Installing roman blinds

More heat and cold is transferred through your windows than through your walls. Because dust and other airborne pollutants are drawn to areas where energy transfer is the greatest, window blinds become virtual dust magnets.

Technique: no matter what your blinds are made of, dusting is the first cleaning step. For routine maintenance, dust Venetian or vertical blinds regularly using a lamb’s wool duster or a soft house paint brush. Or go over the blinds using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Close the blinds fully and clean one side, then turn them so the slats are facing the opposite way and clean the other side.

Blinds in or near kitchens can become grimy, and nicotine from smoking may leave a yellowish film on blinds in other rooms. If your blinds are made from a synthetic material such as vinyl or from metal with a baked-on coating, you can wash them with a cleaner like Windex or Vax and a soft cloth. Or you can make your own effective cleaner by mixing a couple of ounces of trisodium phosphate (available at your local supermarket) in a bucket of water. Be sure to protect your eyes, wearing rubber gloves and a long-sleeve shirt, and follow all safety precautions on the product label. Wipe the blinds with a soft cloth dipped in the mixture, then go over them again with a cloth dipped in plain water. If you have trouble getting between the slats, use a soft clean paintbrush or wrap our tongue depressor – size piece of wood in a terry towel or paper towel.

If wooden blinds need more than just dusting, you can use a cloth dampened with our trisodium phosphate mixture. But be careful not to slop on the water. You don’t want to over saturate the wood.

For heavier cleaning of blinds covered with fabric, mix 3 to 4 ounces of mild liquid dishwashing detergent in a bucket of water. Beat the mixture into our sudsy froth. Take a damp sponge and skim some foam off the top without dipping into the water. Scrub the fabric with the foam. Then rub with a clean terry cloth.

Vinyl or coated metal mini-blinds can be washed in the bath. Extend the blinds so it is full length and remove it from its support brackets. Place it gently in your bath with warm water mixed with 1 to 2 cups of powder automatic dishwasher detergent. There should be enough water to completely submerge the blind. Hold the blind by its headrail and dip the blind up and down in the water several times to loosen dirt and dust. Use a sponge to wash each slat. Wear rubber gloves to avoid irritating your hands in the dishwasher detergent.

When the blind is clean, empty the bath of the soapy water and refill the top halfway with plain cold water. Dip the blinds up and down until soap is off, then drain the top. If it’s necessary to rinse more, refill it up again halfway. Gather the blind and place it upright in a corner of the tub and allow it to dry for several hours. If the slats are still damp, we rehang the blind anyway and wipe slats dry with a soft cloth.

In a hurry: If you don’t have time to clean or your blinds are really dirty, there are professional blind-cleaning services in Edinburgh. ?They use an “ultrasonic bath” method which uses sound waves vibrating through water to clean the blinds. Often you can get a lower rate if you deliver your blinds to the cleaner and pick them up yourself.

Caution: it’s a good idea to test any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous part of your blind before cleaOften these are imported, and it’s difficult to know what dies or paints have been used.