Maintenance Tips for Motorized Shades and Blinds

One of the major benefits of using motorized blinds (in theory) is that they will usually look great longer, mostly because nobody is touching them, so there is less chance of them being soiled or damaged by human hands. The exception
to this rule is if there are pets or children in the house, as we all know these two parties are likely to be at the centre of any damage to the blinds. Apart from regular cleaning of the blinds to gently wipe away any dust that has accumulated, the maintenance schedule will be fairly simple, unless there are mechanical issues that need to be addressed.

Dusting and Cleaning

Maintaining the regular care of the blinds will usually involve the weekly or fortnightly cleaning of surfaces, as we have discussed previously. Usually (depending on the material of the blind) this can be done with either a duster or a microfibre cloth. You won’t need cleaning solutions as simply dampening the cloth will allow for the dust to be removed. Alternatively, you could use a vacuum cleaner with the brush head fitting to gently brush over the surfaces.

Batteries

One of the important parts of the motorized blinds are the batteries that give power to the remote. If the remote suddenly stops working, the first thing to check is if the batteries are in need of replacing as this will most likely be the
issue. This can be done fairly easily by simply opening the back of the remote removing the old batteries and replacing them with new ones. It is always best to keep a spare set of batteries at the ready, as you never know when they
might run out.

Repair and Replace Damaged Slats and Clips

As with a non-motorized blind, the upkeep of the slats and clips is an important part of maintaining your motorized blinds. This may mean getting in contact with the blind manufacturer to obtain the replacement parts suited to your particular blind and then fitting them yourself. If you don’t feel confident doing it on your own, there are companies such as Blind Concepts that specialise in taking care of blind repairs.

Check Wiring

Apart from the issues with the remote, another thing that can go wrong with motorized blinds is that the wiring may come loose. If you find that your blind are not working properly, or it appears there is no power going to them, and you have already replaced the batteries, it may be a wiring problem. This is no a common occurrence, but wires can become loose over time, or could malfunction if the blinds have been hit by a ball or damaged in some way.

The Best Eco-Friendly and Natural Products for Cleaning Window Blinds

Before we get started, it is important for us to be aware that a lot of the products that you see advertised as being ‘earth friendly’, are not. There are usually a lot of nasty chemicals hidden, (even in our shampoo, conditioner and soaps), which are not friendly, or natural. These chemicals are washed down the drain and make their way into waterways, are evaporated into the air that we breathe, and poison the animals and fish that drink from the water.

Bleach Can Clean But is not Safe

Some chemical cleaners are obviously toxic, and we can usually identify these ones easily by their harsh odours and the chemical toxicity that lingers in the air after they have been used.

Chemicals like bleach might be great for cleaning. However, but the impact that they have on people and the environment could really detract from the good that they do with keeping germs away. A lot of people don’t stop to think about the impact of their skin absorbing that chemical and what happens from there.

Let’s just say that anything that goes into the body has to be flushed out by the liver and kidneys, so using harsh chemicals regularly will eventually impact your health, so it makes sense to be mindful about what you use to clean.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

A cleaning product that truly is earth friendly is something that will have relatively no impact on the environment that it comes into contact with, which includes people’s bodies that touch it.

For example, one of the most effective cleaning solutions for chores around the house is simply white vinegar and baking soda. This powerful duo reacts together to allow for moving tough dirt from surfaces. However, in the case of fabric or wood blinds, it may leave a mark, so probably would not be suitable.

Water Will Do

For wooden or fabric blinds, the most effective cleaning solution is simply water, which if you are cleaning your blinds regularly, should be all that you need to get the job done.

As we have said before, a feather duster, used once a week to lift away the dust is often all that is needed to keep the blinds looking in optimal condition and has zero impact on the earth. However, if your blinds do have some dirty marks that won’t come off with dusting, or wiping with water, simply prepare a small bowl of warm water and dish soap. With this you will be able to gently wipe the dirty spot with a soft cloth to remove the dirt.

Having said that, please note to always follow the manufacturers recommendations for cleaning, as they will specify the cleaning that is appropriate for the material that your particular blinds are made of. You can also give us a call at Blind Concepts if you are still unsure, and we can discuss how we can assist you with your needs.

Avoid These Cleaning Products that Can Harm Your Window Blinds

To look at a window treatment it might appear to be robust and that it will be fine left to its own devices, and generally they are, but not all blinds are equal. Be sure to consult the advice of the manufacturer of the blinds, before you embark on any sort of cleaning regime, to be sure that you are following their instructions.

Different blinds will require different cleaning operations that suit its particular characteristics, but one thing that we can all agree on, is that regular dusting (as a part of your weekly cleaning schedule) is the optimal way of keeping blinds looking their best. This means that if you are doing regular cleaning, you will only need to use a microfibre or dusting cloth to get the job done.

It is when you have neglected to dust regularly (or someone has accidentally left a finger print on the surface), that you may need to put some extra effort into keeping your blinds looking great. As the title of this article suggests, there are definitely some cleaning products that you will want to keep well away from your window blinds. Read on for more info.

Finding the Best Method for You

Depending on what sort of blinds they are and how your blinds are fitted, you will either be able to take them down for cleaning, or not. Ideally, you would be taking the blinds down from the window and laying them flat for cleaning both sides. However this is not always possible. If you are cleaning them while still hanging, you will either be vacuuming them or wiping them with a microfibre duster.

Appropriate Chemicals to Use on a Window Blind?

Before writing this article, we consulted some cleaning experts to get the lowdown on what are the best chemicals to clean a blind. They unanimously said that it is water. (They also added that in some cases, water is not to be used on the blinds either!) So, chemicals like multipurpose cleaning spray, Windex, bleach or any other chemical that might look like a good idea, is definitely not going to be a good idea as they may cause damage to the blind.

If the blinds are not made of natural wood, or fabric (which can both be damaged by water) and the manufacturer has recommended it, blinds can be put into the bathtub if they are particularly dirty, and given a quick clean. Never leave them in the water for any length of time as this may lead to the metal fittings going rusty. The most water you will likely need is just a damp cloth, so if you do decide to use water, be careful. Excess water can discolour the blinds or cause irreparable damage, such as warping wooden blinds.

For more information about how to clean or repair blinds, contact Blind Concepts and let us take over the worry of keeping your blinds looking amazing.

How to Clean Blinds Without Removing Them

As we might imagine, taking blinds down to clean them is not always the easiest task, so often it is best to just maintain their cleanliness while they are still hanging. This would mean regular cleaning, to ensure that the dust does not settle in and become caked on. If you are doing regular cleaning of your blinds, you will find that keeping them clean is a relatively simple task which takes you a short amount of time.

The following cleaning ideas are ideal for any type of blind that is not fabric. However, with fabric blinds you may need to take them down and soak them in a bathtub or a large container of water to get them really clean.

The Old Faithful Feather Duster

When it comes to dusting quickly and effortlessly wood or harder material blinds, the old trusty feather duster is an excellent choice of tool for the job of gently whisking away any new dust that has settled upon the surfaces of your blinds. Be sure to turn the blinds over so that both sides are showing and make sure to get around to the edges too.

Caress Them with a Soft Cloth

Believe it or not, but there are actually cloths that are designed especially for cleaning blinds. Apparently, they attract the dust which makes your cleaning job easier. In the absence of a special blind cleaning cloth, a microfibre cloth will do the trick just as well. Gently wipe over each surface of the blind before turning the blind the other way to ensure that you get the dust that is on the other side.

If you feel it is needed, (or the dust seems to be a bit stubborn) dampen the cloth slightly with warm water, or dip it into a container of soapy water and wring it out before using (to get most of the water off).  Be sure to consider the material of your blind and avoid putting too much water, as this could damage the material of the blind.

A Gentle Vacuum

Another option for getting to blinds that are too high to reach, a gentle vacuum using the brush fitting and gently gliding it over the surfaces of the blinds will assist with removing any surface dust.

For Expert Blind Maintenance Talk to Us

In the fast-paced world we live in where there are a thousand things at once vying for our attention, often finding the time even for a simple cleaning task can prove to be challenging. For this reason, Blind Concepts have got you covered, and can come to you to clean or repair your blinds as needed, so give us a call today to discuss your needs and how we can help to make your life easier.

Important Things You Need to Know About Smart Blinds

Motorised blinds are often referred to as smart blinds, since they have the ‘smart’ technology in them that means they can be set to automated, opening and closing at certain times.

Like any blind, keeping them in good condition will depend on how well they are maintained as you go. However unlike regular blinds, if a motorized blind is in need of repair, it may mean you will require a mechanic to fix them.

Maintain with Regular Cleaning

As with any other blind, the smart blinds will require regular vacuuming to keep them free of dust. This dust, if left on blinds too long, will require more effort to clean so it is best to get it cleaned while it is easier to remove.

Here is how to clean smart blinds:

Start from the top and work your way down to the bottom. Take a soft, clean cloth, or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush fitting and carefully brush/wipe all sides of the blind to ensure that all dust is removed. Alternatively, you can use a rubber sponge (without any water) or a wool duster.

Do and Don’ts for Motorized Blinds

  • For wood blinds, do ensure that you use the correct cleaning solutions to prolong the life of the wood on your blinds.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals or cleaning products on your blinds.
  • To maintain the brilliance of your motorized blinds, use vinegar with water. Mix equal parts together and then using a clean cloth, dipped in the solution, gently wipe.
  • Don’t use too much pressure when wiping the blinds.
  • Do remember that the different components of your blinds can be quite delicate, so ensure that you are taking this into consideration while you are cleaning them.
  • Do clean blinds during the day when there is sunshine to dry them effectively, as moist blinds can contribute to mould if they do not dry quickly.
  • Don’t forget to also clean your window frames and glass (both inside and outside) to keep dust at bay and your blinds looking their best.

Talk to Us

Whether you have motorized blinds already installed in your home, or you are looking to have some installed, Blind Concepts can help with all of your blind needs.

Give us a call today to discuss all of your blind needs, including cleaning, replacement of parts and installation.

Why Periodic Cleaning of Venetian Blinds is Recommended

The trick to keeping most things in the best working order, is to maintain them as you go, rather than waiting until something goes wrong before you put some energy into how they are travelling. Venetian blinds are no different to a car in this sense, and regular maintenance is recommended for optimal life expectancy of the product. Some people tend to veer away from choosing a venetian blind, due to the idea that cleaning them might prove to be difficult. However, the thing about venetian blinds is that with regular cleaning, they not only last a long time, but continue to look brand new for many years to come.

Keep Them Looking Their Best

As with most things, if you put care into your venetian blinds, they will reward you by continuing to look their best, even with the passing of time. When cleaned regularly, the amount of cleaning needed is much less than if you only were to clean them once a year. A regular dust over with a damp cloth or a feather duster every couple of weeks, will mean that over time the dust has not had a chance to become caked on or hardened with time, and shall be much easier to wipe away

Prolong the Life of the Blind

At Blind Concepts we like to think of ourselves as ‘blind whisperers’ (a bit like a horse whisperer, but for blinds), and as such we have developed a large degree of skill with taking care of blinds. In our experience, blinds that are well cared for with regular attention, really do stand the tests of time, and come out looking fantastic despite their age. We understand that in our busy lives these days we often do not have the time to be doing all of the household chores that we would hope to do, which is why we offer a blind cleaning service, to prolong the life of your blinds.

Less Cleaning if Done Regularly

As we already discussed, with most cleaning, regular cleaning means that there is less to do, and the work is simpler. With venetian blinds, it could mean the difference between your blinds needing to have deep clean or being ok for their life span with having a fortnightly dust.

Before dusting, turn the blind so that it has a flat surface. Look to see if there are any sticky spots that might need a quick going over with a damp cloth. You may need to use some mild detergent or a blind cleaning spray if there is a stubborn spot. After you have finished cleaning the sticky spot, dry the blind and then switch it around so that the other side is showing a flat surface. Gently clean any spots on this side of the blind too, before drying. Once dry, dust the whole blind as normal.

Which Blinds are Best for Allergies?

Suffering from allergies can take a whole lot of the fun out of your life if there is a flare up. Usually this occurs when we travel to foreign areas or go close to places where there are chemicals or other smells in the air, or pollens that we don’t usually encounter.

However, there are times when our allergies can be irritated by items around our home, which means we need to find some way of preventing this from happening, so we can enjoy our special place. One area that can impact how much our allergies are affected at home is the type of blind that we have installed.

Avoid Horizontal Dust Collectors

For people who suffer from allergies, dust and dust mites can become a real problem. Therefore, blinds that collect the least dust will be the best choice of blind for people who suffer from allergies. Essentially, almost any blind that has horizontal slats with rows of horizontal surfaces for dust to collect are going to become the worst enemy for someone with allergies.

Having said that, slatted horizontal blinds that are wiped clean very regularly, have a much better chance of not causing allergic reactivity. Blinds such as Venetian, wood or faux wood with slats, are the kind that tend to attract dust to their surfaces, so these must be avoided.

Vertical Blinds are the Best

When it comes to dust accumulation, vertical blinds are going to prevent a lot of build-up of dust, which, in turn, will assist in preventing allergic reactions. However, the type of material that the blind is made of will make a big difference as to how much dust accumulates.

Blinds made of a single sheet of fabric or a sheer fabric will be more likely to not hold the dust, which can prevent dust mites from setting up residence too.

Where Do Dust Mites Live?

Dust mites generally will live on any kind of soft furnishing or fabric, such as mattresses, quilts, lounge, pillow and some clothing. When it comes to blinds, they will be more likely to live on fabric blinds made from non-waterproof fabrics. So any kind of fabric that is non-waterproof could become a home base for dust mites.

Of course, they cannot live on blinds made of hard materials such as aluminium or wood. Regular cleaning of blinds will go a long way towards keeping surfaces free from dust and dust mites.

Blind Concepts has a cleaning and maintenance service, which can assist with keeping blinds clear of dust and grime, so talk to us today about how we can help.

Are Window Blinds Dangerous for Your Cat?

Unlike dogs, who will likely not attempt to look out of windows that are behind blinds, cats are extremely curious, and will want to know what is on the other side. As a result, depending on what sort of blind you have on your windows, there may be a chance that your curious cat will get themselves into trouble. Whether or not the blinds are dangerous for your cat, or the other way around, is another factor to consider.

Due to cats’ ability to go about their business as they please, without regard for anyone or anything that is in their way, often blinds will suffer from their exuberance. There are some types of blinds that are a better choice for cats, so read on for more information about how the different styles of blinds measure up against a cat.

If all else fails and you have already experienced your cat destroying your blinds, Blind Concepts provide a service for cleaning, repairing and replacing broken blinds.

Roller Blinds

Roller blinds might seem like the best choice for any situation as they have a simple design, no hooks or chains and are easy to use, however, unfortunately, they are not the best choice with cats. Without a second thought, a cat will use the fabric on the roller blind to climb up, while chasing insects, or stretching, which will cause holes in the fabric. The type of fabric being used is also important to consider with the issue of cat fur, which will need cleaning regularly.

Vertical Blinds

Horizontal versus vertical blinds.

As you can imagine, horizontal blinds will not work well with cats, as they will likely crash into them when attempting to view something they have seen on the other side. However, vertical blinds allow for the cat to see past the blinds to whatever has piqued their interest on the other side. Cats will naturally be attracted to the swinging of the vertical panels, and could happily spend a lot of time with this activity alone.

The main issue with vertical blinds is that if they have the chains on them, then it is very likely that the cat will either get tangled in them, or break them, so you may need to reattach the chains over and over. With these blinds, there is also the issue of fabric being damaged by the cat.

Venetian Blinds

Like other blinds, the most important factor in the longevity of your venetian blinds is the material. Metal venetian blinds will not last too long with an exuberant cat, as they will likely become bent over time. The other factor would be to do with the cords and whether they are dangling in a cat attractive fashion.

Child-friendly cords can alleviate this problem too. The most hard-wearing material for cats is wooden blinds, and in the venetian blind style they will generally last the best.

 

DIY Methods to Maintain the Brilliance of your Blinds

Blinds are an important part of your home décor, not only creating privacy from the curious eyes of people passing by, they also set the tone of your home. Similar to the frame for the rooms of the house, the quality and condition of the blinds can make a huge difference as to how the room feels.

Many people might think that the key to maintaining the brilliance of your blinds is all about how well you clean them, when doing your yearly spring cleaning. The truth is that keeping your blinds looking brilliant is all about weekly/or at least regular dusting and maintaining, to avoid any build up.

When dust is left on things it can gradually deteriorate their finish, which over time will affect the quality of the materials and cause them to look a bit drab. The manufacturer will likely provide you with some information specific to your blinds, so be sure to follow the instructions for cleaning and maintenance.

Follow our Blind Concepts tips for keeping your blinds looking as brilliant every day, as the day they were installed:

Say Goodbye to Dust

If you stay on top of regular dusting it is likely that your blinds will maintain their brilliance very easily, and you won’t need to pull out the soap and water. Depending on what blinds you have in your home, there is a variety of different options for keeping them dust free. A vacuum cleaner with a brush fitting, or a feather duster or a dusting cloth will assist you with removing the dust before it has set in. You will likely be able to dust them while they are still hanging. Be sure to turn them both ways so you can dust both front, and back.

Gently Wipe Away Stubborn Dirt

If it has been a little while since you have dusted, and you have vacuumed the blinds and noticed that there is built up dust and grime that hasn’t moved, you will likely need to use a little bit more ‘elbow grease’. Different types of blinds will require a different method. If they are wood blinds you might want to use a soft cloth with furniture polish to wipe them, both sides. For plastic or metal blinds, you may need soapy water. Be sure to wring out the cloth to avoid putting too much water, and then wipe them gently on both sides. Leave them open to dry.

Restoring Their Former Glory

If your blinds are heavily soiled you might need to take them down to give them a good cleaning with soap and water. Alternatively, we offer an ultrasonic cleaning method for that deeply ingrained dust and dirt, which minimises the use of chemicals and restores the brilliance of your blinds. If all else fails, at Blind Concepts we offer a service to repair and replace parts of the blinds to restore them to their former glory, without needing to replace them completely.

Sparkling Windows and Blinds a Great Spring Pick Me-Up

Although the eastern states have had a wetter than usual start to spring, it is still the perfect time to sweep away the winter blues and get your dwelling clean, bright and tidy. A grubby, tired-looking living space can be depressing, and with mental health now a major issue for many people, a thorough spring clean is sure to lighten the mood.

One Room at a Time?

Some people like to clean one room at a time, starting at the ceiling and working their way to the floor. A vacuum cleaner with a brush accessory will remove cobwebs and most dust from walls, light fittings and furniture. Now wash everything down with sugar soap and water. When possible, move furniture when vacuuming to obtain a better result. When the first room is sparkling clean and start on the next.

One Item at a Time?

Others like to start with one item, such as a window or a blind, and clean every single one before moving to a different cleaning target. Start with the dirty windows first using a glass cleaner, sponge and squeegee. Rub over with a soft cloth for a sparkling finish. Then, move on to the next window.

Blinds Need Special Care

Blinds require an individual approach to cleaning, depending on the style and material they are made from. Roller blinds, for example, should be fully extended and surface dust removed with a vacuum cleaner and brush accessory. Follow with a damp cloth to remove stubborn dirt or stains and let the surface dry before rolling up. Roman blinds can also be cleaned using this method.

Extra Tips for Venetians

Venetian blinds made from PVC or aluminium are sturdier than other materials, so some vigorous rubbing on stubborn stains should be safe. Close the slats and do a preliminary vacuum to remove loose dust. Then, with an old sock on your hand, wipe the hand along each individual slat, removing stubborn grime.

Keep Water Away from Timber Venetians

Care for timber venetians is more complex. Avoid using water as the timber may warp. First try cleaning any stains with a soft cloth or paper towel. If that does not work, dab a small amount of wood cleaner onto the cloth and gently rub the stains, then follow up with a duster or vacuum cleaner.

However, there is an easier way to spring clean. Our service here at Blind Concepts offers clients the opportunity to have their blinds taken away and cleaned, then returned spotless, ready to rehang. Our ultrasonic cleaning technology is environmentally friendly and removes dirt and grime from hard to reach places. We clean your blinds while you clean everything else.