Blinds and shades are expensive. To equip an entire house with window blinds can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. After spending that much money and effort on them, you want them to last more than a few years. In part, how long they last will depend on the blinds themselves. If you skimp and spend barely anything on your blinds now, you’ll have to make up for it by buying new ones a couple years later.
On the other hand, investing in quality blinds will extend their lifespan. The other part of the equation, though, has to do with caring for your blinds. Blinds are more delicate than your typical household furniture, so caring for them properly is essential if you want them to last. Follow this three step guide to choosing and caring for blinds to make sure your window treatments last longer.
Step 1: Choose the Right Blinds
Maintenance is somewhat pointless if you have the wrong blinds to begin with, so before purchasing blinds, think about which types of blinds and shades would hold up best in your home. If you have children, pets, or a tendency to be rough on household decorations, choose a durable material.
Aluminum blinds hold up well in most climates, and they aren’t as vulnerable to wear and tear as blinds made of other materials.
Wood blinds are also a popular choice, but be mindful that real wood doesn’t hold up well to water. Paint and varnish on the blinds will provide some protection against the elements, but if you live in a humid climate, consider faux wood for the same effect and a longer shelf life.
Also, don’t shy away from asking a knowledgeable professional to help you navigate the blinds and shades market. They can help you choose window treatments that are right for you and assure proper installation, which reduces the likelihood of damage later on.
Step 2: Consider Placement
Think about how your blinds will hold up rather than just how they will look in each room of the house. Some rooms, such as kids’ rooms and doorways, receive more traffic and rough navigating than others.
For example, vertical blinds don’t hold up well to frequent opening and closing, so they might not be the best choice for a doorway. If you love the look of vertical blinds, try placing them in a window that you adjust less often.
If you do have a space where you open and close the shades daily, consider a cloth option, such as honeycomb shades. They can withstand more frequent maneuvering. Just beware that they can stain more easily, so choose stain resistant fabrics if you plan to put them in the kitchen or the kids’ playroom.
Step 3: Clean Your Blinds Correctly
Now that you’ve taken any preventative measures, keep your blinds looking like the day you first installed them by cleaning them properly. Most blinds can be cleaned at home with supplies you already own.
To dust off faux wood blinds, run a soft dry cloth along each of the slats. If necessary, you can use a slightly damp microfiber cloth afterwards and let them air dry. Make sure the cloth is damp rather than soaked so that the water doesn’t harm the wood.
For aluminum or vinyl shades, attach a soft brush to your vacuum cleaner and holding the bottom of the blinds taut, gently vacuum side to side. Afterwards, dampen a microfiber cloth and run along blinds while slightly open.
You can use a soft brush vacuum attachment to clean shades, as well. Set the vacuum to a low suction setting to avoid harsh treatment of delicate fabrics. Heavily stained shades can be deep cleaned at home if necessary. However, most minor stains can be spot cleaned using a damp cloth with mild dish detergent. If your shades are bamboo, parchment, or a non-cloth material, double check the care instructions to avoid damage while cleaning.
The better your window treatments hold up, the less time and money you have to spend on them in the future. With some preventative measures and the correct maintenance, you can make sure that your binds and shades go the distance.