TIPS ON CLEANING AND CARING FOR REAL WOOD BLINDS
Real wood blinds require special care so that they will last a long time and retain their natural finish. Here are our expert tips on the cleaning and care of your wood blinds.
You should dust your wood blinds once a month. Avoid using rough bristles or cloths to clean your wood blinds. Abrasive material will scratch the finish. Instead, use a microfiber cloth or light feather duster.
Close the blinds so that you can clean the wood slats easily on both sides. Clean one side first and then work your way to the other side. Dust the blinds according to their position.
- Horizontal slats: Dust side to side from left to right or vice versa. Start from the top and work your way to the bottom
- Vertical slats: Dust from top to bottom, working your way from one side to the other.
Whether you have vertical slats or horizontal slats, you’ll want to work your way from the top to the bottom so that you completely remove the dust from the blinds. Once you complete one side, use the same method for cleaning the other side. You can lightly vacuum your real wood blinds if you have a soft bristle attachment.
When cleaning your blinds, you’ll want to avoid using water. Excess moisture can hurt the finish, crack the wood or warp the slats. If your blinds are especially dirty and you have to use water, then use a slightly damp soft cloth followed by a dry towel to soak up the moisture quickly. Make sure the blinds are in a dry environment so that the water evaporates off the slats quickly.
To preserve the wood finish, mix one cup of hot water and two tablespoons of lemon oil. Apply with a slightly damp soft cloth and wipe off the excess with a dry towel.
When washing your windows, try to keep window cleaner and other chemicals from making any contact with the wooden slats. Chemicals can tarnish the wood finish and age the blinds more quickly. One way to prevent the chemicals from touching the cloth is to spray the window cleaner onto a towel instead of onto the window.
General Care and Maintenance
Although manufacturers have engineered more durable wood blinds, they will still require some maintenance from time to time due to regular use. Your blinds may also require maintenance due to their ongoing exposure to the sunlight and heat.
The best way to keep your blinds looking and performing their best is to take care of problems as they arise. Doing so prevents small issues from turning into costly repairs or replacement. Rather than handling maintenance yourself, your best option is to take them to a window treatment specialist. An expert has the experience and tools necessary to repair your blinds. They also likely have spare parts available so that you won’t have to order them.
Most maintenance issues include refinishing the varnish, replacing moving parts or replacing the base. In all cases, a professional can perform maintenance quickly and easily. You’ll likely be able to restore and reinstall your blinds in only a few days.
Refinishing the Natural Wood Surface
As with maintenance, a window treatment specialist should refinish your blinds when necessary. You should never try to strip the blinds and add new varnish. Old paint and lead are permanently applied to the slats, so you cannot remove the finish.
A professional will sand the surface and then refinish each slat individually. If refinishing the slats is not an option, the specialist can replace them with new ones. In most cases, refinishing the slats is more affordable and quicker.
Replacement parts may include brackets, slat stock, tape, cord lock, tassels or tilt gear.
Reinstalling Wood Blinds
If you must remove wood blinds for repairs or replacement parts, do so carefully. Slowly remove the screws or anchors. Start with the screws on the ends and work your way to the middle. That way you won’t put too much pressure on either side of the base.
As you reinstall real wood blinds, slowly insert the screws and work your way outward. You may need some help when removing or reinstalling the blinds. Before you insert the screws, make sure they are not broken or rusted. Replace any damaged screws.
With proper care and maintenance, your wood blinds should meet or exceed their life expectancy. In most cases, wood blinds can last anywhere from five to 20 years, depending on their environment and how well you take care of them.
No matter how long they last, you will love how beautiful they look in your home.