External fabric blinds are a great way of keeping your rooms cool and shady during periods of hot weather. Good quality blinds should last you for years, but you can help their longevity by cleaning them regularly and treating them against damage by mould and mildew. Read on to find out more.
What you'll need
- washing-up liquid
- stiff yard brush
- ladder (if cleaning blinds on upper storey windows)
- hosepipe and connection to running water
- household bleach
- paper towels
- anti-mould spray (available from good DIY stores)
How to do it
- Pull the blinds down fully and secure them in place so that they don't spring up while you're cleaning them. If you are going to be working at height, ask someone to 'foot' your ladder for you.
- Now make up a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid. Give each blind a really good scrub down with the stiff yard brush and the cleaning solution to remove surface debris and dust.
- Use the hose pipe under a low pressure to rinse the blinds completely clean of soap suds. Don't have the water pressure too high or you run the risk of stretching your blinds out of shape. If there are any stubborn areas of grime, such as caked-on bird droppings, apply a small quantity of washing-up liquid directly to the brush and give them another good scrub to get rid of it. Rinse the blinds thoroughly again.
- If you live in an area with a warm and humid climate, mould and mildew growth can proliferate to leave unsightly, black marks on your blinds. Make up a mild solution using warm water and household bleach. Use a clean sponge to wipe over the blinds with the bleach solution. This will kill off any existing mildew and mould spores and will prevent the growth of new ones.
- Use paper towels to blot the blind dry, and then allow the fabric to air-dry completely.
- When the blinds are dry, treat both sides with anti-mould spray, as per the manufacturer's instructions. Pay particular attention to the blind's seams and stitching as these areas are especially prone to damage by mould and mildew staining.
- Now that the blinds are clean, look over them carefully for any signs of wear or damage and arrange for professional repairs as necessary.
Follow the simple instructions above and make this project part of your annual maintenance routine to keep your external blinds looking good, as well as extending their lifespan.