Window treatments are an investment and not only add to a room’s décor but also serve a number of important functions. They protect floors, furniture and accessories from sun damage; provide variable light control; improve the acoustics in a room by absorbing sound; and provide energy efficiency through insulation. Whether you choose blinds, shutters, drapes, or shades, the treatment and care of your window coverings is important to maintain their quality and longevity.
Blinds are one of the most popular types of window treatments given their high functionality and appearance. Blinds can come in a range of materials and the type of material will dictate the best way to clean them. Aluminum and wood blinds can be dusted regularly with a vacuum cleaner fitted with a soft brush dusting head or a feather duster. Metal or vinyl blinds can be cleaned using a solution of ammonia and water. Wearing gloves, dip your fingers into the solution and carefully run your fingers on each side of the slats. Or for a deeper clean, remove the blinds and wash each slat with soapy water and then rinse clear.
Shutters are usually made of wood slats that overlap each other and can be kept open for lots of incoming light and fresh air or kept shut for privacy. Shutters add an old-world charm to one’s room, and a sense of timeless style. One can take care of the shutters by cleaning them every few months. Dry dusting or wiping the surfaces with a microfiber cloth will help in cleaning the shutters and make them last longer. As with wood blinds, do not use soap or water on wood shutters.
Drapes are like curtains, except they are heavier in weight and block more light from penetrating the room than curtains. They both add style and elegance to a home while providing privacy and sunlight protection to the interiors. As with blinds and curtains, drapes come in a variety of styles, colors, fabrics and patterns. Drapes can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment for regular weekly maintenance. Cleaning will depend on the material that the drapes are made of. Drapes that are made of nylon, cotton, or polyester can be machine washed and dried on a low heat setting. Remove the drapes immediately from the dryer to minimize wrinkles. Hand washing, dry-cleaning or steaming are all options depending on the materials.
Roman shades are traditional window treatments that are usually made from fabric or jute. When raised, a Roman shade folds each pleat onto the next, creating a large stack of fabric at the top. To clean Roman shades, dust or vacuum with a fabric brush to remove allergens and dust. Pay special attention to the folds of the shades where dust can collect. If your shades happen to get stained, try to remove these as soon as possible. Club soda can help to lift a non-greasy stain and spray stain remover works well for greasy substances, but always follow manufacturer instructions when using cleaning products. If the material can be washed in the washing machine, you can clean them on a gentle cycle using cold water. If in doubt, have them professionally dry-cleaned, especially for Roman shades made of silk, wool, linen or other delicate materials.