Keep it Clean
Keeping window treatments clean is simpler than you might think and you more than likely have all of the tools already in your home. Here are my five ways to best keep your window coverings clean. Vacuum ~ Use the low-suction setting on your handheld vacuum cleaner or attach the soft brush to your standard vacuum cleaner and on a low-setting gently and easily glide the vacuum in one direction along the front and back of the window treatments, be sure to use your other hand to brace/stabilize the window treatment.
Wash - Mix a small amount of a very mild fabric detergent (or a natural dishwashing detergent) in a generous amount of lukewarm water. You don't want to create lots of suds, you just want to fortify the water so that it can address the stains, tough dirt, grease, etc. on your window coverings effectively yet gently. Use a lint free cloth or clean sponge to gently dab or spot-clean the coverings. Repeat this step with clear water and a soap-free sponge or cloth to act as your rinsing step before allowing the blind/shade/drapery to air dry.
Brush - Use a soft toothbrush to gently brush away stubborn stains or spots that aren't responsive to the sponge/cloth dab, wipe and blot method. Use a new toothbrush specifically designated for this purpose.
Dust - Use a dusting cloth to dust your wood blinds and faux-wood blinds the same way you would dust your wood furniture. Be gentle with the slats, take turns cleaning each side by partially-closing and partially-opening the vanes. Remember not to use water on composite-blinds as they may absorb the moisture and swell.
Emergency Spot Clean - No matter the color of your fabric, it is not recommended to use bleach on your window treatments. In an emergency you may spot clean your soft window treatments with club soda. Club soda gently blotted onto a fresh stain has been shown to work wonders at reducing the stain's ability to soak in. Then follow with the Wash instructions above.
Regular maintenance will keep your window-treatments looking fresh and new year round. Along with improving their lifespan, keeping your draperies, curtains, shades and blinds free of dirt and dust will also help to reduce airborne allergens.