When you hear the term window cover, the first thing that springs into your mind is curtains. But wait, what about blinds? And now that you mentioned it, there are also different types of shades. Are window screens also considered as covers? The questions don’t stop here. Once we cleared the air of what is what comes to the problem of how to actually clean them. Take a deep breath, our London experts are here to explain everything and give you some professional cleaning advice, so just keep reading.
1. What Do You Need To Know to Properly Clean Your Window Covers?
There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself:
- What type are your window covers? – Drapes, curtains, blinds, etc., all have specific cleaning requirements, and you need to be aware of what you are dealing with. For example, there is a clear distinction between shades and blinds, but when it comes to curtains and drapes, it can get a bit confusing.
- What are they made from? – The material is important, as it comes with very specific cleaning requirements. For example, you can put most curtains in the washing machine, but do not attempt to do that with a velvet drape.
- How are they attached to your window? – Some window covers can be taken down fairly easy, just unhook them. Others are a lot harder, and it’s quicker to clean them on the spot.
2. Window Cover Glossary
Before diving into the different types of window covers, we need to clear the air and explore some basic terminology.
- Blinds – The only one in our list manufactured from non-fabric materials like aluminium, wood plastic, etc. They are made from many individual slats that can be opened or closed, depending on how much light you need in the room.
- Curtains – Made from a delicate and thin fabric, curtains can stop the sun rays while letting heat and light into the room.
- Drapes /Drapery – The two terms mean the same thing, however they are used in different parts of the world. This is a heavy fabric that covers the window preventing light, heat or cold from entering the room.
- Shades – Produced by a single piece of fabric, they cover the window and can be lifted or lowered to control how much light enters the room.
- Window Screens – This is a metal frame with a tightly knitted net placed on the window to prevent bugs or other animals from entering the room.
Each type of window cover can be made from different materials and has particular cleaning needs. Curtains, drapes and shades are perceived as upholstery and can be made from natural, synthetic or semi-synthetic fabrics. If you want to learn more about the various kinds of upholstery and how to properly clean them, head up to our detailed guide. There you will learn everything you need to know about the right way of cleaning it.
3. How to Clean Curtains and Drapes?
To properly clean your curtains, you need to know a couple of things.
- What are they made from?
- What are the manufacturers’ cleaning requirements?
- What is the style of your curtains?
Once you figure out the answers to all of these questions, the task starts to look pretty easy. And to minimise the chance for any mistakes you can consult with our detailed curtain cleaning guide. There you will find information about different cleaning techniques as well as some valuable tips. For those who don’t have the time or simply don’t want to deal with their drapes, we have provided detailed information about the perks of professional curtain cleaning and the current average prices for that kind of service in the UK.
4. How to Clean Window Shades?
It all comes down to the type of material your shades are made from. For the fabric ones, go to our upholstery guide and check how you should treat each different type of fibre. Some can be washed, others can be only wiped.
The most important thing you need to remember when cleaning your window shades is to dust them regularly. Steam cleaning is an ideal solution for most kinds of shades, as you don’t need to take them down for tidying. We have a detailed guide on steam cleaners you can check and choose the most suitable machine for your situation.
5. How to Clean Window Screens?
You can do one of two things – clean your screens while they are attached to your window or take them down and then wash them.
5.1 How to Clean Your Window Screens Without Removing Them?
This is a very messy process, so you need to prepare some old towels and place them on the floor right below the window. Then prepare a soft bristle brush and a mixture of warm water and dish soap. You will also need a clean spray bottle filled with cold water. When all the preparations are done, do the following:
- Use a microfibre duster to wipe the small particles off the screens.
- Using the brush, gently rub the screen.
- Spray the net with cold water to rinse it.
- Repeat as many times as needed. Remember to change the towels on the floor when the current one gets soaked.
- When the screen is properly washed, get some paper towels and press them onto the net to take away the excess moisture. Do not wipe or rub, as the paper will rip and will go in between the nettings.
- Leave your window screens to completely dry on their own.
- Do this procedure in late spring or the summer when the weather is warm, and you can leave your windows open for a long time.
5.2 How to Clean Your Window Screens after You Remove Them?
The easiest way to wash your screens is also the fastest one. Here is what our London experts suggest:
- Get a microfibre duster and wipe your screens while they are still attached to your windows.
- Use a microfibre cloth to remove the dust and small particles from the frame. The idea here is not to get dirt inside the home once you disassemble everything.
- Detach the screens from your windows.
- Put the screens in the bathroom. Switch the cold water on the maximum flow, and using the showerhead rinse the screen. The idea is to use your regular shower as a pressure cleaner. The flow of the water will remove the dirt from the net.
- After you are done with the initial “power rinse”, get a soft-bristle brush and with a mixture of water and dish soap, wash the window screens.
- Once the final rinse is over, use paper towels to remove the excess water. Remember, press, do not rub or wipe.
- Put your screens back onto your windows and let them dry completely.
6. How to Clean Aluminium Blinds?
Again, you have two options here – clean the blinds while they are still in place, or remove them and then wash them. Let’s explore both and tell you the fastest and easiest ways to have well-maintained window covers.
6.1 How to Clean Aluminium Blinds without Removing Them?
Thanks to their smooth surface, these types of blinds don’t need much when it comes to cleaning.
- Get a bowl filled with soapy water and a microfibre cloth.
- Put some old towels or sheets under the window to avoid making a mess.
- Start from the top and wipe the blinds following the direction of the slats. This will prevent you from accidentally spilling dirty water on the already cleaned parts.
- If the surface is very dusty, you will have to change the soapy solution a couple of times.
- Once everything is being washed, use a white towel to dry off the blinds.
In case of oil spots, you may have to apply grease remover onto the smudges and let it work its magic for a couple of minutes. Then use a soft sponge to remove the stain. Bear in mind if your blinds are particularly dirty, it is best to detach them and then properly wash them.
6.2 How to Clean Aluminium Blinds after You Removed Them?
To be successful in this cleaning operation, you need to have a large container you can fill with water. It can be anything from your bathtub and sink to a bucket or plastic crate, as long as it can fit your blinds. For the sake of the following example, we will use the kitchen sink. So here is what you need to do:
- Dust your blinds while they are still hanging. This way, you won’t spread dirt around the house when removing them from the windows.
- Take them down and place them in the sink.
- Use a solution of dish soap and water to wash them. Depending on what you have, you can use a sponge or a soft bristle brush to remove the grime.
- For more stubborn grease stains, use a specialised detergent. Follow the instructions on the bottle to make sure you are applying it correctly.
- Rinse the blinds thoroughly and let the blinds dry off a little bit before you wipe them with a clean cloth or paper towels.
- Hang them on the window, and you are ready.
- Depending on how dirty your blinds are, the procedure can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
7. FAQs About Cleaning Your Blinds, Shades and Window Screens?
We have gathered the most frequently asked questions by Top Cleaners’ customers on how to maintain their shades, blinds and window covers in pristine condition.
7.1 Can You Steam Clean Window Screens?
No, do not try to steam clean your window screens. You can seriously damage and even melt them. Window screens are made from plastic and altho they can last for years under direct sunlight, the heat of the steam cleaner will completely destroy them. Professional cleaners have specialised machines and attachments that can be used to properly deep wash your screens. The technicians also have the knowledge and experience needed to deal with heavily stained materials.
7.2 How to Clean Vertical Blinds?
It depends on the material your blinds are made from. For plastic, aluminium and vinyl blinds, you can use a mixture of water and detergent and wipe them clean with a microfibre cloth. If they are textile, you have to check the cleaning code to ensure you can use water on them. The method of washing is identical to the one described above. The only difference is that the fabric takes longer to dry off. In addition to washable materials, you can also use a steam cleaner, as this method is the fastest and most efficient.
7.3 How Do You Deep Clean Roller Blinds?
First of all, you need to know you can’t deep wash your roller blinds while they are still hanging. So in order for the following operation to be successful, you need to know how to detach them from the window frame. Next, continue with these steps:
- Completely unroll the blinds and place them in a large container with warm water. You can use the bathtub or the kitchen sink as well.
- Soak them for about 15-20 minutes.
- Using a soft sponge or brush, wash the blinds.
- Rinse them with cold water (if you use warm instead, the soap or detergent will be harder to remove from the fabric).
- Hang them to dry completely before rolling the blinds up.
Disclaimer: Before starting the whole cleaning procedure, check if the material can be washed with water. If the answer is “No”, you can only wipe them with a cloth or vacuum the unrolled blinds.
What type of window covers do you have? How do you deal with dirty curtains and dusty blinds? Share your experience in the comment section below. And if you have any questions our London cleaners will gladly help you.