How to Clean Blinds! (Wood, Plastic & Aluminum Blinds)


‘How do I clean my blinds?”  Oh man, if I had a nickel for every time I got asked that question…

There seems to be two main schools of thought when it comes to cleaning slatted blinds (vertical or horizontal).  The first, involves using a cloth, some dish liquid, water, a bucket and your hand – the second involves taking the blinds down, putting them in your bathtub, scrubbing them, drying them and then putting the blinds back up.

To me, one measure seems reasonable and the other extreme, any guesses as to which is which?

Now, I have never had anything so nasty on my blinds that it required me to remove them from the window to clean them.  The thought behind this method is to get a thorough clean and for it to be easier to do.  I don’t’ think this method is easier nor palatable so with that in mind, let me show you how to clean your blinds using a few simple tools.

I should mention that this method works wonderfully on aluminum, plastic or wood blinds – however, I wouldn’t recommend it for fabric blinds..which actually do need to be taken down, perhaps even unstrung, and ‘bathed’ in warm (not hot) soapy water, rinsed well and left flat to dry.

Non-fabric blinds: Let’s get started!

First thing we’ll do it get as much dust off the blind as we can using a duster – or better yet, a vacuum.


For horizontal blinds, work top to bottom, and for vertical blinds, work left to right, starting at the top and gently pulling down toward the bottom.  Now, keep in mind, a lot of blinds are not hung correctly, meaning they may fall out of their brackets mid-clean.  Just prepare for that.  If you are using a vacuum, select a brush attachment, and if you are going to dust by hand you can choose one of several dusting tools including a proper blind duster like this one, a simple microfiber cloth, or even an old sports sock turned inside out and worn on your hand as a sock ‘puppet’.  I find feather dusters throw dust around too much, so I avoid them.

Wash ’em Clean!

Add 3 drops of dish liquid into a bowl or bucket and fill with warm water.  Take a microfibre cloth and dunk it in the mixture, wring well to the point of the cloth being damp-dry.  Now, twist the blind slats so they lie completely flat, tilting slightly towards you (so that you can slip your hand in).  Now,  take your cloth, and starting from the top (for vertical) or left (for horizontal), pinch the cloth around each blind slat and wipe away dirt and dust by pulling the cloth to the other end of the slat. Rinse your cloth as you go, you’ll be surprised how dirty your cloth is going to get!  If you have heavy staining on the blinds like grease, dead bug residue, dog slobber or nicotine, you can add a bit of baking soda to the wash (like a tablespoon), and that should help break down the scummy build up.

You may find this method to be a little easier for horizontal blinds.  Start by gripping the middle of the slat, work your way out to one end, and then head back to the midpoint of the slat and clean in the other direction.  It is simple, and of course requires patience.

If you have vertical blinds – the steps are the same except you will start at the top of the slat and work your way to the bottom..
Once your blinds are clean, you can maintain them by dusting on a regular basis using a simple duster or your vacuum  – just turn the blinds upright and work from the top and make your way to the bottom..

That’s all there is to it and the best part is you don’t have to fiddle with your blinds by taking them down, waiting for the to dry and then putting them back up..

Cleaning Fabric Blinds

I don’t have any to demonstrate on, but what I do recommend is to vacuum them regularly to avoid build-up and discolouration.  Dust attracts dirt, which leads to discolouration.  So, if you are dusting regularly, you will be OK.  If you want to wash them and they are flat roller blinds, completely unroll them, vacuum first, then use warm soapy water on a well-wrung out sponge and wash each side.  Then, leave unrolled for a day or two and allow to dry. Remember to alwasy test in an inconspicuous area first to avoid damage, and for ‘accordion’ style fabric blinds, you might be better off having them professionally cleaned.  You know me, if it’s going to be too challenging or time consuming, I say let the pros handle it.

I’ve got a question for the Clean My Space community – when’s the last you cleaned your blinds? and if try this method I want to know your results – so let me know in the comment section down below..

If you want to see more of our cleaning videos why not subscribe, it’s completely free and the button is easy to use – it’s down there too – unless it’s back up’s somewhere and it should look like this, until they change it again…

Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time!

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. I really appreciate your tip to start from the top and work your way down when you are cleaning vertical blinds. My wife and I recently moved into a house with a very big sliding glass door, and we want to get vertical blinds to give us more privacy. If we do get the blinds, I will be sure to clean them from top to bottom!

  2. I was literally about to start cleaning my blinds – having taken them all down – eureka moment -check on line. Mellisa you are a whiz! Finished 2 already and raring to go! Thank you.
    Maggie Australia

  3. So. I just took my blinds down and washed them for the first time and it’s amazing! I have allergies and I’m a renter. So my old method was doing this…cleaning them one. at. a. time. Well, the dust flys, my allergies act up, I’m inpatient. So I looked it up and found out how to do it. Bath tub, oxyclean, a 45 min soak, rinse, dry and rehang. They are bright and dust free. I’ll still vacuum dust them regularly but the wash will happen twice a year!

  4. I live in Florida in a typical contemporary home. The weather can be gorgeous for months and I leave the doors and sliders open as much as possible. I have horizontals throughout the house and between the humidity and the dust from the horses ‘horsing around’…my blinds get filthy fast! I take them down, soak in the tub in cleaning solution and then ‘roll the blinds on the side of the tub (with a towel under it) and wash them that way. When it’s in a roll, simply spray it down with clear water in the shower or outside with a garden hose when the weather is nice. And dry on makeshift fence hangers like another reader posted earlier.

    What I want to know is: Is there some kind of oil or wax that can be applied to vinyl blind slats that would make them easier to clean? They’re big and heavy and someday I might not want to be teetering on a ladder trying to clean them for the umpteenth time. If I can’t find a solution, I may go back to curtains. At least they’re easy to keep clean.

  5. Unfortunately, my vertical vinyl type blind was taken down to be washed and folded. They were washed slat by slat on a flat surface and dried the same. The fold has left a crease right across the middle. They are over double glass doors and very long. Is there any way I can remove the creases. I live in Australia. Please help.

  6. I thought when you said there were two ways to clean your blinds thatone would be as you described, and two would be to buy new ones. I’m planning to use the replace method. 🙂 Love your videos.

  7. Try cleaning from right to left

    Maybe easier & faster?

    Have not timed myself

    But I almost always cleaning & organizing right to left

  8. I have lots of blinds too, and I live in Colorado. That means I can keep my windows open much of the year. and that means they get dirty fast! I wash them 2x a year….spring time and again in the fall……

    My method does involve taking them down, but it’s easier for me because I don’t have the patience to do them one by one slat. I have 2 wire coat hangers that I hang over the wooden fence in the backyard using the natural hook. Hang them between 2 boards and that will leave a v-shape on either side of the fence. I p place the rail of the blind into the hanger V and the hanger may bend due to the weight, but thats ok. they are pretty stable and I have enough control to open and close them. I simply use the little thingy where I took the wick/stick off and turn it with my fingers. I close them on one side and spray with 409 then take the hose to them! I then turn them using the wick and spray and hose down the other side. While they are hanging there drying I go inside and wash the window.

    Once dry, I simply rehang them. Then I go on to the next window. I tend to do this at the end of March because I’m off work and the weather is usually decent. when I’m done doing them all and all the windows, I love the freshness of my old blinds and clean windows! It takes me about 2 hours to do 6 windows and 6 sets of blinds, but it’s worth it. I don’t worry about it again till the end of Sept….and I go through the process again. I’m short so I need to use a stepladder to climb up to get them down, but honestly I’ve tried one by one slat cleaning and the bathtub thing and nah….I find it fairly quick and easy to do my way! By the way due to the different sizesI simply move the hangers to accomodate the size….The blinds get in the way when washing windows anyway so this works for me….

    of course…I clean the gutters by sending the grown son up on the roof with the leaf blower…….and the leaf blower is good for cleaning out the car in a rush…open all the doors and windows and blow! No vacuum needed!

    Hopes this helps!!

    • Hanging them outside on wire hangers… Genius!!

      My parents’ horizontal aluminum mini blinds haven’t been cleaned in YEARS, if ever; they’re covered in an eternity of grime. They’re 70″ wide and won’t fit in the bathtub. Your idea sounds great!

  9. First I vacum the dust off then I use a little vinegar/water combination and wipe the dust off, works great. For the kitchen a few drops of dawn dish detergent.

  10. That’s how I clean wooden blinds but any tips on cleaning greasy aluminium ones without bending them…or is the answer just bin them? 😉

  11. Great advice! For my Vertical blinds, with bucket & Pinesol..I put an old large sock on each hand & wiped both sides of each blind starting at the top and sliding down, turning socks and rinsing every so often depending on how dirty those White Sox get!!

  12. I have a TON of windows (which I usually love except for cleaning!!) and have been putting off wiping them down. I will dust them, but that doesn’t always cut it. Soooo after watching your video, I’m inspired to take two windows a day and clean like you suggest. I’ll eventually get them done and I will stop dreading this task. Thank you for the inspiration!!!!

  13. The last time I cleaned the kitchen horizontal blinds (very greasy), I swore I would throw them away before I did it again! I’m still standing by my words of wisdom. I know you mean well, however, even with a heavy degreaser, it’s still a huge project.

  14. I haven’t cleaned my blinds in months! I started to clean them today, and you are right – it is amazing how dirty the cloth gets. The main thing you need to clean blinds is PATIENCE!

  15. Thank You Melissa!!! You are awesom. Made it fun and easy too do for a chore. I laughed when you commented there was no thing or reason why you would need to bath your I guess you haven’t seen mine. I used a pressure washer with mild soap. You still have too hand dry but dust comes off pretty easy. Thanks for your help…

    Adrian Aguayo

  16. I have plastic mini blinds and really there is no magic way ( though I was looking for one). I have done both cleaning while hanging and taking sow and putting in the tub. Actually I think it is quicker to put in tub!

  17. Ugh there you go again, Melissa…convicting me! 🙂 I haven’t cleaned my blinds since…*gasp!* we moved into this apartment 8 months ago. I guess I’d better carve out some time to clean the blinds.

  18. Hi Melissa. Just wanted to say that i love your videos and i have tried some of your methods with great results. I was wondering though if you have some magical tricks for stains on fabric sofas….? Our sofa is in front of the tv and we tend to eat the good stuff there, mmmm chocholats and popcorn.. you know. I do try to rince with wet cloth but i still find stains.
    Thank you for all those lovely helpful videos
    Best regards

    • use peroxide test a spot first to make sure it wont fade the color you can also use it to clean the carpets i fave a few more carpet cleaning technique

      • Do you have a web page, I need some tips for cleaning carpets, rugs. etc. I have 4 dogs, I use peroxide also. Can’t beat it for any and all biological mis-haps. Please in box me if you are able I couldn’t click on your name here and thanks.

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