It's Time to Clean!
It may not be Springtime yet, but it is right around the corner. The time has come to start thinking about all the fun things that happen in the Spring! Something that usually isn’t so fun, but is necessary, is spring cleaning. This means different things to different people, but around my house, it usually means a full on deep clean. All those cracks and crevices that get neglected the other 364 days of the year get cleaned out on the “spring cleaning day” of our choice. For most of us, we will pull out the fridge, clean under and behind the stove, closets get torn apart and reorganized, and last years clothes and sundries get tossed out, donated or otherwise replaced. The hard work is always worth it…looking back on everything that is clean, fresh and organized.
One area that often gets overlooked during a deep clean is window coverings.
The fact is that most people don’t pay any attention to their blinds and shades. After they were installed they became a fixture in our homes and that is that. We use them daily for privacy, for shading, for insulation. We use them day-in and day-out without thinking about it. We may take a vacuum to them once in a while because they look “good enough” most of the time…But is that really enough?
The truth is, window coverings take a lot of abuse. Fabric shades (roller shades and honeycombs) absorb odors, dust and dirt, and become dingy looking over time. Hard products, like vertical blinds, mini blinds (venetian blinds) and wood and faux wood blinds all collect dust, and the cords retain body oils from our hands.
The best way to clean faux wood blinds, (most) honeycombs/cellular shades, window shadings and mini blinds is with Ultrasonic Blind Cleaning (UBC). A very similar process to how jewelers clean your rings and jewelry, ultrasonic cleaning is fast, generally safe, low cost and very effective.
How does Ultrasonic Blind Cleaning work?
We use specialized equipment and cleaners designed for the purpose of cleaning synthetic and metal blinds, as well as various shades. We start with a tank full of clean, warm water and we add the appropriate cleaner for the products we are cleaning (Hard products like faux woods or soft fabrics like cellular shades). Before we can start cleaning, we have to tune up our machine and pretreat the product. This process of “tuning up” the machine creates billions of bubbles in the water (called cavitation) that will ultimately deep clean and very gently scrub whatever products we put into the tank. We use a pretreat solution to aide in removing stubborn stains and soil. When the machine is tuned and pretreated, the products spend some time in the cleaning side of the tank…generally less than a minute is all it takes with our machine. We then remove the products to inspect the progress. If all looks great, we will transfer to the rinse side of the tank to remove any remaining dirt and cleaning residue.
The final step is drying. We have designed our drying racks to allow optimum airflow around the products while hanging to dry. This is the most time consuming step of the process. Fabric products will usually require 4-6 hours to dry thoroughly. Hard products take a little less time to dry, about 3 hours.
Is it safe?
Cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaning machine is safe for most products with a few exceptions. In general, the older the product, the more selective we get on cleaning to avoid damage. Older cellular shades were made with adhesives that breakdown with exposure to the sun and cannot be cleaned with reliability because the glues will break down further with exposure to moisture. With this exception, most fabric cellular shades, regardless of brand, can be cleaned with excellent results.
Natural Wood Blinds cannot be cleaned with UBC, and there really is no exception to this. Wood, as a natural product, will absorb moisture and swell, which results in a destroyed finish. Wood can be cleaned, but we use a different method that does not harm the paint or final finish.
Faux wood blinds, whether composite, PVC or fiberglass can be cleaned with excellent results. The one issue to remember with faux wood blinds is the older they are, the more likely they are to have UV damage. UV damage presents as a hazy or sometimes yellowing effect on the product. This can be and often is confused with dirt or soiling, but it is not. Once UV damage takes hold it cannot be reversed, even with the most intense cleaning.
When should I clean my products?
We recommend cleaning your new products every 2-3 years when used heavily. If products are older, clean only as needed. While over-cleaning would be difficult, its best not to clean more than once a year to preserve the long term quality of the product.
What about the price?
Pricing varies by region, but in our area (Colorado Springs, Colorado), we think our pricing is very reasonable…starting at only $10.00 per product. Product pricing will vary based on size and material, but many customers can expect around $10-$15.00 per product to be cleaned.
If you have questions or are curious if your products will be a good fit for UBC, call us 719-262-0626!
My wife and I starting to do some spring cleaning so that when we have people over for summer parties we will be able to feel comfortable with them coming over. Like you mentioned, blinds should be cleaned at least every 2-3 years. However, because I don’t clean my blinds periodically throughout the year, I think that it would be important to make sure that every year I clean my blinds so that they can keep their same color and so that they can look clean.
Dave, Excellent advice! 2-3 years is typical but certain areas and environmental conditions require more frequent cleaning. Keep up the good work!
A colleague of mine told me about ultrasonic blind cleaning. I told her how dirty my blinds were and how detergents and vacuuming wasn’t working. I’ll give you guys a call soon once I’m free from work.
Ultrasonic blind cleaning seems like a great thing to do, and I will try it at my home now. I hope that it works out for me, and I can achieve something valuable with it.