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How to Clean Fabric Window Blinds

Updated April 17, 2017

Fabric blinds are a great way to make windows more appealing and to complete the look of a room. While shades made of fabric are very versatile and practical, they are also quite sensitive and prone to absorbing dust, smoke and dirt. Cleaning your window blinds is not only necessary for aesthetic reasons, but for health concerns as well. Dust and dirt from the blinds can easily become airborne and cause respiratory problems. If you want to keep your house safe, spotless and beautiful, you may want to know how to clean fabric window blinds.

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  1. Prepare your fabric window blinds for cleaning by completely unrolling or opening them. Whatever type of shades you have, horizontal or vertical, make sure that the whole surface of the fabric is accessible.

  2. Vacuum the fabric blinds with a vacuum cleaner set on the lowest speed. Before you start the vacuuming, check the plastic end attachment of the vacuum cleaner. If it’s not perfectly clean and dry, make sure to rinse it with warm water and then wipe it with a clean towel.

  3. Run a dry soft sponge all over the fabric blinds. There are special sponges designed for fabric blinds, but virtually any soft kind of sponge will get the job done. Use the sponge to remove any remaining dust or grime.

  4. Check the surface of the fabric for individual stains. If there are any, spot clean them with a sponge dampened in mild liquid detergent. Scrub the area of the stain with the sponge until the stain is gone. If the stain is particularly resistant, let the detergent settle in for 15 minutes and then repeat the process.

  5. Blot the detergent from the stain with a damp soft cloth. Make sure to remove all traces of detergent from the fabric. Check to see if the stain is completely gone. If it isn’t, use a commercial stain remover; just make sure to test if it would damage the fabric.

  6. Wipe your fabric window shades with a sponge dipped in a mixture of warm water and fabric softener.

  7. Dust your fabric window blinds regularly with a vacuum brush. This will keep the blinds clean, since the fabric itself is usually antistatic and doesn’t require frequent cleaning.

  8. Tip

    If your fabric window blinds are very dirty, consider a professional dry cleaning service. First check the label for a P sign, which indicates that dry cleaning is acceptable for that particular fabric.


    Use protective latex gloves even when dealing with mild chemicals such as cleaning solutions, especially if your skin is sensitive.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Towel
  • Sponge
  • Mild detergent
  • Cloth
  • Stain remover
  • Fabric softener

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Robert Raphael has been writing health and technology articles since 1993. His work has appeared in “Natural Living” magazine and “Extreme PC” magazine. Raphael received the Jonathan Melman Literary Award in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brandeis University.

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