How to Clean Exterior Solar Shades

Exterior solar shades are the ideal solution for increasing privacy and reducing harsh sunlight in your outdoor areas. Whether your exterior solar shades are installed in your sunroom, deck, patio, balcony, or other outdoor space, they’re highly effective at increasing your family’s privacy and comfort.

But because these shades are often mounted outdoors, they accumulate dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris much more quickly than other shades and require more frequent cleanings. To keep your exterior solar shades looking and operating their best year-round, it’s important that you clean them on a regular basis.

If you’ve never cleaned your exterior solar shades or are simply searching for the best way to get the job done, Blindster’s list of tips below can help you get your shades looking and operating as well as they did the day you installed them.

 

Step 1: Determine how dirty your shades are.

Exterior solar shades that are installed in areas that don’t receive much open air exposure, such as sunrooms or glassed-in porches may not require extensive cleaning. However, shades that are exposured, such as those installed on decks, balconies, and screened-in porches can accumulate significant amounts of dirt and grime in a very short time period. Before you begin the cleaning process, it’s important to know how much cleaning your shades need to better prepare for the job.

Step 2: Read the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

The materials used in the manufacturing process for some exterior solar shades can be damaged, stained, or discolored by certain cleaning liquids. That’s why it’s important to read the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions before you attempt to clean your exterior solar shades. Check the original packaging to find the instructions. If you never received instructions or can’t find yours, check the manufacturer’s website or contact Blindster for a replacement copy.

Step 3: Gather the cleaning items you’ll need to get the job done.

While cleaning exterior solar shades can be a slightly more intensive process than cleaning other types of shades, the tools you’ll need are the same. Before you get started, take the time to gather the following items and keep them handy while you work:

  • Feather duster

Dust is the number one thing that accumulates on shades, and exterior solar shades are no different. A feather duster can quickly and easily lift away all but the most excessive amounts of dust from nearly every square inch of your shade and should always be your first line of defense when cleaning.

  • Vacuum with soft brush attachment

While feather dusters are highly effective at removing dust from shades, they can often leave some behind. If that’s the case, use your vacuum and its soft brush attachment to lift away any remaining particles, including pet hair, pollen, and other debris. Be sure to adjust the vacuum’s suction if it’s too strong to avoid damaging the shade.

  • Bucket with warm water and mild soap or detergent

If the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for your shades permit the use of water or mild soap during cleaning, fill up a clean bucket with warm water and mix in a small amount of cleaning liquid. This mixture is gentle on almost all types of fabrics and materials and can help lift away stains and heavy accumulations of dirt and dust from the shade and headrail.

  • Towel and hair dryer or large fan

Even if your shades can be cleaned using water, it’s still important that you dry them quickly after cleaning. If your shades are installed in an open-air environment, wipe off any excess moisture after cleaning to prevent streaks due to the natural drying process. If your shades are installed in an indoor area, wipe them down using a towel and point a fan or hair dryer at any areas with excessive moisture to speed up the drying process.

Step 4: Clean your exterior solar shades.

With all of the necessary items in hand, it’s time to begin the cleaning process. First, soak your sponge or clean cloth in warm water and wring it out thoroughly to remove excess liquid. Then, gently lift away dirt and dust from the headrail, while being careful to avoid letting any liquid get inside the openings.

 

Next, use the feather duster and vacuum with soft brush attachment to lift away dirt and dust from the shade itself. Remove light stains by gently scrubbing with a damp cloth or sponge, but be careful to avoid scrubbing too hard, as that can damage the fabric or shade materials.

Step 5: Remove your shades and submerge in water for a deep cleaning.

If traditional cleaning methods aren’t cutting it due to heavy stains or prolonged exposure to airborne particles and debris, you may need to remove your shades from the mounting brackets and attempt a deep clean by submerging them in water (note: only attempt if your shades are safe to clean using water and mild soap).

 

After removing your shades from the mounting brackets, submerge them in your bathtub after filling it with warm water and a small amount of mild soap. Make sure to keep the headrail out of the water, as liquid can damage the moving parts inside. Allow the shades to soak for several minutes, then use a sponge and gently scrub any heavily stained areas of the fabric.

 

Once the stains are removed, rinse your shades thoroughly to remove all soap and immediately dry them using a towel. Allow them to finish drying by hanging them in a well-ventilated area before reinstalling them on the mounting brackets.

Step 6: Follow a weekly cleaning schedule.

Because exterior solar shades are often exposed to significantly higher amounts of airborne dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris than many other types of shades, they require much more frequent cleaning to look and operate at their best. To properly maintain your exterior solar shades, clean them at least once per week using a feather duster and once per month using a sponge. The more frequently you clean your shades, the less often they will require deep cleanings and the lower their risk of becoming permanently stained or discolored.

Benefits of Exterior Solar Shades

Exterior areas are the perfect places to relax and unwind, but the heat, intense sunlight and lack of privacy can make some homeowners less likely to enjoy these areas as much as they could. Thankfully, exterior solar shades are the perfect option to reclaim exterior spaces, including sunrooms, decks, balconies, porches, and pool enclosures.

If you’ve considered adding exterior solar shades to your outdoor area but need a little more convincing, here are a few unique benefits that you’ll enjoy right away:

• Keep cool in the summer

It’s hard to fully enjoy your outdoor areas during the summer—especially when temperatures soar and the sun’s rays are at their most intense. Exterior solar shades can significantly reduce the amount of heat that is transferred into your exterior area and even the adjacent rooms of your home. That also means your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard, saving you money on your utility bills.

• Block the sun’s UV rays

The sun’s rays can be extremely damaging to your skin, contributing to everything from premature aging to skin cancer. While many home’s outdoor spaces may have covered roofs, direct sunlight in the morning or evening—or even sunlight reflected off water or other surfaces—can cause skin damage after just brief periods of exposure. Exterior solar shades significantly reduce harmful UV rays from the sun and make it safe for you to enjoy your exterior area no matter the time of day.

• Reduce fading and sun damage to your furniture

Just as the sun can damage your skin, it can also damage your furniture and anything that receives frequent exposure to its rays. Whether it’s the fabric on a chair or the wood grain on a table, constant and intense sunlight exposure can quickly cause furniture to lose its color, luster, and vibrancy, resulting in a dingy and washed-out appearance. By significantly reducing the intensity of the sun’s UV rays, exterior solar shades can help protect your furniture and extend its lifespan.

• Preserve your beautiful view

One of the most appealing parts of having an exterior area is enjoying the view. Whether your exterior area overlooks your pool, your lawn, or your neighborhood, preserving your view is a requirement for any exterior window coverings—and exterior solar shades deliver. Blindster offers exterior solar shades with high levels of transparency, which means you’ll barely be able to see them. But despite their sheer appearance, even the most view-preserving exterior solar shades are still highly effective at blocking out sunlight and reducing heat.

• Increase and protect your family’s privacy

For many homeowners, enjoying their exterior areas means feeling less secure and more exposed—especially if their home is in a neighborhood with small lot sizes and many homes build closely together. Exterior solar shades are the perfect solution for increasing privacy in exterior areas. Because Blindster offers a variety of exterior solar shades, you can find one that perfectly matches your need for preserving your view while also increasing and protecting your family’s privacy.

• Reduce harsh glare during all hours of the day

If your outdoor area is near a body of water, including a pool, pond, stream, or lake, there’s a good chance that the sunlight’s reflection off the water can produce a strong glare during certain hours of the day. Exterior solar shades can reduce the glare and reflection—which means you can enjoy your outdoor area without the need for sunglasses.

• Enhance your home’s beauty

While some homeowners may think of exterior solar shades as being purely functional items, there are actually many stylish and beautiful options for outdoor spaces. At Blindster, we offer a wide variety of exterior solar shades, including many different designs, colors, levels of transparency, and installation options. You can also try before you buy by ordering a free sample of any exterior solar shade listed on our website.

• Can be custom made to fit almost any outdoor space

Outdoor spaces can range from screened and glassed-in porches to sunrooms and large balconies. All of these areas require different sizes and installment options for exterior solar shades, and all of them can be accommodated through Blindster. In addition, exterior solar shades can be installed like traditional shades and mounted flush inside window frames, and they can also be mounted outside the window frame on the wall, the window molding, or even the ceiling itself for maximum versatility and compatibility

• Easily raised and lowered

The benefits of exterior solar shades in the summer may be less important during the winter—especially when it comes to blocking out the sun’s rays. Thankfully, it’s quick and easy to raise and lower exterior solar shades, giving you maximum control over the privacy and lighting of your outdoor area. Keep the shades lowered during the summer to block out UV light and reduce heat, and raise them in the winter to allow the sun to warm your outdoor area.

• Designed to withstand the elements

Unlike traditional indoor shades, exterior solar shades are designed to hold up under tough conditions for years and years. Blindster’s exterior solar shades are tested to endure the harshest elements of nature, including constant sunlight exposure, torrential rainfall, and strong winds. Once your exterior solar shades are installed, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your outdoor area will be protected from the sun’s harmful rays for years to come with minimal maintenance required.

• Protect your outdoor space from insects and pests

Your outdoor area should be a comfortable space free from distractions, but it’s hard to enjoy it when you’re fighting off insects like flies or mosquitoes. Exterior solar shades provide a solid barrier between your family and unwanted pests and reduce your need for bug sprays and other pest-blocking devices.

• Preserve the sounds of nature

For outdoor areas that aren’t glassed-in, exterior solar shades provide protection on par with even tinted windows while also preserving the sounds of nature. That means you can enjoy the sounds of your children splashing in the pool or a pleasant rainfall while also enjoying protection from the sun and increased privacy.

How to Measure for Exterior Solar Shades

Exterior solar shades are the ideal window treatments for outdoor spaces such as sunrooms, decks, porches, garages, workshops, and other areas where you need high visibility of the outdoors.

If you’re thinking about purchasing exterior solar shades from Blindster, it’s important that you provide us with the most accurate measurements possible. To get the right dimensions for your order, you must first accurately measure either the inside of your window frame or the area you wish to cover with the shade itself.

Inside Mount Installations vs Outside Mount Installations

Before you begin taking measurements, note that there are two main mounting options for exterior solar shades: inside installations and outside installations. Use the table below to learn the differences between these two options before you decide which one is right for your home.

Inside Mount Installation

Outside Mount Installation

·        Provides a sleek, low profile, and built-in look for your exterior solar shades·        Mounts directly inside window frame for a flush appearance·        Maintains the appearance and visibility of exposed woodwork and molding·        Requires a minimum depth of at least 1 ¼” for a secure inside mount without cassette valance and 1 ¾” with cassette valance·        Requires a minimum depth of at least 2 ½” for an inside flush mount without cassette valance and 4” with cassette valance

·        If your window frames aren’t deep enough to support installation based on minimum depth requirements, use the outside mount installation option instead

·        Best option for windows that have shallow window frames·        Allows you to mount the brackets to a variety of surfaces near the window, including the wall, ceiling, or molding·        Helps make windows appear larger while also hiding unattractive woodwork, molding, and other details on windows you wish to keep hidden·        Requires a minimum flat surface of at least 1 ½” for a secure inside mount without cassette valance and 2” with cassette valance

 

After you’ve used the pros and cons above to decide on the right type of mounting option for your windows, it’s time to begin measuring.

Use the instructions below to get the most accurate measurements possible before you place an order for your new exterior solar shades.

Measuring for Inside Mount Installations

Step 1: Measure the interior width of the window opening where you plan on mounting the shade in three separate locations—the bottom, middle, and top. Take the smallest of these three measurements—this is the measurement you will use when placing your order with Blindster. Note that the factory will make slight deductions of around 1/8” when you place your order.
Step 2: Measure the interior height of the window opening where you plan on mounting the shade in three separate locations—the left side, the middle, and the right side. Take the largest of these three measurements—this is the measurement you will use when placing your order with Blindster.

 

Note: Roller shade fabrics are manufactured and shipped roughly 1” to ½” narrower than the ordered width to allow room for mounting brackets. If this will result in a large gap that allows too much light in, consider choosing an outside mount installation option instead.

 

Measuring for Outside Mount Installations

Step 1: Measure the full width of the area you wish to cover with your exterior solar shades. If space allows on your walls, add an extra 1” to 1 ½” to each side of your measurement to reduce the amount of light leakage from the sides of the shade. Use this measurement plus any additions when you place your order with Blindster.

Step 2: Measure the full height of the area you wish to cover with your exterior solar shades. When measuring, include the height of the flat surface mounting area necessary for the brackets in your final dimensions. Note that the factory will make your shade, including the roller or cassette valance if ordered, to the height you specify. Also note that 3” to 4” of height should be added to your order if you want to mount your shade above your window frame and cover any molding or framework.

 

Note: When the factory makes your exterior solar shades, note that the shade material will be 1” to ½” narrower than the measurement you provided to allow room for brackets. If you need your shade to fit a specific measurement or width, add 1” to ½” to your ordered width to get the correct width.

How to Repot Succulents

Succulents are everywhere. Just a quick look through Pinterest or a browse in a home décor magazine will reveal at least one picture of the colorful cacti. They are relatively easy to care for and come in such a variety of shapes and sizes, it’s no wonder they have gained popularity recently. Thriving as indoor and outdoor plants, make them a perfect choice to add a little organic touch to your home.

succulents

While browsing a local nursery, we came across a whole section of succulents and couldn’t resist picking up a few (we had an unused pot at home anyway). We ended up with six different succulents in varying sizes and a bag of potting soil.

Soil

Pot

We began the re-potting process by filling the container half full with potting soil, then adding some small rocks to aerate the soil and help the succulents with water control. Succulents only need watering about once a month and in-between can be moistened with a spray bottle.

layer

 

rock layer

We put the bigger succulents towards the back of the container, adding soil to keep them stable.

plant 2

We arranged the little succulents in the front. It’s OK if there is space around the plants because they tend to multiply. We made sure to fill in any gaps with soil. You can also include a layer of rocks top of the soil (we probably will later).

close up

These succulents seemed especially dry, so we went ahead and watered them. Usually it’s better to let them rest for a few days in their new soil before watering.

planted

We picked a partially sunny spot to display the new container and planed an upside-down saucer underneath the pot to keep water from resting underneath the succulents. We can’t wait until these little guys start to grow!

How to Clean Pleated Shades

With their unique accordion-style fabric design, pleated shades are both stylish and highly effective at blocking out sunlight. But like all décor in your home, pleated shades attract dirt, dust, and other allergens or debris in the air that can accumulate on the shade and inside the folds of the fabric.

Cleaning your pleated shades and keeping them looking their best is a relatively simple process, but it does require a bit of know-how, a few basic cleaning supplies, and a cautious approach to avoid accidentally damaging the fabric.

To learn how to safely and efficiently clean your pleated shades, read the instructions below:

Step 1: Check your shades to determine how much cleaning they need.

 

The manner in which will you clean your shades depends on how dirty they are. Although pleated shades tend to have more difficult to clean areas than other shades due to their crimped design, most cleaning jobs don’t involve more than removing built-up dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris. Shades that are installed on doors or windows that are frequently opened may require more intense cleaning to remove heavy stains or airborne particles that become embedded in the fabric.

Step 2: Check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

 

All shades have specific cleaning instructions and warnings that should be followed before they’re cleaned to avoid accidentally damaging or staining the fabric. Before you use water or cleaning solutions on your shades, check the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions to find any specific cleaning directions that you should follow. These instructions ship with most shades and can be found in the original packaging. If you can’t find the instructions, check the manufacturer’s website or contact Blindster to get a replacement copy.

Step 3: Gather a few simple cleaning items.

 

Cleaning pleated shades doesn’t require any fancy cleaning equipment beyond a few items that you likely already have in your home. To make the job as quick and easy as possible, take the time to gather these items before you begin so that you’ll have them handy as you need them.

The following items are sufficient to clean almost all types of shades, including pleated shades:

  • Feather duster

A feather duster is the first offensive line for cleaning shades. It’s highly effective at removing accumulated dirt and dust and should be used on a regular basis to keep your shades clean at all times.

  • Vacuum with soft brush attachment

Any dust or dirt that’s left behind from your feather duster can be removed using your vacuum cleaner and its soft brush attachment. You can also use additional nozzles and attachments to clean small crevices near the headrail. If your vacuum has the option to adjust the suction power, lower it until the vacuum no longer pulls or tugs on the fabric to avoid possible damage.

  • Bucket with warm water and mild soap or detergent

If the cleaning instructions for your shade permit the use of water and a mild soap or detergent, combine the two in a bucket and use the mixture to gently scrub away stains and caked on dirt, dust, and other debris from the fabric. Be careful to not soak the fabric or allow any liquid to enter the headrail, as it could damage the moving parts inside.

  • Towels and sheets to catch falling dirt and dust

Cleaning shades that haven’t been cleaned in a long time can be messy. Putting towels or sheets down underneath the window and shades can catch any falling dirt or dust and spare your floors from getting covered.

  • Hairdryer to quickly dry the fabric

If you have to use soap and water to clean light stains or heavy accumulations of dirt and dust from your shades, it’s important that you quickly dry the fabric to avoid warping, fading, or staining. Use a hair dryer on the high heat setting to dry the fabric before any potential damage can occur.

Step 4: Start cleaning your pleated shades.

 

With all of your cleaning items in hand, it’s time to begin cleaning your pleated shades. Start with the headrail and wipe away any dirt or dust using a clean sponge or cloth dipped in your mixture of warm water and mild soap. Be sure to wring it out thoroughly before using it on your shades to keep moisture from getting inside the headrail.

 

Next, work your way down the fabric with the feather duster, vacuum and soft brush attachment, and clean sponge (if necessary) to remove dirt, dust, and light stains. Apply light pressure on areas that are stained, but avoid scrubbing on deeply stained areas, as the extra pressure may damage the fabric.

Step 5: Remove your shades from the window or wall if necessary.

 

If your shades were mounted in an area where they received frequent exposure to airborne particles, like in front an opened window or door, they may need to be removed from the window or wall itself in order to facilitate more thorough cleaning.

 

After removing the shades from the mounting brackets, fill your bathtub with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild soap or cleaning solution to the water. Then, place your shades inside the water while making sure to keep the headrail dry.

 

After letting the shades soak briefly, wipe away any dirt, dust, and other debris. Once the shades are clean, remove them from the water and immediately dry the fabric with towels. Hang them up to dry outside of your bathroom to prevent possible mold growth. You can also use a hairdryer during this step to hasten the drying process.

Step 6: Stick to a regular cleaning schedule in the future.

 

Shades that are regularly cleaned don’t require much more than a dusting on a regular basis to look their best year-round. To cut down on the amount of time you spend cleaning your shades in the future, make it a habit to dust them at least twice a month for shades that are installed in rooms with light foot traffic and once a week for shades installed in rooms with heavy foot traffic.

Tips for Creating the Ultimate Man Cave

Whether they’re pre-built or conversions of existing rooms, man caves are becoming more and more important on the checklists of families who are in the market for new homes. Part den and part game room, the definition of a true man cave isn’t written in stone, but most would agree that it’s a place conducive to all things entertainment—sports, movies, video games, memorabilia, and music.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that man caves are often one of the most high-tech areas of a home. But in addition to outfitting a man cave with the latest and greatest gadgets, there are also a few other important touches that can turn an ordinary den into a man cave worth bragging about.

To take your man cave to the next level, check out some of Blindster’s tips below.

black out

Tip #1 Get privacy shades to control the lighting and eliminate glare.

 

Huge, ultra-high-definition televisions and room-shaking surround sound systems are getting more and more inexpensive by the day—and that means a man cave can deliver a movie theater experience even on a tight budget. But one important aspect that many homeowners forget when building a man cave is its lighting or lack thereof.

 

Installing privacy shades on any and all windows in the room doesn’t just put the “cave” back in man cave—it also reduces the glare that detracts from the viewing experience of a big HDTV or projector. In addition, having full control of the lighting in a man cave is a big bonus when it comes to creating and replicating the ambience of a sports bar, movie theater, or arcade—all of which are suitable stylings for man caves.

pool table

Tip #2 Don’t focus too much on high-tech gadgets.

 

While the centerpiece of most man caves is a kickin’ sound system and a big screen TV or projector, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the low-tech staples of man caves. Keep yourself and your guests entertained with a pool table, dart board, poker table, foosball table, shuffleboard table, air hockey table, or even an old-school skee-ball machine. You’ll need something to keep you and friends entertained during commercials, and you might even win a few bucks if you bet on the winner.

Tip #3 Stock up on memorabilia from your favorite team.

 

Man caves are traditionally viewed as sports-watching havens, and that stereotype exists for a reason—they’re the ultimate place to gather your friends and family to battle out age old rivalries (Go Cowboys!). They also happen to be the one place in your home where it’s acceptable to display 12’ tall cutouts of your favorite linebacker or point guard. A lot of great pieces can be found at flea markets and second-hand stores.

 

Anything goes when it comes to displaying memorabilia in your man cave, and the more overboard you go, the better. Installing carpet that matches your team’s colors? No problem. Hanging wallpaper with your team’s logo in a repeating pattern across the entire room? Why not!

 

Loading up your man cave with reminders of your devotion to your team only makes the victories that much sweeter—and it also gives you a chance to remember your team’s past glories after bitter defeats.

beer

Tip #4 Keep your guests happy with snacks and drinks.

 

What good is a man cave without a well-stocked selection of snacks and drinks? To make your man cave a truly self-sustaining entertainment paradise, you’ll need a nice variety of snacks and drinks and places to store them. At the bare minimum, a mini-fridge is perfect for storing a small amount of perishables, but ideally, you’ll want a full-sized refrigerator for your drinks and a pantry for storing your food. To really take things to the next level, get a small bar and stock it with spirits and mixers. Why go to a sports bar when you have one in your own home?

lazyboy

Tip #5 Stock the room with furniture you actually like.

 

There’s often a stark difference between furniture that’s comfortable and furniture that looks nice. Man caves are definitely places for the former. And while it may be tempting to start and end your search for furniture with a comfy recliner, you’ll need places for your friends and family to sit as well.

 

If space is limited, a sectional couch offers the most seating for the least amount of space, as even small sectionals can generally seat up to four people with ease. Mid-size sectionals can seat up to six, seven, or even eight people, while large or oversized sectionals can seat a dozen or more.

 

When shopping for man cave furniture, remember that comfort should be your top priority. Style points are a bonus, of course, but there’s no point in having a man cave if you don’t even enjoy spending time in it.

Via La-Z-Boy

charger

Tip #6 Make sure you have plenty of outlets and chargers.

 

Whether your team is playing a double-header or you’re battening down the hatches for a full day of football on a Sunday, chances are you might not come up for air for quite some time. Marathon sports-watching sessions like these have one unfortunate side effect: battery drain. And because no one wants to see their phone slowly die in front of their very eyes, it’s important that you keep your guests well-charged—both with food and with device chargers.

 

Keep a handful of universal or commonly used device chargers in your man cave along with easily accessible outlets and power strips. The next time one of your guests shows up with a phone that has a five-percent charge remaining, you’ll be treated like a hero and the ultimate bro.

Grand Pleat Home Gym crop

Tip #7 Add some workout gear.

 

A small collection of free weights and an adjustable bench press can give your man cave yet another designation in your home: personal gym. Think of it like this: the average football game features around 30 minutes of live action and the rest is filled with commercial breaks, cutaways to announcers talking, or close-ups of coaches and referees. What better time to crank out a few sets than when you’re waiting for the action to start?

How to Measure for Pleated Shades

Pleated shades make excellent window coverings for a wide variety of rooms in your home. In addition to featuring a beautiful accordion-style fabric design, pleated shades are also highly versatile and can be ordered with standard lift, top down bottom up, continuous cord loop, and sheer options for increased functionality, privacy and light filtering.

If you’re considering ordering pleated shades for your home, you should first take the time to accurately measure the area where you’re planning on installing the shades, whether that’s the interior of your window frames or the area surrounding your windows.

Learn the Differences between Inside and Outside Mounting Options

The two primary methods for mounting shades and window coverings include mounting them flush inside a window frame or outside the window by attaching them to the wall, ceiling, or molding. Both mounting options have their own pros and cons, which you can see in the table below:

 

Inside Mount Installation

Outside Mount Installation

·        Inside mount installations are perfect for homeowners who want to achieve a sleek, built-in look with their window coverings

·        This installation option preserves the view of intricate or ornate woodwork and framework surrounding the window

·        For a secure inside mount, installation requires a minimum depth of 1 3/8” for deluxe cordless pleated shades, ½” for standard lift, 1” for continuous loop

·        For an inside flush mount, installation requires a minimum depth of 1” for deluxe cordless pleated shades, 2” for standard lift continuous cord loop, and top down bottom up

·        If your window frames aren’t deep enough to support installation, use the outside mount option instead

·        Outside mount installations are perfect for windows with shallow window frames that can’t support traditional mountings

·        This installation option gives you the option to mount your shades to your wall, ceiling, molding, or other solid surface surrounding your windows

·        Use this mounting option to hide unattractive windows and framework

·        Outside mounts of deluxe cordless pleated shades require a minimum flat mounting surface of at least 1” for a secure mount, ¾” for standard pleated shades, and ½” for continuous cord loop

·        When measuring, include the flat mounting area when providing dimensions to Blindster

·        Note that the headrail will be ¼” wider than the ordered width

 

Carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding which mounting option you will choose. After you’ve decided, it’s time measure your windows or wall.

Follow the instructions below to get the most accurate dimensions possible before you place your order with Blindster.

Measuring Instructions for Inside Mount Installations

Step 1: Measure the interior width of the window by taking its dimensions in three separate locations—the top, middle and bottom. Measure the entire length of the glass and record the smallest of these three measurements, as that’s the number you’ll use when you place your order. Note that Blindster will make a small deduction when the factory creates your shade (around 3/8” to ½”)

Step 2: Measure the interior height of your window by taking its dimensions in three separate locations—the left side, middle and the right side. Record the largest of these three measurements, as that’s the number you’ll use when you place your order.

Measuring Instructions for Outside Mount Installations

Step 1: Measure the full width of the area you wish to cover with your new pleated shade. If there’s enough space to do so, add an extra 2” to 3” to your measured width to eliminate light leakage from the sides of the shade. Use this number when placing your order with Blindster.

 Step 2: Measure the full height of the area you wish to cover with your new pleated shade. When measuring, make sure to account for the extra 1” of flat mounting surface required for outside mount installations. Also note that adding 3” to 4” of extra height to your order will give you enough room to mount your shade above your window frame and above molding or framework that you wish to cover.

How to Clean Bamboo Shades

Bamboo shades are the ideal choice for anyone who wants natural and eco-friendly window coverings in their home. Because bamboo shades are manufactured using real wood, they not only add a unique and beautiful touch to your windows, but they also require a slightly different approach to cleaning.

Despite their differences from traditional shades, bamboo shades can be easily cleaned using many of the same techniques required to clean other types of window treatments. If you recently purchased bamboo shades or are simply looking for the best way to clean the bamboo shades that are already in your home, check out Blindster’s tips below for the best way to get the job done.

Step 1: Inspect your bamboo shades.

Your approach to cleaning your shades depends on how dirty they are. In most cases, shades don’t attract much other than a light coating of dust, dirt, pet hair, and a small amount of pollen. However, shades that are mounted in areas with open air movement, such as on or near windows and doors that are left open for long periods of time, may require more intensive cleaning due to exposure to heavier accumulations of dirt, dust, and other debris.

Step 2: Read the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions.

While bamboo shades generally hold up well to most cleaning attempts, it’s important that you first consult the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions before you use water, cleaning liquids, or other chemicals that could potentially crack, stain, or damage the wood. You can find the instructions in your shade’s original packaging. If you can’t locate the instructions, consult the manufacturer’s website or contact Blindster to receive a replacement copy.

Step 3: Gather the cleaning items you’ll need.

Cleaning bamboo shades is an easy process that requires only simple cleaning items. To get started, gather the primary items you’ll need to get the job done and keep them handy while you work. These items include:
• A feather duster to loosen and remove light dust accumulations
• A vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachment to remove heavier dust accumulations
• A clean sponge to wipe down the shade, gently lift away stains, and clean the headrail
• A clean bucket filled with warm water and a mild oil soap safe to use on wood
• A towel and a hair dryer to dry the shades

With these items nearby, you’re ready to begin cleaning your bamboo shades.

Step 4: Clean your shades from top to bottom.

To begin the cleaning process, use a feather duster to remove dust from every inch of exposed surface from the headrail and the shade itself. After you’ve removed the top layer of accumulated dirt and dust, use your vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachment to remove any left behind debris.

Next, wet the sponge and thoroughly wring it out to release any excess water and cleaning solution. Then use the sponge to wipe down the headrail, but be careful and avoid getting liquid inside the shade, as it could damage the internal components of the shade. Working your way down the bamboo, use the sponge to gently wipe away any stains, discolorations, or caked on grime.

After you’ve thoroughly cleaned the shade, use a clean towel and wipe away any moisture from the wood. For even faster drying, use a hair dryer on areas of the shade where towel drying isn’t sufficient. Drying your shade is important to prevent the wood from warping, staining, or becoming discolored after exposure to water.

Step 5: Dismount your shades from your windows or wall if necessary.

If your shades are heavily stained or soiled due to prolonged exposure to dirt, dust, and other debris, you may need to remove them from the window and use a more intensive cleaning process. To thoroughly clean your bamboo shades when traditional cleaning methods don’t work, fill up your bathtub with warm water and a mild soap or detergent that’s safe to use on wood.

Once the bathtub is filled up, place the shades inside the water while keeping the headrail dry. After soaking the shades in the mixture of water and cleaning liquid for several minutes, use a washcloth or sponge to scrub and lift away any stains, dirt, and grime from the wood. Make sure to clean every exposed surface as thoroughly as you can, and change the water if necessary as you go.

After you’ve cleaned your shades, drain the tub and then rinse away the water and soap mixture before placing your shades on a towel to dry. After using the towels to soak up the majority of the water from the shades, hang them to dry in a well-ventilated area. Use a hair dryer to hasten the drying process and prevent warping. Hanging the shades in sunlight or outdoors can also make the drying process go faster.

Step 6: Create a regular cleaning schedule.

The easiest way to cut down on the amount of time and effort it takes to clean your bamboo shades is to simply clean them more often. Like all items in your home, your bamboo shades will accumulate dirt and dust over time, but a quick and regular cleaning with a feather duster and vacuum with light brush attachment—combined with monthly wipe downs of the wood and headrail—is generally all that’s needed to keep your shades clean and reduce the need for intensive and deep cleaning sessions in the future.

How to Measure Bamboo Shades

When it comes to eco-friendly designs that are both beautiful and natural, you can’t beat bamboo shades. These window treatments are not only highly effective at increasing privacy and blocking out the sun’s rays, they also add an elegant look to any room in your home.

Bamboo shades are easy to install, but before you place your order with Blindster, you should first measure your window or the area you wish to cover with the shades. Taking accurate measurements is vital for the shades to fit properly.

To precisely measure your windows and receive shades that fit perfectly, follow the instructions below.

Choosing Between Inside Mounts and Outside Mounts

There are two main ways that you can mount your shades: inside your window frame or outside your window frame. Both have pros and cons and choosing one over the other depends on your own personal preferences as well as the dimensions of your window frame.

Consult the table below to learn the major differences between these two mounting options:

Inside Mount

Outside Mount

·        Inside mount installations place the shades directly inside the window frame and require precise measurements for a proper fit·        When mounted inside the window frame, bamboo shades have a sleek, built-in look·        This is the best option if you want to leave intricate or detailed woodwork exposed·        Requires at least ½” of depth in window frame for a secure mount

·        Inside flush mount requires at least 2” for standard and top down/bottom up shades, 3” for continuous loop

·        If your window frame doesn’t provide enough depth, use the outside mount option instead

·        Outside mount installations place the shade outside the window frame and make it possible to cover the entire window·        This installation can be mounted to the wall, ceiling, or molding, making it highly versatile for a variety of window types and sizes·        Outside mounts are perfect for hiding unattractive windows or making windows appear larger·        There are no minimum depth requirements, but a minimum flat surface of at least 1” is required. Always include the mounting surface area when measuring the area you want to cover with the shade

 

No matter which installation option you choose, your shade will function equally well when it comes to protecting your privacy and blocking out sunlight.

How to Measure Your Windows before Ordering Bamboo Shades

After you’ve decided which mounting option you prefer, it’s time to measure your window. Use the instructions below to get precise measurements for both inside and outside mount installation options

Measuring for Inside Mount Installations

Step 1: Measure the interior width of the window and window frame in three separate locations—the top, middle, and bottom. Take note of the smallest of these three measurements, as it’s the number you’ll provide to Blindster when you place your order. Note that the factory will make necessary deductions of around ½”.

 

Step 2: Measure the interior height of the window and window frame in three separate locations—the left side, middle, and right side. Take note of the largest of these three measurements, as it’s the number you’ll provide to Blindster when you place your order.

Measuring for Outside Mount Installations

Step 1: Measure the full width of the area you wish to cover with the bamboo shade. If there’s enough room to do so, add an extra 2” to 3” to your total width to help eliminate light leakage from the sides of the shade. Use the original measurement plus the extra width when placing your order, as your shade will be made exactly as specified when ordered.

 

Step 2: Measure the full height of the area you wish to cover with the bamboo shade. As mentioned above, take into account at least 1” of flat mounting surface when doing your measurements. In addition, note that adding at least 3” to 4” of height added to your shade will allow you to mount it above the window frame.

How to Clean Solar Shades

Because solar shades are designed to let in light and provide a clear view of the outside, many homeowners install them on windows that are frequently opened. That means they can quickly accumulate large amounts of dust, dirt, pollen, and other debris from both inside and outside your home.

Keeping your solar shades looking their best is a simple process, but it does require a careful approach and a consistent cleaning schedule. So whether you’re cleaning your new solar shades for the first time or just need an easy and effective method to get the job done, Blindster’s got you covered.

Check out the instructions below to clean your shades safely and efficiently.

Step 1: Look over your shades to determine how much cleaning they need.

The number of steps required to clean your shades depends on how dirty they are. Shades mounted in rooms that receive very little foot traffic may only need a light dusting and a wipe down of the headrail, while shades in high traffic areas or in rooms with opened windows and doors may need a much more thorough cleaning to remove airborne particles.

If you notice any heavy or deep stains on your shades, you may want to consider calling a professional cleaning service, as those stains may be impossible to remove on your own without potentially damaging the fabric.

Step 2: Check the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions.

Your shades shipped with instructions that provide important information about how to care for them—including safe cleaning tips and warnings about certain types of cleaning agents that can damage the fabric. If you can’t find the instructions, check the original packing, the manufacturer’s website, or consult Blindster. Note that warnings about using water or soaps and detergents should be taken seriously, as some shades use fabric that can easily stain, fade, or discolor after exposure to certain liquids.

Step 3: Gather the cleaning items you’ll need to get the job done.

Cleaning solar shades doesn’t require any fancy cleaning tools—just a few basic items that you likely have in your home already. To get started, grab the following items and keep them handy while you work:

  • Feather duster

Most shades require nothing more than a quick dusting to remove built up dust and dirt. Feather dusters are perfect for light cleaning jobs and are highly effective at removing accumulated debris from the headrail and fabric.

  • Vacuum with light brush attachment

If your shade has an excess amount of dirt, dust, and especially pet hair accumulation, using your vacuum cleaner with a soft or light brush attachment is an easy way to remove it quickly and efficiently. If the suction is too strong, reduce the vacuum’s power if possible to avoid damaging the fabric or shade.

  • Bucket with warm water and a mild soap

If permitted by the manufacturer’s instructions, fill a small bucket with warm water and a mild soap or detergent. This mixture will help remove any light stains or caked on dirt, dust, pet hair, pollen, and other debris from the fabric and headrail.

  • A clean sponge

Dip the sponge in the warm water and soap mixture and make sure to wring it out thoroughly to avoid soaking any parts of the shade. Then, use it to gently scrub away any caked on dirt, dust, or pollen from any affected areas of the shade. When cleaning the headrail, do your best to avoid getting any liquid inside it, as water can damage the moving parts.

  • Towels or sheets to catch any falling dust

Cleaning your shades—especially if they have a heavy amount of dirt and dust—can produce a big mess. Placing towels and sheets underneath the shades will catch any falling particles and prevent it from getting on your floor.

  • A hair dryer

If you use a wet sponge to clean your shade, it’s important that you dry the fabric quickly to avoid spotting or warping. The quickest and easiest way to spot dry the fabric is to use a hair dryer. Turn it on at the highest heat and power setting to dry any wet areas of the fabric within minutes.

Step 4: Use a professional cleaning service if necessary.

Shades that are deeply stained, have been exposed to open air for long periods of time, or that are simply beyond your cleaning capabilities may need to be addressed by a professional. Avoid attempting to do any heavy cleaning yourself, as using harsh chemicals and scrubbing the fabric using abrasive materials or excessive force can damage the fabric.

Step 5: Set a cleaning schedule to make the job easier in the future.

Like everything else in your home, your shades will continue to accumulate dirt and dust over time, no matter where they’re mounted. To avoid any major cleaning jobs in the future, set a schedule for cleaning your shades and stick to it as best you can.

Shades that are mounted in low-traffic rooms, such as spare bedrooms and bathrooms generally need only a light dusting once or twice a month. But shades mounted in rooms with high traffic, such as your living room, kitchen, or dining room should be dusted weekly and wiped down at least once a month to remove dirt and dust from the fabric and headrail.