Dusting roman blinds

Roman blinds are the most luxurious and visually attractive blinds of all, and they’re ideal for making a statement, adding a hint of panache to a room, and generally creating an air of opulence and quality.

This makes them the ideal choice for a bedroom, living room, hallway, or dining room; but less so for bathrooms and kitchens, as their fabrics won’t stand up well to a lot of water, or even moisture (and in the case of kitchens, cooking fats) in the air.

There are some exceptions to this, such as for large, high-ceilinged, well-ventilated kitchens and/or bathrooms where the blind is well out of the way of the action, but unless you live in a literal castle, the chances are that Roman blinds in a kitchen or bathroom are going to be exposed to some moisture.

Anyway, whatever room you’re using them in (or planning to buy them for) sooner or later you’re going to need to find out how to clean Roman blinds, and your best bet in this respect is to go for “sooner,” as a small amount of regular maintenance will keep them looking as good as new and greatly delay the need for any more serious attention on the cleaning front.

Cleaning Roman blinds now and then will help to prevent dust build-up, remove dust mites, and even stop mould growing on the fabric if your room gets a little damp or your windows tend to condensate.

So, how do you clean dirty Roman blinds? In this article I’ll tell you the easiest way, what to do if your blind has picked up a mark or stain, and answer a few more frequently asked questions about cleaning Roman blinds.

How to clean Roman blinds the easy way

The quickest and easiest way to clean Roman blinds is more or less to prevent them from getting overly grubby in the first place.

This just means giving them a quick dusting over using the soft brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner if the fabric is fairly robust; but if you’re working with more delicate fabrics like silk or an embroidered design, err on the side of caution and use a feather duster or microfibre cloth instead.

Here’s how to clean Roman blinds the easy way.

  • Fully extend the blind, and then hold it by the weight at the bottom to keep it taut (without pulling on it).
  • Move your duster or the vacuum cleaner brush attachment lightly over the surface of the fabric, starting at the top and working down.
  • Pay a little extra attention to the folds of the blind’s fabric, as these little vertical ledges are where dust will tend to accumulate over time, particularly if your blind is left in the same position for long periods of time without being adjusted.
  • The very bottom of the blind too, particularly if it skims the windowsill, is another spot where you’re apt to find dust and fluff having its AGM if left in situ for a long period of time.

How do you get stains out of a Roman blind?

Stained roman blind fabric

Removing stains from a Roman blind is possible for most things that will work their way onto the fabric (although the stain-creating skills of under-12s never cease to surprise us in this respect, so there’s no guarantee) but needs to be undertaken with a moderate degree of care in order to avoid worsening the stain, adding water staining too, or damaging delicate fabrics.

How do you get stains out of a Roman blind without risking damage?

First, remove any surface dust as outlined above so you can see exactly what you’re dealing with and to avoid turning said dust into full-on “dirt,” which will spread itself around nicely and worsen rather than improving the issue!

How to get stains out of a Roman blind with water

Use a clean, damp cloth that is fully wrung out to avoid watermarks, and test the effects of this out on a small, unobtrusive area of the blind before you get to work on the real issue.

Assuming all systems are go from there, very gently rub or blot at the affected area (blotting is better for delicate fabrics) until it starts to shift.

If that doesn’t work, add a little detergent

If water alone doesn’t work, try again with a little soapy water (using a washing detergent for delicate fabrics or hand washing is ideal) and see if that makes a difference.

If this isn’t effective, you’ll need to bring out the big guns

Still no go? In this case, you might need to add a specialist fabric stain remover to the water mixture; and we can’t recommend a specific one that’s a universally good fit for all types of stains and fabrics, as both of these factors can involve a lot of variables.

You should, however, identify the fabric and care instructions for your blind and then go shopping with this info to hand, choosing a stain remover that doesn’t have a long row of bold red crosses or warning symbols next to your fabric of choice on the label.

Be a bit too blasé here and you might well end up removing colour from the blind along with the stain, leaving you with a somewhat different appearance than you started with which hey, is at least now clean, but probably wasn’t exactly the result you were hoping for either.

Mix up the stain remover according to the directions, and again, try this out on an unobtrusive area of the fabric first.

Alternative approach: try out a little surgical spirit/rubbing alcohol on the stain instead, which evaporates off quickly and won’t penetrate the weave of the fabric itself.

General tips on how to get stains out of Roman blinds

  • Dust the blind first as mentioned, to avoid ending up with tidemarks of dirt when you add water.
  • Keep rinsing and wringing out your cloth regularly to ensure the cloth is always clean when it touches the fabric.
  • Remember to be gentle; blot, or at most, gently rub at stains, and take extra care over embroidered or delicate fabrics to ensure you don’t damage them.

Can you get Roman blinds cleaned professionally?

Professional dry cleanings

How do you clean dirty Roman blinds if they’re beyond spot cleaning, or have started to smell a little funky? Can you get Roman blinds dry cleaned?

Yes, Roman blind fabrics can be dry cleaned and they usually come up very well with professional dry cleaning, as this uses a solvent solution that contains little to no water, and so is far milder on soft and delicate fabrics.

Can you clean Roman blinds in the washing machine?

Can you put Roman blinds in the washing machine? Theoretically yes, depending on the fabric they’re made from; some Roman blind fabrics could potentially be machine washed, although many cannot.

Even when it comes to fabrics that themselves might machine wash ok, the lining fabrics and threads used might be a no go, so if in doubt, check with the manufacturer to ensure your Roman blind is machine washable rather than taking your chances and hoping for the best… Because the “worst” could effectively mean destroying your blind, if the machine wash results in shrinking, fading, pulling, or the total functional destruction of the blind’s fabric!

To be on the safe side, my personal advice is not to put Roman blinds in the washing machine, and instead, to take them to a dry cleaner if you really do feel they need a thorough wash.

How to clean roman blinds in the washing machine

If you’re going to do it anyway regardless of what I say and you’re confident your Roman blind is suitable for machine washing, first of all detach the cords from the back of the blind. On most modern Roman blinds, these will just unclip; this is actually a child safety feature to prevent entanglement.

You should then be able to remove the fabric cover by just pulling it away from the headrail, where it is usually held in place by Velcro.

Also, carefully pull the support rods and the weight from the bottom of the blind out when you’ve taken it down too.

Use a mild, gentle detergent on a delicate wash cycle, at a low temperature.

Oh! And in case it needs saying, do not try to tumble dry a Roman blind! This will never end well. Instead, hang the blind to dry thoroughly before putting it back up.

Can you steam clean Roman blinds?

Possibly, depending on what fabric the blind is made of. Again, this is something where my general advice on steam cleaning Roman blinds is “don’t,” as the vast majority of Roman blinds are not designed to hold up to exposure to moisture or higher temperatures, and once more, a better approach is to take your blind to a dry cleaner.

If you think the fabric of your blind is suitable for steam cleaning and having read my advice to the contrary you want to have a go anyway, your best approach is to steam clean roman blinds in situ without taking them down.

Use the very lowest temperature steam setting, hold the attachment well back from the fabric, and move it lightly and briskly so you don’t end up hovering over one spot.

Remember that soaking, scalding, or overheating the fabric can all cause it it to shrink, or possibly damage the finish and colours.

When you’re done, leave the blind fully extended to dry naturally, ideally opening the window behind it to add a little airflow. You can also speed things up a touch by using a hairdryer on a cool setting to give it a quick blast off too.

Any further questions on how to clean Roman blinds?

If you’ve had an idea about how to clean dirty Roman blinds or there’s something I haven’t covered that you’ve got questions about, send me an email or leave a comment and I’ll see if I can help.

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