Posted on: 17 March 2015
If you have a rustic home, then you likely want all of your furniture items and accessories to match the style of your residence. If you need to keep the hot summer sun from cascading through your windows, then you want your blinds to fit in with everything else. Wooden blinds can be a great option for you, but you need to care for them properly. Follow the tips below to make sure your wooden blinds remain in great shape for years to come.
Clean Without Water
General Cleaning Practices
True wooden blinds are made out of aspen, maple, and birch wood types. Stains are often added to the ladders that make up the blinds and this adds both beauty and shade variation to the window coverings. Wood stains contain colorants and suspension agents that help to work the products into the wood grain. Stains do not contain wood protectants though, and this leaves the porous wood exposed. Untreated wood can warp and bend when exposed to moisture. This means you cannot use water to clear dirt and debris from your blinds.
Instead of using water, use a cotton cloth to lightly sweep dirt away from the blind ladders. When you are done, inspect the blinds for stuck on debris. If debris remains, then purchase a box of dryer sheets. Use the sheets to wipe down the blinds again. The polyester sheets will clear away dirt and fabric softener ingredients will reduce static electricity across the ladders. This will help to loosen debris and it will stop static from attracting new dirt.
If your wooden blinds hang in your kitchen or in your child's bedroom, then your may notice some stains appearing on the ladders. If this is the case, then use white vinegar and baking soda to remove marks. The acid in the vinegar will help to gently dissolve food, grease, soap, and other materials. The baking soda will absorb the wet vinegar, grease residue, and other stains that are pulled from the wood.
Place a small amount of vinegar on a clean cloth and wipe the cloth over the stain. Do this until the blinds appear slightly damp. Allow the vinegar to sit for about 15 minutes and sprinkle baking soda over the area. Vacuum up the baking soda afterwards and make sure the stain area is dry.
If hard bubble gum, ice cream, syrup, or another stuck-on material has caused a stain on the blinds, then use an ice cube to freeze it. Once the gunk is hard enough, use a plastic knife to pry it loose.
Protect the Blinds
Another good way to make sure that wooden blinds do not become damaged is to add a protective coating on the exterior of the wood. Polyurethane varnishes are often used to protect wood from moisture and UV sun rays, but it is not cost effective or easy to add this type of protectant to your blinds. A simple oil placed across them is a much better option to protect them from moisture, debris, and the drying effects of the sun.
Using Oil Protectants
Oils are fully absorbed into the blinds once they are applied, and an oil that can cure on its own is best for wood application. Curing means that the oil solidifies somewhat over time. Both linseed and walnut oil are good options for your blinds. Walnut oil can be found at your local supermarket and linseed oil can be purchased from an art supply store.
Once you purchase your oil, place it on a clean rag and gently rub the exposed wood across your blinds. The wood will absorb the oil quickly, so you may need to apply two or three coats. Once you notice a shiny surface across the ladders, use another rag to lightly buff the blinds. This will remove excess oil so the window coverings do not feel greasy or slippery.
If you install natural wood blinds in your home, then you need to make sure to properly care for the window coverings. Good cleaning methods and the application of an oil protectant are both good options.Share