How to steam clean vertical blinds

So you’ve hired a steam cleaner or a carpet washer/steamer with twenty weird-looking attachments and you want to make sure you get your money’s worth.

Can you steam clean vertical blinds as part of your annual cleaning marathon? Yes, with caution, but only if you can control the temperature of the steam.

If the steam is scalding hot it is apt to damage your blinds, so check the instructions supplied with your steam cleaner before you begin, and err on the side of caution if unsure. Locked and loaded and ready to have a go? Ok let’s rock.

Can vertical blinds be steam cleaned?

If your steam cleaner has a low enough heat setting and you are incredibly careful about how you do things in order to avoid getting the louvres of your vertical blinds either too soggy or too hot, then you should be able to steam clean any type of vertical blinds.

However, vertical blinds come in two main different types of fabrics, one of which withstands heat better than the other but on the flipside, that also tends to be less tolerant of moisture.

For this reason it is a good idea to identify what your vertical blind’s louvres are made of before you attempt steam cleaning them and factor this in accordingly.

The louvre material of a vertical blind will be made of either a PVC material or a fabric, the latter of which is likely to be treated with a stiffening spray.

Fabric vertical blinds might lose their structural integrity if you get them too wet and cause the stiffening spray that they’re treated with to be steamed away.

A PVC vertical blind louvre will be better able to withstand moisture than a fabric louvre. However, a PVC vertical blind is also at higher risk of semi-melting or becoming damaged by heat than a fabric louvre, so choose your adventure.

Ultimately, whatever material your vertical blinds are made of, if you keep the heat setting on your steam cleaner as low as possible and aim to keep the louvres as dry as possible (aim for moderately damp at the end of things rather than wet) then you should be able to steam clean vertical blinds of either fabric safely and quite effectively.

However, much like doing the ironing, you need to keep your mind on the task and not get distracted, as even the most hardwearing or robust of fabrics can get damaged if you linger over the same spot for too long or use too much heat.

How to steam clean vertical blinds

Taking into account the cautions and caveats above, here’s how to steam clean vertical blinds safely in four basic steps.

  1. Dust or vacuum the blind, otherwise the heat and moisture of the steam is apt to cause any loose dust to transform into full-on “dirt” and potentially stain the fabric.
  2. Set the temperature control of the steam cleaner to as low as it is possible to get it, and test it out on a small, unobtrusive area of the blind first to ensure it doesn’t discolour or warp the fabric.
  3. If you’re confident to proceed from there, hit up each louvre from top to bottom, keeping the steam cleaner moving and avoiding becoming emboldened by your early success to the point that you hover too long over one spot and damage it.
  4. Avoid like the plague pointing the steam cleaner at any parts of the louvre that contain plastic (like the hooks hanging it from the headrail) or glue, like potentially the pockets holding the blind’s weights, as this might cause them to melt or warp.


If you don’t have access to steam cleaner or if it’s not a suitable method for your blinds, check out our step-by-step guide on how to clean vertical blinds without using steam.

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