Several people have recently asked me the best way to care for and clean their draperies, shades, blinds and shutters. Here are some basic rules to follow for each of the window treatments. Interestingly, the number one rule is to not use basic household soap or cleaners on any of these products. Window cleaners, disinfectants, and furniture polish can be harmful to the fabrics and materials.
Curtains & Draperies: Clean them regularly with a vacuum attachment to remove dust. Do not place draperies into your home washing machine. Custom made draperies, especially if they are lined, can distort and shrink in standard washers and dryers. Instead, send them to a specialty drycleaner or have a professional drapery cleaner come to your home to vacuum and spot clean them.
Fabric Shades: The rules are similar to draperies so your vacuum is your best friend to remove spider webs and hair. If you need to spot clean them, make sure you know the fiber content and cleaning codes of the fabric from the manufacturer and follow their recommendations.
Blinds & Shutters: I suggest a slightly damp cloth on wood or faux wood shutters and blinds. Make sure you wipe in between each louvre or slat and change you cloth if it becomes grimy. If you are confident you can completely remove an aluminum blind and take it outside or to a shower to clean it directly with water. This option can be tricky because you will need to make sure all parts are completely dry and re-installing blinds can be difficult.