How to Clean Yellowing of White Plastic Blinds

Written by jack s. waverly
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Anyone who has white plastic blinds knows that over time, the blinds tend to take on a yellow hue. This is because of dirt in the air, oil, dust, and airborne residue. Blinds that take on a darker yellow tone have been exposed to higher levels of residue or many years of residue. If you clean the blinds yearly, this build-up never reaches unmanageable levels.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Blinds
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Bathtub
  • Latex gloves
  • Scouring pad
  • Car
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Take the blinds down from the window. Most plastic blinds will be attached to a rod or post, which is screwed into holders at either end of the window. Remove the end caps and unscrew the rod while holding the rod in place.

  2. 2

    Fill the bathtub with water until you can submerge the blinds. Use one part bleach to one part water. Get the temperature of the water as hot as you can tolerate. The combination of the heat, water, and bleach will loosen the grime and oil that created the yellowing effect.

  3. 3

    Lay the blinds into the tub until they are submerged. Allow the blinds to soak while you are getting ready to clean them. Put on the latex gloves to avoid any reaction with the bleach. Use the scouring pad to work the residue off of the blind. Work in a parallel direction with the blind. Work each blind individually for best results.

  4. 4

    Turn the blinds over to work with the opposite side. Add a capful of bleach to the water and begin working with each blind on this side. Use the scouring pad in a parallel direction with the blind.

  5. 5

    Place the scouring pad aside when you are finished. Lift the blinds out of the water but do not remove them from the bathtub. Drain the water. Using the shower head, or the faucet if more convenient, rinse off both sides of the blinds thoroughly. Allow the water to run out of the tub while rinsing. Keep the blinds under the water to allow the water pressure to remove loose stains and bleach residue.

  6. 6

    Repeat steps 2 through 5 again if needed. Air dry the blinds by draping the rod over the top of the shower curtain rod with the blinds inside the tub so that the tub catches the water that drips from the blinds. If, after drying completely, there is still yellowing on the blinds, proceed to step 7.

  7. 7

    Put the blinds in a car and drive to a car wash. Hang the blinds on the clips used for floor mats. Wash each side of the blinds with soap, and pressure-washing. Remove the blinds and place them on the towel in the boot or rear of your car so they can dry on the way home.

Tips and warnings

  • Substitute a laundry sink or large metal bucket for the tub
  • Substitute a garden hose for the rinse
  • Substitute a clothes line or drying rack for the shower curtain rod

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