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Re-purposing Old Window Treatments

If you recently purchased new blinds or shades from Blindster, you probably have a few sets of old window treatments on your hands. Instead of throwing them out, consider re-purposing them. There are several great uses for old blinds and shades that can liven up your home and help you bring out your artistic and creative sides. In some cases, old window treatments can be completely transformed into home décor or accent pieces that look nothing like their original shape or form, breathing new life into them and giving you the opportunity to place them throughout your home in a variety of uses or applications.

Decorating with Old Shutters

At Blindster, we’re proud to offer high-quality indoor faux wood plantation shutters. These window treatments are ideal for a wide variety of home décor styles and color schemes. But we also know that many homeowners are left wondering what they should do with their old shutters after they’ve replaced them. A few excellent ideas for re-purposing old shutters include:

  • Wall art – Distressed shutters add a beautiful and rustic look to any room in your home. Simply mount them to the walls of any room in your home to achieve the look. For greater visual variety, arrange shutters of different size and color together in interesting patterns or shapes. You can top the arrangement off with a wreath in the center or ivy along the length of the shutters.
  • Organizers – The slats on old shutters are perfect storage spaces for things like mail, invitations, greeting cards, bills, loose pieces of paper, and other documents that should be kept in a convenient, easy to reach place. This re-purposing idea requires no additional work—simply mount the shutter near your front door or another location where you open your mail and use it to store important items.
  • Vertical planters – Did you know that plants can thrive inside shutters? Potted plants can be attached to the slats on your old shutters to create a vertical garden anywhere inside or outside of your home. You can also place a backing on your shutters and fill them with fertile soil and allow plants to grow through the slats for an even more striking look.
  • Plate rack – An old shutter flipped horizontal with its slats facing up is an ideal dish rack. The notches between the slats make perfect spaces for dishes to be held in place. You can even attach hooks to the bottom of the shutter to hang bowls, cups, and other assorted dishware.

Decorating with Old Window Frames

Old shutters, blinds, and shades aren’t the only parts of windows that can be repurposed. Entire window frames themselves can also be put to good use. The only limit to repurposing old window frames is your imagination. At Blindster, we recommend the following projects and applications:

  • Picture frames – Converting window frames to picture frames is simple, as they’re already extremely similar. Simply adding backings and glass to the fronts of your window frames is a quick and easy way to transform them into beautiful, head-turning, and truly unique picture frames.
  • Mirrors – Window frames also have the perfect shape and size to be used as mirrors. Place individual mirrors cut to size in each section of your window frames for a striking look that will fit in any room in your home.
  • Mantel decoration – Decorating a fireplace mantel can be difficult, especially if you want to avoid cliché décor and accent pieces. Repurposed window frames provide a great opportunity to create a visual centerpiece on your mantel.
  • Front porch – The rustic look of an old window frame is ideal for front porches. Whether you hang yours without any accessories or complete the look with a vintage and distressed star, wreath, ivy, or plant, you’ll have a beautiful addition to your outside décor.

Need Ideas? Check Out These Links.

The internet is full of amazingly creative people who have a professional’s touch when it comes to re-purposing old furniture, décor, and home components. If you’re looking for ideas for your old window treatments, shutters, or window frames, look no further than some ideas presented in related Blindster blog resources:

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper

With housing markets in many large cities being more competitive than ever, many would-be buyers and investors are being forced to look outside their comfort zones and find properties that have a lot of potential, but aren’t quite perfect—in other words, fixer-uppers.

Thankfully, buyers who take the plunge with fixer-uppers have more resources to get the job done than ever, as the topic is frequently covered in magazines, books, blogs, and television shows. However, one aspect of the process that’s often overlooked is how to pick the right fixer-upper.

Not all fixer-uppers are created equal. For every home that’s only a remodeled kitchen and a few coats of paint away from being your dream home or property, there are five disasters in waiting. They’re lurking out there, ready and willing to empty your pocketbook and leave you swearing off home ownership for good. The difference between buying a home that you’ll love, and buying one that you’ll immediately regret, comes from being able to quickly and accurately appraise the property and evaluate its flaws.

If you’re looking to sharpen your eye when it comes to assessing potential fixer-upper properties, Blindster recommends paying close attention to these aspects of the home before you sign on the dotted line:

  • The foundation

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- The Foundation

Via Pinterest

 

A house with a great design, location, and overall appearance can, and should, be quickly ruled out if its foundation shows any signs of damage or instability. A weak foundation may not pose problems the first year or even first decade that you own the home, but sooner or later, issues will arise that require major cash and extensive work to fix.

 

Although it can be difficult to get an accurate assessment of the condition of a home’s foundation, cracks, off-track doors, and pooled water or damp conditions inside the basement are often telltale signs that the foundation is weak or damaged.

 

  • The wiring

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Wiring

A home that is fully wired for electricity with multiple working outlets in every room is something many people take for granted. However, an older home or a home with substandard wiring configurations can be at risk of losing power at any time, whether it’s confined to a specific outlet or throughout the entire home. In addition, outdated wiring or unsafe wiring also represents a serious fire hazard that can put your home and family at risk.

 

Take the time to test every plug, in every outlet, and in every room. Turn off and on light switches throughout the house, and open the electrical panel to make sure it’s in good condition. If the home is several decades old, consider hiring an electrician to inspect its wiring to make sure it will last for many years and won’t be at risk of failing or becoming a fire hazard.

 

  • The roof

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Roof

Via Pinterest

 

Your home’s roof is what keeps you and your family comfortable and secure. Just as a failing or damaged foundation can eventually lead to major structural issues, a leaking or damaged roof can also gradually worsen until it’s on the brink of collapse or at the point of causing water to enter your home.

 

If you’re comfortable with climbing onto the roof—or if you can easily see the roof from the ground—look for signs of damage like curling and cracking shingles. Extensive stains may also indicate water damage has occurred. Storms can also cause serious damage to roofs, so look for things like missing shingles, pockmarks and dents from hail, and even sagging areas due to fallen tree limbs and branches.

 

  • The plumbing

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Plumbing

Via Pinterest

 

Like electricity, running water is one of the greatest modern conveniences in homes, but many people don’t think about its impact on daily life until it is either unavailable or limited in some way. Unfortunately, as with residential wiring, plumbing is hidden in ceilings, walls, and floorboards, making it difficult to determine if there are any existing issues or damage that could soon result in a lack of running water, a sewage backup, or a flooded bathroom.

 

The quickest and easiest way to check the plumbing in a fixer-upper home is to use it. Flush all toilets multiple times. Take note if any of the toilets seem sluggish or fail to fill up with water after the flushing process is complete. Also, check the base of the toilets for potential water damage or leaks. Run all faucets and shower heads to check the water pressure and temperature. If either fluctuates, there may be blockages in the pipes or the water heater may need to be replaced.

 

  • The carpet

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Carpet

Via Pinterest

 

Whether you plan on keeping the carpet or immediately ripping it out and replacing it, it’s still important to make sure you know what’s going on underneath it when you’re looking at a fixer-upper property. Carpet can hide serious issues like water damaged floorboards, mildew, and even black mold. In some cases, the reveal is actually more positive, as you may find that the carpet is hiding a beautiful hardwood floor that only needs some cleaning and polishing to be fully restored.

 

To find out what’s underneath the carpet, check the corners of the room and pull up on the carpet and padding. Check underneath for obvious signs of damage, while also noting the condition of the floor. If it’s plywood, expect to spend more on new flooring, if you don’t plan on keeping the carpet.

 

  • The doors and windows

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Windows

Via Pinterest

 

If you’re looking for a fixer-upper property when the weather is nice, the seals around the windows and doors may be the last thing on your mind. And while getting those aspects of the home up to par is a relatively simple and inexpensive process, it’s still worth inspecting and knowing what you’re in for before you make a purchase, as poorly sealed windows and doors can quickly increase your energy costs and make your home uncomfortable during extreme weather and temperatures.

 

Pull back curtains and raise the blinds and shades to look carefully at the edges of the windows for cracks or small openings. Open and close the windows multiple times to see how well they seal after being shut and whether drafts can still enter the home. Check the area underneath outside-facing doors for cracks and inspect the overall condition of the doors. Doors that are difficult to open may have hinges and locks that need to be replaced, while damaged doors may not be structurally sound and should also be replaced.

What did you think of our list? Can you think of any other important things to take into account when buying a fixer-upper? Let us know in the comments!

How to Clean Solar Shades

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 sun-room, 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 sun-rooms or glassed-in porches may not require extensive cleaning. However, shades that are exposed, 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 head rail.

  • 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.

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.

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 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.

How to Clean Roller Shades

Roller shades are highly versatile, look great in a variety of homes, and go well with almost any type of décor. Because of their universal appeal, roller shades are commonly chosen for both the home and office. And while roller shades can provide a sleek, elegant, and understated look to your windows, they do require regular maintenance to keep looking their best for years to come.

All objects in your home or office eventually attract dirt and dust—and roller shades are no different. Keeping your shades in tip-top condition requires a consistent cleaning schedule, so whether you’re looking to establish one for your new shades or you need to give your old window treatments a thorough cleaning for the first time, the instructions below can help you get the job done quickly and without damaging the fabric.

Step 1: Inspect your shades

Before you begin cleaning, you should first take a moment to inspect your blinds. Are they heavily stained or soiled? If so, they may need to be cleaned professionally. However, if your blinds are only lightly stained or have no stains, but an accumulation of dust, dirt, pet hair, and other debris, cleaning them at home should be a simple process.

Step 2: Read the manufacturer’s instructions

While you may be tempted to begin cleaning your shades immediately, it’s important that you first read the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions before you begin. These instructions will contain useful information about whether your shades, depending on the material they’re made of, can be damaged by water and common cleaners—including mild soaps and detergents. Always read these instructions before using any cleaning supplies on your shades, as improper care may do more harm than good.

Step 3: Gather the cleaning items you’ll need

Cleaning shades is a simple process that doesn’t require many tools. To make the job as easy and hassle-free as possible, gather the following items and keep them handy while you work:

• A clean feather duster
A feather duster is the easiest way to clean shades that have only a light accumulation of dirt, dust, pollen, pet hair, and other debris.

• A vacuum with soft brush attachment
Vacuums are excellent for quickly removing debris from fabric. Before using a vacuum on your shade, make sure you use a soft brush attachment to avoid damaging the fabric. In addition, adjust the suction if possible and use only as much power as needed to clean the fabric.

• A sponge or clean cloth
Using a sponge or cloth is the quickest and easiest way to gently scrub away light stains and to remove dirt and dust from the headrail.

• A clean bucket of warm water and mild soap or detergent
A bucket of warm water and mild soap or detergent can quickly and easily remove light stains from the shade’s fabric or headrail. Before using any liquids on your shades, always test them on a small inconspicuous patch to make sure the color doesn’t run or stain after exposure to water and other mild cleaning liquids.

• A sheet or towels to catch dripping water and falling dust
Cleaning a shade can get messy—especially if it has collected a large amount of dirt and dust. To ease the cleanup process afterward, place a large sheet or towels underneath the length of the window to catch liquid or dust that falls from the shade while you clean.

• Hair dryer
Wet shades can warp, stain, fade, and become discolored. To quickly dry your shade, use a hair dryer on any damp areas after cleaning.

Step 4: Begin cleaning your shades

The process for cleaning can be divided into four quick and easy steps:

• Use the feather duster to remove light accumulations of dirt and dust.
• Use your vacuum with soft brush attachment to remove any additional dirt or dust that the feather duster didn’t pick up.
• Use a damp sponge or cloth and wipe away any dirt or dust from the headrail and gently scrub away any light stains from the fabric.
• Use a hair dryer on high heat to quickly dry any wet areas to prevent damage to the fabric.

Step 5: Determine if you need additional cleaning help

Although most roller shades can be cleaned at home, your shades may be heavily stained and cleaning them properly could be beyond your capabilities. If your shades won’t come clean with traditional methods, contact a professional cleaning company. Avoid using harsh chemicals or scrubbing too hard in an effort to remove stains, as that can severely damage the fabric and make deep stains worse.

Step 6: Set a regular cleaning schedule

Once your shades are cleaned, keeping them clean is easy if you set a regular cleaning schedule. Most shades in rooms with little foot traffic, such as spare bedrooms and bathrooms, only require brief cleanings with feather dusters a few times per month. Shades in rooms with more frequent foot traffic, like those in living rooms, master bedrooms, and dining rooms, may require more hands-on cleaning once or twice per week.

How to Clean Sheer Shades

Sheer shades are the ideal solution for homeowners who want to let in as much warmth and sunlight as possible, but also increase privacy and security in their homes.

While their design can add an elegant and beautiful touch to any room in your home, sheer shades attract dust and dirt just like other shades—and that means they require regular cleaning to look their best at all times.

To safely clean your sheer shades, check out Blindster’s tips below.

 

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

The cleaning approach you take with your sheer shades depends on how thoroughly they need to be cleaned. Shades with a light coating of dust, pollen, dirt, or other debris may only need a superficial cleaning, while shades that are stained or covered in a heavy accumulation of debris will need more intensive cleaning.

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

Because the fabric on sheer shades is so delicate, it’s important to follow all cleaning and care instructions to avoid possibly damaging it. Certain types of fabric may easily rip or become frayed due to normal cleaning motions and even light rubbing, so always consult the manufacturer’s recommendations before manually spot-cleaning.

In addition, pay close attention to any warnings about using soaps and detergents—even mild ones—before putting them on the fabric. Certain fabrics may become permanently stained with exposure to even small amounts of water and soap.

To find the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, check the original packing for the shades, consult the manufacturer’s website, check for a tag on the fabric, or contact Blindster.

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

To save time, gather all of the cleaning items you’ll need during the cleaning process ahead of time. Cleaning sheer shades requires only a few tools and cleaning products, such as:

  • Feather duster

A feather duster is the quickest and easiest way to remove light accumulations of dirt, dust, and pet hair from your shades. It’s also extremely gentle on the fabric and should be your first choice when you begin cleaning.

  • Vacuum with soft brush attachment

For heavier filth or to remove dirt and dust without worrying about it falling on the floor, use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum’s extension handle. If the suction from your vacuum is too strong, adjust it to a lower setting if possible or place panty hose over the vacuum’s opening to attract dust without pulling on the fabric.

  • Bucket of warm water and mild soap or detergent

If the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions indicate that it’s okay to use water and soap when cleaning your shade, mix the two together in a bucket or large bowl. Dilute the mixture with more water as necessary. For heavily soiled shades, you may want to add a second bucket or bowl to rinse your sponge or cloth to avoid contaminating the soapy water in the first bucket.

Step 4:Begin cleaning your shades.

The first step when cleaning your shades is to remove any light accumulations of dirt and dust. Begin by gently running the feather duster along every exposed surface of the shade, starting at the top and working your way down to the bottom. You may want to place a sheet or towels underneath your window or door to catch any falling dust at this point of the cleaning process.

Next, use your vacuum with its soft brush attachment to remove any additional dirt, dust, or pollen from your shades. As mentioned above, change the suction settings if the vacuum is ineffective at removing dust or the suction is too strong and could possibly damage the fabric.

Finally, immerse your sponge or soft cloth in the warm water and soap mixture and wring it thoroughly to avoid causing water damage to your shades. Starting at the headrail, gently wipe along every exposed surface of the shades to remove light stains or dirt and dust accumulations.

Be careful to not get any water inside the openings of the headrail and don’t soak the fabric, as excess moisture could damage it.

Step 5: Dry your shades.

To quickly dry your shades and prevent possible water spots from forming on the fabric, use a hair dryer on any areas with excess moisture.

Step 6: Set a regular cleaning schedule.

To keep your shades looking their best all year long, make cleaning them a part of your weekly cleaning routine. In most cases, sheer shades require just a quick spot cleaning with a feather duster on a weekly basis to avoid heavy dirt and dust accumulation that can lead to stains and discoloration after several weeks, months, or years between cleanings.

Step 7: Consult a professional cleaning service for heavily stained shades.

If your shades have stains that are deep inside the fabric, you may be unable to clean them at home. If that’s the case, you may have to consult with a professional cleaning service that has the equipment to remove the stains with damaging the fabric of the shades.

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