Window Blind Maintenance: Make Them Last

May 24 2013

Wood blindsWhen you purchase blinds for your home, you expect them to last. It doesn’t matter how expensive the blinds were, you still expect them to hold up for at least five to ten years. While the failure of less expensive blinds to make it more than five to ten years is understandable, more expensive blinds failing to hold up can seem unforgiveable. With careful maintenance you can prolong the lifespan of your blinds.

Choose the Proper Environment for Your Blinds

The environment that you plan to insert the blinds is an important aspect of blind maintenance. Choosing the wrong type of blinds could lead to a decrease in your blind’s lifespan.

Aluminum blinds and faux wood blinds hold up fairly well. These types of blinds are best for households with children, teenagers, or individuals who are hard on their possessions, aluminum and faux wood blinds are solid choices. Just be aware that all blinds are a tad delicate. Even aluminum and faux wood blinds can become damaged when they take a constant beating from indelicate hands.

Wood blinds should not be used in areas of the home that experience a high level of humidity or moisture. Wood blinds can be warped or stained by water. While varnish and paint will partly protect the wood from water damage, constant contact with water or damp air will eventually ruin your wood blinds.

Vertical blinds have a certain style appeal. They are the classier, upscale cousin to the Venetian or horizontal blinds. Despite their appeal, you should refrain from installing vertical blinds in a high traffic doorway, especially if you have children in the house. Grubby fingers constantly poking, prodding, and opening the blinds can bend or tear even the hardiest material. Cloth shades will hold up far better than vertical blinds in an area with constant traffic.

Know How To Properly Clean Your Blinds

Cordless aluminum blindsWhile cleaning isn’t necessary, a buildup of dust and dirt on the blinds can turn your classy house into a metaphorical pig pen. At that point even the most cleaning-phobic people will break down and clean the blinds in the house. Ironically enough it is the decision to clean that can result in the individual cutting the lifespan of the blinds. Using the wrong cleaning method on certain types of blinds can damage them. When you buy more delicate blinds like faux wood or wood blinds inform all members of the household how to properly clean them.

Aluminum blinds are the easiest to clean.

  • For casual cleaning a clean cloth can be used to dust.
  • For mild cleaning you can create solutions of alcohol and water, vinegar (3 cups) and water (3 cups), and dish soap (2 squirts) and water. Apply to a clean rag and carefully clean off each side of the blinds.
  • For heavy duty cleaning jobs, remove the blinds from the window and soak them in warm water that has been treated with soap.
  • Be sure to completely dry the blinds after they have been cleaned with water.


Faux Wood Blinds while not as easy as Aluminum blinds to clean, they are still a relatively easy clean.

  • For casual cleaning a dry cloth can be used to dust.
  • For mild cleaning a cloth with water or a mixture of water and dish soap. Be sure to completely dry the blinds after they have been cleaned with water.
  • Harsher detergents can scratch the surface of the blinds.


Wood Blinds are the hardest to clean because they are the easiest to damage.

  • For casual cleaning use a clean cloth or a duster.
  • For more serious cleaning, you can use the brushed attachment on your vacuum.
  • Damage can occur if you use water or other solutions to clean your wood blinds.


Repairing and Upkeep When Necessary

Continuing to use broken blinds after you have found a defect can be damaging to the lifespan of the blinds. In order to prevent such damage, repair blinds as you notice defects.

Broken wands mean that the owner will need to force the blinds to rotate when they want to open and close the window. That can cause tearing in the blinds or damage the string. For $3 that damage can be circumvented.

After about 7 to 10 years you will need to reapply the varnish or paint on your blinds. Varnish and paint are applied to protect the blinds from water damage and fading caused by sunlight. Do not attempt to reapply the paint or varnish unless you are sure that you can do so correctly. If you have no experience in DIY projects or construction, search online for a blind maintenance company that can repair the blinds for you.

When you buy blinds, you expect them to decorate your house for a long time. The need to replace damaged blinds can be aggravating. Occasionally the failure of blinds to hold up can be attributed to an improperly put together blind. On those occasions your warranty should cover replacement. More often than not though, failure for blinds to hold up to the test of time is due to environmental factors, improperly cleaning blinds, and the failure to recognize when the blinds need to be sent in for upkeep.

Nicholas Haywood is an eco-friendly home improvement specialist and writer for Vista Window Film, a provider of premium window film for homes and commercial buildings.

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