When you think of all of the various parts of your home that you need to clean regularly, it can be easy to forget about your window treatments. Here in Florida, it is generally considered essential to have window coverings that help keep the hot sun out during the summer and allow it in during the cooler winter months. The sun’s strong rays can also fade your carpeting and furniture, so many people prefer to use shutters, blinds, and shades in addition to or instead of sheer curtains, at least in the windows that face south and west. You can’t exactly throw your shutters in the washing machine, however, so they can get dusty and, depending on which room they’re in, greasy.
At Florida Shutters & Blinds, we want to help each homeowner choose the window treatments that are best for their lifestyle and preferences, and ease of maintenance goes into that. Here are some ways to make your window treatments easier to clean and maintain so you can spend your time enjoying the things you’d rather be doing.
Easy-to-Clean Window Treatment Materials
You have quite a few options when it comes to choosing materials for your window treatments. Blinds and shutters might come in wood, plastic, metal, or fabric-covered panels. Shades can also come in various materials. Which is the easiest to keep clean?
A smooth material like plastic or metal will generally not hold onto dust. Simply use a duster or a cloth to dust them regularly. For blinds and shutters, dust them in both the open and closed positions to be sure to get all of the surfaces. You can also use a hairdryer to blow the dust off of them. This is a good technique to try on cellular blinds, which can be a challenge to dust with a cloth.
Wood blinds can be polished, if desired, to help them maintain their glossy sheen and to help repel further dust.
Fabric is usually the hardest to clean, particularly in rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, where humidity can make the dust sticky. Regular vacuuming on low with a brush attachment will often keep fabric window treatments clean. If you need to remove stains, you will want to use a mild dish soap and a damp sponge to blot it away. Always test a hidden area first to be sure that the water and/or soap won’t leave a stain themselves! Air-dry or use a blow dryer only on the cool setting, as heat can set whatever stain might be left over.
Easy-to-Clean Window Treatment Options
When choosing your window treatments, think about the ease of cleaning. If you are ordering blinds or shutters, larger louvers will add up to less cleaning time simply because there will be fewer slats to clean. If the louvers are three inches apart, then there will be only 15 in a 45-inch tall window; if they are one inch apart, however, then you will have 45 to clean. This can increase your workload substantially!
If you have the option of choosing machine-washable curtains over non-machine-washable curtains, then, by all means, do so! Just be sure to read the care instructions very carefully and to follow the directions precisely. You will invest too much in your curtains to neglect to wash them in cold water or to throw them in the dryer when the tag says to line-dry or lay flat to dry.
Tips for Keeping Your Window Treatments Clean
As with anything else in the home, regular maintenance is the key to keeping your window treatments looking good. Dust them weekly with a duster to keep surface dust from settling on the material. Also, don’t forget to dust any strings, wands, or cords. This is particularly necessary if you don’t often move the blinds or shutters, because the dust won’t be knocked off in the course of everyday movement.
In the kitchen, use your hood fan over the stove every time you cook. This will prevent moisture and grease from accumulating in the kitchen. Even if your windows are across the room, they can still pick up this grime.
Also, dust your ceiling fans and central air ducts frequently. As dust from the climate control appliances flies around, some of it will stick to your window treatments. Stopping it at the source can prevent it from adhering to your blinds, shutters, or shades.
Finally, don’t be afraid to call in a professional house cleaner or visit a dry cleaner to get all of your window treatments spotless once or twice per year. That will make it much easier to keep up with weekly maintenance. After investing in your new window treatments, it makes sense to do what you need to do to keep them looking beautiful and to lengthen their lives as much as possible.
If you are in the market for new window treatments in Florida, contact Florida Shutters & Blinds today. We can go over all of your options with you and will be able to tell you what you can expect in terms of necessary maintenance for the treatments you choose.