Cleaning Window Blinds With Chemicals Could Be An Expensive Mistake

Person holding a laboratory flask

Window treatments such as those for blinds and curtains are not only expensive but are also a very public introduction to the homes and other buildings they adorn. In effect, the state of the windows in the premises you occupy, whether as an owner or a renter, is the first impression that a visitor forms when they arrive at your dwelling.

First Impressions Count

No doubt you would like that impression to be favourable, so if your window blinds are dirty, it may be time to break out the cleaning materials. Before you do though, take a moment to think about the type of cleaning materials you have, and what effect they are likely to have on your blinds. Depending on what they are made of, you may need to avoid chemical products to preserve the life of the blinds.

Take Care When Cleaning Timber Blinds

When cleaning timber blinds, remove the dust first either with a vacuum cleaner and the soft brush attachment, or wipe them with a clean, dry cloth. Any marks that are left can be rubbed gently with a clean damp cloth, remembering that excess moisture will cause the wood to swell. Avoid using liquids or chemicals as any varnishes, stains or other finishes on timber slats may fade and peel.

Need to Clean Roller Blind Mechanisms?

Roller blinds are the workhorse of window treatments and are perfect for rooms such as the kitchen and bedrooms. They are economical, easy to use and if they are made of plastic or PVC, easy to clean with standard household cleaners. However, if as part of your cleaning regime you need to clean the mechanism and if you are using a silicone spray, avoid getting this on the blind fabric. It could react to the chemicals in the spray and leave your blinds looking discoloured or bleached.

Soft Fabrics Make Roman Blinds Difficult to Clean

Roman blinds are more difficult to clean because generally, they are made from soft fabrics such as cotton or linen. Gentle dusting or vacuuming with a soft brush keeps dust at bay, but stains and marks are a different problem. Chemical stain removers should never be used on roman blinds as there is no way of knowing how this will affect the colour of the fabric.

Too Hard? Give us a Call

If all these do’s and don’ts seem daunting, the easy solution is to entrust the cleaning of your precious blinds to Blind Concepts. We clean verticals, Roman blinds, aluminium and timber Venetians, oriental and Holland blinds and others, using our ultrasonic cleaning process that is almost chemical-free. We take your blinds to our workshop, work our magic and return them, sparkling clean, to you within 24 hours, ready to rehang.

Do You Make These Mistakes When You Clean Your Blinds?

Peeping from blinds

Window blinds are a popular and fashionable way to protect your home and its furnishings. They offer versatility of style, options for the control of light and heat, and they are available in a range of materials and types to suit all budgets.

Simple Cleaning Mistakes to be Avoided

The simplest way to look after blinds is to take care when cleaning them. A simple mistake doing this basic task can spoil the appearance of your blinds, perhaps break some of the working mechanisms or in the worst case, render them unusable.

We know a lot about cleaning all types of blinds. In fact, Blind Concepts have been in the business of repairing and cleaning blinds for 20 years. We use an ultrasonic cleaning process that uses minimal amounts of chemicals and water, restoring older blinds to look like new.

Keep Water off Timber Blinds

One of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning timber blinds is using too much water. Unless they are a timber-look synthetic or have been made waterproof during manufacture, genuine timber blinds absorb water, thus causing them to warp or split when they dry out.

Don’t Close Slat Blinds Completely

It is surprising how often this mistake happens. With aluminium and vinyl slat blinds, people often just close them completely and wipe them over. The blinds look clean, but once they are opened, the parts of the slats that were hidden when closed are revealed, still with dust and grime on them.

Don’t Start with a Too Wet Cloth on Fabric Blinds

Roman and cellular or honeycomb blinds are very popular but look difficult to clean. Many householders make the mistake of trying to remove dust and stains by wiping over with a very wet cloth. Unfortunately, this can have the opposite effect by rubbing the dust into the fabric.

Don’t Start on Roller Blinds without a Plan

Roller blinds generally respond well to careful cleaning if you start with a plan. The most common mistake is to start on the worst stains first. If the blind is very dirty, it takes ages and many people just give up, instead of starting at the bottom and working upwards in sections. Dry them before rolling back up.

Remember to Vacuum all the Dust Away First

The number one mistake to make when cleaning your blinds is to not use your vacuum cleaner first. If you move the brush attachment gently over your blinds on a low suction it removes most of the dust. Any left-over stains can be easily removed with a damp (not wet) cloth and some mild dish-washing liquid.

For busy people without the time or desire to clean their own blinds, we will pick them up from your premises and return them to you within 24 hours, clean and ready to hang.

Protecting Your Windows Has Many Benefits

sunlight with blank space white room

Did you know that in winter, approximately 30% of your home’s heating energy is lost through your windows, and in summer, up to 70% of the sunlight that falls directly on your windows become heat once inside? This makes the protection of your windows from the elements a high priority, and makes window blinds your best friend.

Reduced Energy Costs Just One of the Benefits

A reduction in energy costs is just one of the benefits of having blinds in your home. Blinds are the most versatile of window dressings because they come in so many different styles, fabrics and colours. Whether your home décor is modern minimalist, country cottage, all glass and chrome, retro or something else again, there will be a blind to suit.

Regardless of what style or fabric you choose for your blinds, or how long they have been hanging at your windows, we have a cleaning process that will get them looking like new again. At Blind Concepts, our tried and proven ultrasonic cleaning process removes all dirt, grime, stains, grease and bacteria, leaving them bright and clean.

Blinds Offer Privacy from Nosey Neighbours

Another benefit of blinds over just curtains alone is the level of privacy they provide. While curtains are attractive, they also move around in the breeze. This gives anyone prying from the outside the possibility of a clear view of the interior of the dwelling. Once blinds are closed there is no such opportunity, therefore giving the occupants an added level of privacy.

Control over Light another Benefit

We live in a country where the light, especially in summer, can be harsh. Blinds offer relief from this glare, and slatted blinds give the householder the ability to control the direction of the light or block it out altogether. This is excellent for shift workers who need to sleep during the day, or for those who wake with the first rays of sunshine when they don’t need to.

Versatility Makes Decorating Easy

There are so many different styles of blinds to choose from that there really is a blind for every application and every type of window. Venetians with timber, plastic or aluminium slats, verticals, Roman and Holland blinds, oriental blinds, roller blinds and others can be either purchased as is from retailers or custom made.

With current decorating styles moving away from the fussy and ornate, blinds give your window spaces the perfect aesthetic upgrade. Fabric blinds are especially versatile because, regardless of their style, there are so many different colours, textures and patterns to choose from that matching them with your current furniture and other fittings will be easy.

When your blinds need more than a wipe over or a vacuum clean, contact us here at Blind Concepts and we will have them looking as good as new.

Do You Know Where Your Window Blinds Originated?

window blinds side view

Have you ever wondered, as you struggle to install a new set of window blinds, who came up with the idea of blinds in the first place? This is usually the internal conversation we have with ourselves when something is not working to plan, and we are looking for someone to blame. There must be a better way, we think as we balance precariously on a chair.

Is there nothing new Under the Sun?

Well, if it makes you feel any better, window blinds have been around for centuries, and so far, no-one has discovered anything more practical. Advancements are made in fixtures, fittings and materials, exciting new styles become available but apart from that, nothing much has changed.

Some Ancient Ways to Protect Windows

While we are not certain exactly when and where blinds first originated, we know from old parchments and wall frescos that Egypt, Persia or China are the most likely places. The ancient desert people used wet strips of cloth on their windows to keep out the elements. The Chinese in ancient times tied bamboo stalks together to make their window coverings.

The first time we have an approximate date is again in Persia in 1100 AD when what we now call Venetian blinds first appeared. They most likely made their way into Europe along the old Eastern trade routes, appearing first in Venice. That is why we still refer to this style of window blind as Venetian.

Vertical Blinds – An Early 1950s Appearance

These blinds spread throughout Europe, particularly in the 1700s, and soon became the norm in those households whose income allowed. It is interesting then to find out that vertical blinds, which are really the Venetian style hung around the other way, were only invented in the USA in the 1950s.

The Colosseum and Roman Blinds – Who Knew?

The construction of the Colosseum was said to be the catalyst for the invention of Roman blinds. It is believed that they were designed specifically to keep out the dust stirred up by this massive project. They spread throughout the Roman Empire, becoming more ornate and sophisticated as they did.

Thank the Scots for Roller Blinds

Roller blinds were not invented until the 1700s in Scotland. At first, they had no spring mechanism so when they were closed, the fabric fell to the window ledge where it remained until they were opened.

Benefits of Modern Technology

We are always interested in anything to do with blinds, even the history. Here at Blind Concepts we clean and refurbish all types of blinds, including those that originated in our distant past as well as any new styles that have been invented since. Regardless of what type of blinds you have in your windows, our modern technology will have them looking as good as new in twenty-four hours.

Choosing Window Treatments Need Not Be Difficult

home interior with awesome blinds

Whether you are renovating an existing dwelling or furnishing a new home from scratch, your window treatments will have a major impact on the appearance and ambiance of every room. As well as how they look, your blinds and curtains protect your privacy and allow you to control both light and air. Getting the right mix can mean the difference between a drab dark living space and one that is inviting and changes with the climate.

The Best of Blinds

If you cannot decide between blinds or curtains, you may be pleased to know that you can have both in your home, depending on what you are trying to achieve. Blinds, for example, come in different styles and materials, don’t fade, are great for small rooms because they fit into the window recess and they are superb at controlling the light.

Curtains can be Cool

Curtains also have their good points. They are available in all kinds of styles, colours and fabrics, they can completely block out the light if need be, are generally machine-washable for easy cleaning and create visual interest as they respond to the movement of air. Just think about the calming effect a light, wispy curtain has on the psyche as it moves in the breeze.

Blinds are our specialty because here at Blind Concepts, we clean and repair window blinds, using our ultrasonic cleaning technology. This method gets into the nooks and crannies of all types of blinds, lifting out dust, dirt and grime and returning your blinds to you ready to hang. Our repair services include replacing broken slats and slat hangers, and replacing cords, chains and wands.

What Type of Room Is It?

The best advice we can give to the householder trying to choose the right window treatment is to consider things such as the room’s purpose, its aspect and of course, the budget allowed. For example, blinds are perfect for hard-working areas like the kitchen and bathroom, but if you have bedroom windows facing west, block-out curtains might be necessary in summer to keep out the heat.

The Best of Both Worlds – Why Not?

There is no reason why you cannot have both, of course. In formal areas, Venetian blinds that allow you to control light and air flow partnered with a stylish set of floor length curtains will add elegance and style to your lounge room. Choose curtains without pull cords for added safety in homes with young children or pets.

Whatever you choose, remember that you do not have to sacrifice privacy when choosing either blinds or curtains, or both. Take the time to research all the options and you really can have the best of both worlds.

Regular Household Cleaning Essential For Good Health

dirty blinds

Regular cleaning of your window blinds, curtains, flyscreens and the window glass itself clears away the grit, grime, dust and pollutants that inevitably invade your space and dull the sparkle that clean windows add to a dwelling. However, did you know that there is another reason for keeping your windows clean that has nothing to do with keeping up appearances?

When is Dust not Dust?

If you haven’t cleaned your window blinds for a few weeks, you will notice a layer of what appears to be dust on them. You might think that this is dirt blown in from outside the dwelling, but in fact, most of the dust in your house is actually shed skin flakes. If that knowledge is not disturbing enough, these dust mites can cause health issues. This is especially true if any of the occupants of the dwelling have asthma, hay fever or other medical conditions that affect the respiratory system.

Pollen, Mould Spores and Pet Dander – Yuk!

Dust mites are most prevalent in humid areas like coastal cities and towns and are a major allergen. While they are also present in the drier inland, this is usually at lower levels, yet still an issue for someone who has a chronic allergy to them. Also present in dust, apart from skin flakes, are pollens, mould spores and if you have pets in the home, pet dander.

Blast the Mites with Sound Waves

While dust mites are almost impossible to eradicate from your home, using our blind cleaning process gives you a head start. When you hand over your blinds to us at Blind Concepts, we use an advanced ultrasonic cleaning method that removes grime and dust using high frequency sound waves. This process sanitises, deodorises and lubricates the blinds, and because the sound waves get into those hard-to-reach areas, the dust mites are blasted out.

Regular Vacuuming Will Reduce their Number

While we are taking care of your blinds, you can move onto the other areas of the dwelling that harbour dust mites. They like dark spaces so common hiding places are in bedding and mattresses, upholstered furniture, long-pile carpets and rugs and soft toys. Regular vacuum-cleaning of these and other areas of the home will reduce the number of dust mites, but it will never completely get rid of them.

Other Changes to Make to Reduce Symptoms

For those with asthma and allergies, it is important for their comfort and general health to make some other changes to reduce their symptoms. Avoid upholstered furniture and heavy curtains, and if possible, replace carpets with timber or vinyl flooring. These are just a couple of the suggested changes; using us to clean your blinds will take the hard work out of banishing those pesky dust mites.

Blinds Suit for Each Window Type For Optimum Light

peeking through the window blinds, sunshine

Have you ever entered a residence that had great kerb appeal from the outside, only to find that while the interior décor was modern and stylish, the rooms were rather dark and gloomy? Homes like this often need artificial lighting on an overcast day, when the lighting should be adequate, especially in a modern home with large windows.

Perfect Windows need Blinds to Suit their Shape and Aspect

Often, the cause of this lack of light is that the window blinds are the wrong type for the shape of the window or for the aspect of the room. Many people, when choosing window blinds, opt for the same type for every room, thinking that consistency is the goal. However, this approach means that some windows will be perfect, and some will exhibit a varied range of design flaws.

This is something we see quite often when we are picking up blinds for cleaning from clients’ premises. At Blind Concepts, we offer a cleaning service using the latest ultrasonic cleaning technology. This is a very effective way of removing ingrained dirt, grime and grease on slats and hard to reach corners. What we also see are rooms outfitted with blinds that block light and air.

Bedrooms Need Natural Light

Bedrooms are a perfect example. Most homes have at least two smaller bedrooms for children, while the master bedroom and perhaps a guest bedroom have fixtures and fittings designed for adults. Having the same blinds in every bedroom is a missed opportunity. The adult rooms need something elegant that offers privacy but still allows in light, while the children’s rooms, also needing both privacy and light, must not have dangling cords or anything that can cause a hazard.

Blinds that Let in Light can Still Protect Privacy

Moving now to the family room, this is an important function space where much of the family interaction takes place, but often it is visible from the outside. While Venetians may not suit other rooms in the house, they are very versatile for this type of room where lots of light adds to the atmosphere, but a quick adjustment of the slats ensures privacy.

Kitchens Need All the Light they can Get

The kitchen is the heart of the home and needs every fixture and fitting to be practical and contribute to the overall efficiency of the space. Blinds on kitchen windows need to be easy to clean but also allow enough light into an area, which most of the time is busy.

There is no ‘one style fits all’ when it comes to window blinds. Each room should be assessed on its own merits, with function, aspect, need for privacy, climate control and the mood enhancing benefits of light all considered when choosing a suitable window blind.

DIY Cleaning for Different Blind Types

blinds

Have you searched the internet recently to find the latest, easy, do-it-yourself method of cleaning your blinds? Did you give up the search, totally confused, after reading articles and watching videos of dozens of different ways to get your blinds cleaned, when all you really wanted was a quick, simple and effective tip that suited your purpose?

Confused by Too Much Cleaning Information?

Many of our clients at Blind Concepts have had the same experience and we know this because they relate these experiences to our technicians when they pick up the blinds from their homes. We specialise in cleaning, repair and replacement of a range of different styles of blinds and provide free quotes on request.

However, we also know that many people do tasks themselves for personal satisfaction and this is just as important as a job well done. For these avid, diehard DIY blind cleaners, we have a couple of methods here that may be better than the ones you are using.

Old Technique for Venetians Still Works Today

Venetian blinds can be difficult depending on whether they are made from aluminium, timber or wood-composite, lacquered or oiled cedar. An old but still reliable method of getting them clean is to slide a sock over each arm of a pair of tongs, then keep them secure with rubber bands. Then, just clamp the tongs onto each slat, slide them along and repeat until every slat is done. For extra dirt and grime, use damp socks to pick up more dirt.

Easy Cleaning Method for Roller Blinds

Classic roller blinds never go out of style but are often neglected, with dirt and grime not really noticed until they are fully extended. Both fabric and plastic roller blinds are easy to clean with just a cloth and a bucket of warm, soapy water. Start at the bottom and wipe the blind surface over in sections, working gradually upward until the whole blind is clean. Leave it fully extended to dry out, and then roll it up as usual.

Fabric Blinds Need Some TLC

Fabric blinds such as Roman or Oriental need more care than synthetics, so always start with vacuuming to remove any dust before washing. Then, take them down and wash them carefully, both sides, with warm, soapy water on a sponge. The bathtub is the most convenient place with all the space needed to accommodate even the widest blinds. Rinse them with clean water and let them air dry.

Call in the Experts if it Seems Too Hard

For all our satisfied clients, the closest they get to do-it-yourself blind cleaning is to punch our number into their phones and arrange for us to pick up their dirty blinds. Twenty-four hours later, their spotlessly clean blinds are ready to re-hang on their windows.

How to Clean and Maintain Wooden Blinds

Dining room with utensils, glasses and bowls and wooden blinds in the background

Most of us like our home to be a place where we can relax and be ourselves at the end of a busy day. When we step over the threshold we want to feel comfortable, and a big part of that is living in a clean and tidy environment. While most times a routine cleanup will get everything spic and span, at some point, window dressings such as curtains and blinds will need a more thorough cleaning.

Use Care When Cleaning Genuine Wooden Blinds

If you have genuine wooden blinds, there are a couple of things we recommend you take into consideration before subjecting them to a vigorous cleaning technique. Even though these blinds are made of wood, they are not robust, and can be easily damaged. They should not be dipped in a bath of soapy water like plastic blinds, as the timber absorbs the water, then swells and cracks.

We consider ourselves to be experienced at cleaning all types of blinds. Here at Blind Concepts, we offer a blind cleaning service to customers who would rather outsource this task to professionals. However, if you are careful, you can do them yourself. To help you out, here are a few suggestions.

The Vacuum Cleaner is the First Step

First, close the blinds up and gently go over one side and then the other with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. This should remove most of the surface dust, especially if you have been regularly dusting them as part of your weekly cleaning routine.

Clean Each Individual Slat as the Second Step

Second, open the slats and with a damp cloth, gently wipe each individual blade. A quick way to do this is to put a damp sock on your hand, carefully hold the slat between thumb and forefinger and run your hand along its length. Do this with each slat in sequence and you are cleaning both the front and back at the same time.

Final Step is a Wipe Down with a Dry Cloth

Follow this up with a wipe down with either a dry cloth or a dry sock, using the same technique. This is important because it will remove any remaining moisture that if left, can damage the wood over time. A good rule is to treat your wooden blinds just like wooden furniture and use only mild wood cleaners. Always check that your cleaners do not contain bleach, as this will cause discolouration.

There is Always a Professional Alternative

If your wooden blinds need cleaning and you prefer a professional touch, we will pick them up, put them through our cleaning process and return them to your home ready to hang, usually within twenty-four hours. Our ultrasonic cleaning technology uses high frequency sound waves to remove dirt and grime gently, even from those tiny hard to get at places. Your blinds will look like new and they will last much longer.

Find The Right Solution For Your Problem Blinds

Blinds are a convenient, versatile and attractive alternative to curtains or shutters as a window dressing. They are available in a range of styles, materials, sizes and shapes, allow the occupants to control light and shade easily, are easy to install and for the most part, easy to keep clean. However, blinds are not completely without problems.

Slatted Blinds that are Stuck at the Top

Slatted blinds, for example, come in timber, plastic, aluminium and other composite materials and one problem that they all have in common is sometimes, they get stuck at the top of the window. The cause is usually that the cord used to raise and lower the blinds gets caught in the mechanism.

Usually this is a relatively easy fix. The first thing to try is to grab the cord, draw it upward until it is level with the bar at the top, then give it a gentle tug to release the lock. If this does not help, a little more work is needed. Take the blind down, find the lock mechanism and with a flat head screwdriver, push against the pin that is inside. This should free the lock and allow you to replace the blinds.

Getting a Roller Blind Chain Back on its Tracks

Roller blinds were once the “poor relation” of the window treatment world and relegated to bathrooms and children’s bedrooms. They have had a renaissance in recent years and now come in elegant fabrics, lovely colours and hold their own in any setting. A common problem, however, is that sometimes, the roller blind chain comes off its tracks and it doesn’t operate correctly.

The first thing to do is to take the roller blind off the bracket, then hook the chain back onto the tracks. Once you have inserted the cap back into the roller tube, simply hook the blind back up onto the bracket.

Freeing Up Vertical Blind Blades

One of the features of vertical blinds is their ability to be quickly rotated into position. When this no longer happens, there is usually something stuck in the slots where the blades are connected to the carrier stem, which can be manually removed. If the rod itself is jammed, a quick spurt with a lubricant spray in the spot where it connects to the blinds will usually free up the blade.

Repair Solutions Not New to Us

These types of repair solutions are nothing new to us. Here at Blind Concepts, we clean and repair old and damaged interior blinds. We know how expensive these blinds were originally, and when we extend their life for several more years at a fraction of this cost, our clients are happy with their fresh new blinds and with our service.