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Caring for Blinds, Shutters, and Shades

Here's how to care for some of the more common types of blinds, shutters, and shades.

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Miniblinds: Vacuum with a soft brush attachment or dust with a feather duster or lamb's-wool duster or tool for blinds. If you have children, install blinds that meet safety criteria.

Vertical Blinds: Vacuum carefully with the brush attachment used for draperies, or clean with a lamb's-wool duster. If fabric-covered, spot-clean only; don't use soap and water.

Wood Blinds: Dust with vacuum or lamb's-wool duster. For occasional deep cleaning, use a wood cleaner such as oil soap. Do not use soap and water on wood blinds.

Wood Shutters: Dust natural wood shutters. If painted, wash in place. Cover the floor and sill with plastic or a drop cloth. Use a brush dipped in detergent and water. Rinse and dry with a cotton cloth.

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Tips for Metal or Vinyl Blinds

For a quick clean: - Put on a pair of rubber gloves; top with cotton gloves. - Mix 1 teaspoon of ammonia to 1 quart of water. - Dip into the solution. Run your fingers along the top and your thumb underneath each slat.

To deep clean: - Remove blinds from the window. - Hang blinds from the shower rod or lay them in the tub. Wash each slat with warm soapy water or ammonia and water, and clean sponge. Rinse with clear water and a new sponge.

Alternative methods: Hang the blinds from a clothesline and wash as above, or lay the blinds outside on a driveway, spray with a gentle cleaner, and wash off with a gentle spray from the garden hose. Hang outside to dry.

Bamboo Shades: Follow vinyl directions but use as little water as possible. Hang outside in a protected area to dry on a warm, breezy day.

Paper or Parchment Shades: Don't attempt washing. Gently brush dust off with a clean feather duster or a soft paintbrush reserved only for cleaning. Never use dusting sprays or any liquid cleaners.

Vinyl or Coated Shades: - Remove vinyl or coated shades from the window. - Unroll and lay flat. (To flatten, place a small weight, such as a mug, at each end.) - Wash one side with a sponge dipped in mild soap and water. - Rinse with a clean, damp rag and dry with a cloth. - Turn over and weight corners. - Repeat other side.

Window Treatment Care

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