkage. They usually offer one or both of these two cleaning methods:

When you’re choosing a professional cleaner, look for a company with good reviews that has experience with the type of window treatment you have. 

Bonus tip: protect your window treatments when you clean the glass

Here’s an easy tip that can preserve your blinds, shades, and curtains next time you need to clean the actual glass in your windows. Instead of spraying glass cleaner directly on the glass, step back from the window and spray it on the cloth you’ll use to wipe down the window. Easy!

Have questions about cleaning and caring for your window treatments? Need help finding a cleaning pro?

At Portland Window Coverings, we carry a variety of beautiful custom window treatments, including blinds and shades from Hunter Douglas and locally made curtains. If you have questions about how to safely clean and maintain any of our products, we’re here to help. Ask us your questions online or stop by our showroom in Tigard, OR to talk to a designer in person.