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.

Working from Home? Give Your Home Office a New Look with Window Treatments

In recent years, a growing number of businesses are now choosing to reduce their overheads by having their staff work from home. This means that we are spending a lot more time at home than we did before, which can become a bit monotonous when we are staring at the same wall’s day in and day out.

When working from home, it is important to have a dedicated office space that you can close the door on while you are not working. One way to make this space an inviting place to be is to make the place feel comfortable with ergonomic furniture, interesting wall hangings and window treatments.

Window treatments are also an important way of helping to stay focused with work, and avoiding distractions from the outside world during the working day. If you are needing to do a lot of video conferencing you may want to reduce the glare from natural light, or alternatively, you may want to increase the natural light in the room, window treatments are the way to go.

We are able to provide suggestions for window treatments that are suitable for a home office, so read on and see if any of our ideas suit the vision you have for your space.

Roman Shades

These are a traditional window treatment with soft fabric that hangs in layers when the blind is extended. These blinds provide a gentle flow of fabric, which is pleasing to the eye and can be made in any colour fabric, to complement the existing décor of the room.

Roller Shades

A common window treatment for the modern office that is versatile and does the job easily and effortlessly. These blinds provide a sleek, smooth surface to cover the windows, which can be opened and closed without much trouble.

Woven Shades

For a more casual, or rustic office space, woven bamboo or straw shades will reduce a lot of the light coming into the room, while still allowing a mottled view of the outside world through the thin slats of the wood. These blinds work fine during the day, but at night when there is a light on in the office, they will be completely see-through. If you are working from your home office a lot at night and require privacy, you may want to add a blackout liner as well.

Blackout Liners

With any of the window treatments that we have discussed here (or any that we have not discussed) blackout liners can be added to assist with reducing the amount of light coming in or out of the room, through the window. Please talk to us today at Blind Concepts about how we can help you to prep your home office space for maximum productivity and enjoyment during your working hours.

 

How to Beat the Heat Wave with Window Treatments

As the warmer months roll around, and things start to really heat up, some of us brace for the inevitable cooling bill that goes along with the season. However, others are choosing the innovative option of installing window treatments to lower the heat in their homes, and in doing so, spend less money on cooling. Let’s have a look at some of the different window treatment options that could keep that heat from getting into the house.

Interior and Exterior Blinds

There’s a theory that it might be easier to just keep the heat out to begin with, rather than focusing on cooling it down after it has become too warm. This is where blinds, shades, awnings, curtains and screens come in, shielding the heat from entering the home.

Blinds work well on either the outside or inside of your house, providing much needed cover from sunshine entering the home. The plus side of blinds is that they can be opened or raised completely to allow for a clear view when they are not needed. They can also be opened to various degrees for if you want a little, or a lot of light. Depending how they are angled, they can provide a lot of cover to prevent heat from getting in, and also rain during storms. Studies have shown that white blinds can reduce heat by more than 40%.

Shades

Window shades are another awesome way of keeping the place cool, and they do it considerably well as long as the shades are hung correctly. For the most impact they need to be hung as close to the window as possible and as close to the wall at the ends. This creates a ‘seal’ of sorts that prevents heat from coming in, and cool going out. Shades can also work for keeping the heat in during the cooler months, by having dark coloured fabric on one side, and white (reflective fabric) on the other.

Drapes

Particular fabrics and colours of drapes are the same as shades in that they can be helpful for both keeping the heat out and insulating from the cool during the colder times of the year. Drapes are best positioned close to the window and to the floor and ceiling, creating a tight seal.

Awnings and Overhangs

Both overhangs and awnings can reduce heat coming through windows by more than 60%. Fabric awnings made of opaque, light coloured and tightly woven materials block the sun better. Due to hot air becoming blocked under awnings, adequate ventilation is necessary to prevent stuffy air from building up underneath. A retractable awning is a good idea to allow for the awning to be moved away during the winter months to allow for as much solar energy as possible.
For the maintenance of your window treatments, contact Blind Concepts for cleaning, repairs and installation.

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.

How Window Blinds Can Reduce Allergies to Airborne Triggers

When it comes to allergic reactions to airborne triggers, we might imagine that life would be easier if we just lived in our own private bubble of air and did not have to interact with the world outside. This would definitely solve some of our problems, however, we would not have all those wonderful experiences that come with interacting with the world around us, even if it is pretty dusty.

As we have seen recently on the news sites, chemical contaminants can become airborne during emergency situations, which could be a dangerous reality for people who are susceptible to allergic reactions. Additionally, there are other every-day factors which can contribute to allergic reactions. Whether there is an airborne chemical event, or you simply want to reduce your exposure to regular airborne triggers, your household blinds can assist with creating that bubble.

Reduce Dust from Getting Inside

For people who suffer from allergic rhinitis, or seasonal allergies of any kind, every day dust entering through the windows can become a formidable adversary. Installing blinds over windows can greatly reduce the amount of dust that is able to enter into the house, which could assist with having to deal with the triggering of allergies.

Trap Dust in a Barrier

By using this method of trapping the dust at the windows before it is able to enter the house, you are able to create a barrier of sorts which if maintained, could prevent dust from entering into the main house. Regular cleaning of the dust barrier (the blind) will mean that it is able to maintain that role of preventing dust from entering the home, while being a catchment area for the dust to be removed from.

Regulate Temperatures

Another great advantage of blinds in assisting with reducing allergic reactions is by regulating the temperatures. For some people allergies can be made worse by hot or cold weather, however the blind can regulate that temperature while allowing some air through. If a house hold has a particular window that allows direct sunlight through during some periods of the day, this could prove to be an issue affecting those who have allergies that are triggered by hot or cold temperatures.

Made to Measure

Blinds that are made specifically to suit your window size and shape will provide a strong barrier system for the dust to be caught from entering to the rest of the house. At Blind Concepts we provide a cleaning and maintenance service for blinds as well as replacement of broken slats and whole blinds where needed.

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.