Bamboo blinds are prone to mould and mildew, particularly if they are in places subject to damp conditions, such as bathrooms, kitchens and porches. Unless someone in your household has or develops an allergy to mould there's no reason for you to change your decor arrangements, but you should clean the blinds at least once a month to remove mould build-up as well as dust and bugs. This will make them last longer as well as reduce any unpleasant smells that mould and damp creates.
Extend the blind fully, then remove it from its fixings and take it outside into the fresh air or into a well-ventilated area. Lay it out flat and use an old toothbrush to clean along the bamboo slats, brushing away mould, dust and bugs. Where mould is more stubborn, brush firmly.
Fill a bath to a depth of 3 or 4 inches with warm water. Add two capfuls of mild lemon or antibacterial washing-up liquid and swish it through the water. Lower the blind into it to submerge it. Leave to soak for five minutes, then lift it up and down a few times, in and out of the water, to shift any remaining dust. If there are any stubborn mould marks, scrub with the toothbrush.
Let the water out of the bath and refill with clean warm water. Rinse the blind by lifting it up and down in the water. Empty the water out and repeat the rinsing process until the water is clear. Alternatively, use a shower head to rinse the blind while holding it up. You might need someone to help you hold the blind while you rinse it.
Blot the blind with an old towel to remove as much water as possible, then take it into the fresh air to dry in the wind and sun. If you don't have a garden, take it into a warm room and lay it flat on old dry towels. When the blind is absolutely dry, rehang.
Unroll the blind, unhook it from its supports and take it outside or into a ventilated area. Brush with the toothbrush to remove dust and mould.
Dampen a cloth with 3-percent hydrogen peroxide, available from your drugstore, white vinegar, or a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda mixed with enough water to make a paste. Wear latex or rubber gloves if you have sensitive skin.
Rub the dampened cloth along the bamboo, all the way down the blind, back and front. Pay particular attention to areas affected by mould, and use the toothbrush dipped in your chosen treatment if the stains are stubborn. Allow to dry thoroughly, then rehang the blind. If you have used paste, brush the bicarbonate of soda off when it has dried, or wipe it off with a cloth dampened with white vinegar.
Reduce the likelihood of mould growing on bamboo blinds by increasing ventilation to prevent the build-up of damp and condensation. In a bathroom, turn on an extractor fan when showering or bathing, and open a window to air the room afterward.
Porches are damp places in wet or humid weather, unless you install a dehumidifier or extractor fan to keep the porch as dry as possible. Wipe the window every one or two days to remove condensation build-up, particularly under the top area covered by the blind.
Kitchens are hot and steamy when cooking in winter and generating a lot of condensation. Open the window slightly when cooking, or keep the extractor fan on, and wipe the windows every day or two to help prevent mould build-up behind and on the blind.
Treat the blind with a spray-on fungicide, but make sure this is animal- and human-safe. This will reduce the likelihood of mould appearing, but you should clean the blind regularly anyway, to get rid of dust and bugs and to prevent mould getting a foothold on dust and debris build-up.
Use a vacuum cleaner on low power to keep the blind dust- and bug-free between regular cleanings. Use the nozzle rather than a brush attachment, to direct suction along the bamboo slats.
Do not roll up damp blinds because mould can grow inside the roll. Make sure it is absolutely dry before rehanging.
Tips and warnings
- Use a vacuum cleaner on low power to keep the blind dust- and bug-free between regular cleanings. Use the nozzle rather than a brush attachment, to direct suction along the bamboo slats.
- Do not roll up damp blinds because mould can grow inside the roll. Make sure it is absolutely dry before rehanging.