Fabric vertical blinds are often used for sliding glass doors, although they are also a good option for the windows in your home. This is because they are simple to sweep aside to gain access to the door or window view, so children and pets aren't likely to damage them. The only issue is they tend to get grimy since they are usually touched often. The following tips can help you keep the blinds clean and looking good.
Tip #1: Put Them Under Cover
If you like the look of fabric but aren't fond of cleaning the blinds, you can purchase a style that has the fabric encased in clear slats. This gives you the look and visual texture of fabric, but the easy cleaning ability of regular vinyl blinds. You can simply wipe each blind clean with a damp cloth as needed instead of investing time in periodic deep cleaning.
Tip #2: Use A Protective Spray
For those that prefer true fabric without a plastic cover, you can still minimize dirt accumulation. Take the time to apply a stain protector spray to each individual slat. These sprays are generally applied directly to the fabric but read the label for specific instructions since it may vary by brand. Protective sprays do need periodic reapplication to remain effective. For example, it is always a good idea to reapply the spray after washing a slat.
Tip #3: Spot Clean
Regular spot cleaning will minimize the need for deep cleaning. For fabric slats, the best cleaning tool is the upholstery brush on your vacuum cleaner. Simply take a few minutes to vacuum the fronts and backs of all the slats when you are vacuuming the rest of the house. If you notice some grime on the blinds that the vacuum can't remove, blot the spot with a sponge dipped in cool water and a mild cleanser. Once the stain is lifted, rinse with clear cool water and allow to air dry. Avoid hot water, since this may weaken any glue or fabric stiffener in the slats.
For more intensive cleaning, it is best to contact the manufacturer or a blinds retailer in your area. Fabric vertical blinds differ. Some brands can easily be cleaned by soaking them in hot water with a detergent while others will separate and come unglued from their backing. If you have a badly stained or damaged slat that can't be easily cleaned, a professional can help you find a replacement slat so you don't have to replace the entire set of window blinds.