How to Clean Your Blinds and Shades

If you have children and pets, you know how difficult it is to keep everything clean and organized. Even if you don’t, it still takes a ton of work to clean your home just the way you like it.

What you do depends on the type of blinds and shades you have. There’s a lot to know, so let’s get to it:

Non-Fabric Blinds

1. Use a microfiber cloth (or vacuum with brush attachment at the lowest suction setting) and get as much dust off your blinds as possible
2. Work top to bottom on horizontal blinds
3. Go from left to right with vertical blinds
4. Many blinds are not hung properly, so be ready for them to fall out of their brackets halfway through your cleaning process
5. To wash, add 3 drops of dish detergent to a bucket of warm water
6. Dunk your microfiber cloth in the bucket, and wring it out until it’s just slightly damp
7. If your blinds are heavily stained, add a tablespoon of baking soda to your bucket of dish detergent and water
8. You can also try to grab the middle of the slat, clean to the end, come back in to the middle, and clean out the other end

Fabric Blinds

1. Prevention helps a ton – vacuum them regularly with your brush attachment at the lowest setting (this also helps prevent discoloration)
2. Like you did with non-fabric blinds, vacuum them with a brush first or wipe them down with a microfiber cloth dipped in warm water with dish detergent
3. Place your sponge in a mixture of 3 drops dish detergent/water and lightly wipe the stained areas of your fabric blinds (test this mixture out in a hidden area first if you’re worried about damaging your blinds)
4. Follow that up with a towel to soak up as much moisture as possible

Wooden/Faux Wood Blinds

1. Treat these like you would furniture!
2. Lower the blind fully and tilt the slats so they are almost closed
3. Use a microfiber cloth to remove dust
4. Reverse the slats and repeat
5. Open the slats and let them dry

Roman Shades

1. Vacuum them weekly with your brush attachment as a preventative measure (up to 3 times weekly if you live in a dry, dusty climate)
2. Do not vacuum them if they have decorative stitching, as this loosens that stitching
3. Spray fabric shades with a fabric freshener every week and rinse clean with water
4. For deep cleaning or stain removal (ideally done immediately), try upholstery cleaner or carpet cleaning foam (make sure you try this on a hidden area of these shades first)
5. You can also wash Roman shades in your washing machine. Make sure you disassemble them properly, coiling each cord and tying up the coils with twist ties. For flat Roman shades, pull out all dowels. Use a mild detergent and cool water on a gentle cycle for 15 minutes. Dry your shades in the dryer for 30 minutes, removing them when they are nearly dry. Reassemble your shades as appropriate, and hang them back up.
6. Use a fabric protectant after cleaning to keep them clean

Keeping Your Shades Clean Isn’t Easy…

But now you at least know the process. And remember, if it’s too much work, you can always hire a professional to do it instead.

Are There Taxes on Online Sales of Blinds and Shades?

There’s been much heated debate regarding this issue in recent years. It’s no surprise Amazon has been the leader in this regard.

Interestingly, Amazon did begin collecting online sales taxes in Texas beginning on July 1, 2012. But an intense legal debate took place first.

They cited a 1992 Supreme Court decision that allows remote sellers to not collect taxes in states in which they do not have employees or warehouses. And even though Amazon did have one in Dallas, they said it was not enough to justify tax collection.

The State of Texas still fought to force Amazon to pay $269 million in unpaid taxes, though. Both sides eventually came to an agreement.

Amazon would begin collecting taxes on July 1, 2012 in exchange for spending $200 million in Texas over 4 years and creating at least 2,500 jobs.

As another example, in 2014, they’ve started collecting state sales tax for customers based in Indiana, Nevada, and Tennessee. The article, written by the Wall Street Journal, predicts these 3 states will collect more than $50 million per year combined.

Right now, Amazon is expanding its warehouse network across the nation to speed up delivery time. In exchange it’s giving in to states that want to collect more sales taxes.

That’s the Big Picture Issue – What Does Blindster Do?

The only state we collect sales tax for is Texas, which has an 8.25% sales tax charge. Don’t get us wrong – we’d love not to charge you sales tax if you are a resident of Texas.

But, law forces us to!

A little background on the issue…

This was actually enacted by the State of Texas in February 2006. It requires taxes to be collected for all “…taxable items sold and delivered to Texas locations.”

If our headquarters were located outside the state of Texas, we would not have to collect taxes. But since we are physically located in Houston, we have to do this.

And if we didn’t collect these taxes, someone could report us, and that would unleash all kinds of legal nightmares.

If you want to pull your blinds and fall asleep, read the full document here.

And that basically describes the whole issue of “nexus.” Technically, if we sell blinds to customers in any state outside of Texas, they’re supposed to pay “use tax” according to their state’s rules.

But this rule does not get enforced, so few people do it.

The general trend is that most states collect revenue where possible. Enjoy the fact you don’t have to pay sales tax right now – it’s probably coming your way in the future (although that may be several years from now).