How choosing low maintenance window treatments can save time on your spring clean
Are you looking to make cleaning in your home that little bit easier? A change in window coverings could be the best place to start.
Whether you have made a New Year’s resolution to have a tidier house or not, the annual Spring Clean is looming for many homeowners throughout the UK. Cleaning window dressings can be a laborious job, so at S:CRAFT we’ve put together this handy guide to help you choose a low maintenance window treatment to save you time cleaning, that could be better spent doing something more exciting!
Whatever you use for privacy on your windows, however, you need to remember that over time they can lose their appeal and become nothing more than dust collectors. Regular cleaning can become such a drain that it very quickly loses its appeal, so a solution that is both quick and easy to keep maintained will help you with the best of both worlds.
How much dirt do window coverings attract?
Have you ever thought about how much grime the average home can collect a year? When you start to look at the facts it is amazing that we don’t all clean a lot more!
Each week, an average person will create 1/3 ounce of dead skin, which combines with other particles to create household dust. In houses and offices this is usually comprised of pollen, hair, textile and paper fibres, soil, food matter and various other materials found locally.
Some dust is capable of remaining airborne for up to 5 days, depending on the size of particle. When trapped in the home, these will eventually settle on static surfaces such as wardrobes, bookshelves, and even window coverings.
As Discover Magazine said in 2015 “Dust is universal”, and your home will be no exception. Even if you keep your home meticulously clean, dust will still collect over time, and so making cleaning easier will no doubt sound like music to your ears.
There are many ways of combatting dust and dirt around the home, from the obvious choices such as vacuum cleaner and cloths, to useful items like hypoallergenic pillows and air filtration units. But another feature to consider is what goes in your windows, as it can make a real difference in terms of how much dirt they collect.
Which window treatment is right for your home?
“Of all the design decisions homeowners make when decorating a home — paint color, furniture, fabrics, rugs, lighting, accessories — window treatments often get overlooked or receive inadequate attention.” – Interior design writer Karen Egly-Thompson on Houzz.
Maintenance isn’t just a case of keeping them clean! Often, things will need tightening, tweaking or adjusting as you go along, so this will need taking into account when thinking about what you will put in your windows to complete the look of your space.
Ultimately you know your interiors, and so will be the best person to judge which solution looks best, while being suitable for the space itself. You need to ask yourself some key questions before making a purchase – to help you get the right window covering. Not just one that looks good, but also fits with the practical requirements of your home!
- What look are you trying to achieve?
- How flexible / practical are they for your living arrangements?
- What balance do you need between light / privacy?
- Can you clean them by yourself?
- What will require only minor maintenance?
What window treatments are easiest to clean?
One of the first things to consider when figuring out how to clean is the type of material used, regardless of style. Whatever you are cleaning; if they’re made out of wood, you should make sure to clean them with the right products. For example, using the right washing powder for curtains, or completely avoiding chemical solvents for shutters or Venetian blinds.
It is always better to be safe than sorry, so always check about ongoing maintenance whenever you buy a new product for your windows.
Are shutters easy to clean?
One of the easiest window treatments to maintain, once the shutters are fitted, they require little to no additional attention beyond dusting and occasional wiping – particularly in high areas of traffic (i.e. patio doors) or kitchens, which may experience grease building up over time as well as dust.
S:CRAFT TIP – On certain shutters, use a dryer sheet after wiping with a damp cloth – to help repel dust.
Avoid chemical cleaners when cleaning shutters, as these will likely remove the paint, or alter the finish. As they are by and large fitted in windows, problems with mud and heavy soiling are less likely, and so just a wipe with a duster and cloth is often enough to keep shutters looking their best.
As a company that has been selling shutters since 2002, S:CRAFT knows a thing or two when it comes to keeping them looking their best. Durable and long lasting, simple maintenance and dirt removal can keep your shutters sparkling, long after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired.
As well as easy to clean, shutters are also an incredibly low maintenance window treatment. If you have already purchased some, but are wondering how to care for plantation shutters, don’t panic. Often the only task required is the sporadic tightening of louvres with a single screwdriver.
What is the best way to clean shutters?
Wondering how to clean interior window shutters? There are a number of tips and tricks to help your cleaning as quick and easy as possible. Whether you’re a regular cleaner, or prefer to be only sporadic, the results will often be the same – it just depends how much grime you’re willing to let build up in between!
There are a number of tips and tricks you can try to remove various levels of grime:
- Microfiber dusting mitt – or as a low cost alternative – a clean sock! – for quick dusting
- Damp cloth – Sporadically clean but make sure to dry ASAP – particularly on MDF – unless you have shutters made from 100% waterproof material such as the ABS Java range
- Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment – for effective dust removal, but trickier in corners
- Lambs wool or ostrich feather dusters – helps you get into all the corners
- Clean toothbrush – For the tricky corners, but also for elements such as the hardware on track systems
- Shutter cleaning service – Some companies offer ongoing maintenance of shutters, you may also be willing to pay for a professional cleaner to include shutters
Shutters are one of the easiest window treatments to effectively maintain, and so for the purposes of the annual spring clean are going to be the best choice for nearly every type of home environment.
What is the best way to maintain a curtain?
Even if they don’t appear particularly dirty, regularly including curtains in your cleaning routine will go a long way to helping your home stay clean.
A regular once-over with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner is the easiest way to banish the grime that collects on curtains over time. However, unlike blinds or shutters, curtains are often chosen to be washable window shades, for the ease provided when putting them in a washing machine, or simply taking to the dry cleaners.
However, as this depends on the material, it is worth checking instructions, or seeking advice from a dry cleaner before taking this action. Cotton curtains can also be tumble dried and ironed at home to get them looking beautiful, but this is not recommended for many other fabrics. Check manufacturer’s guidelines as they can be quite variable.
The rails will also need cleaning as dust particles don’t just settle on the fabric – the hooks and rings too. Make sure that you have ease of movement when opening/closing curtains – this could also mean you may also need to grease rails to ensure smoothness.
Always check the care label before carrying out any washing. If you’re not sure, check which type of material your curtains are made from, and make sure keep a note for next time!
Are wooden slatted blinds easy to keep clean?
Aluminium Venetian blinds are a popular choice for many homeowners, as they are usually fairly cost effective, but often limited in terms of both size and colour. As a more stylish alternative, wooden slatted blinds (such as the Pure WOOD™ range from S:CRAFT) are convenient to use, but can prove tricky to maintain.
Be aware to use your blinds properly, as cords can snare and become frayed over time. They also should be safely stored on a cleat or cord tie, ensuring they meet the guidance for child safety around the home. You can never be too careful when it comes to blinds.
As well as simply wiping with a dry cloth, there are a number of special blind dusting tools. The best duster for blinds is essentially a matter of taste, as well as practicality, depending on factors such as slat size, levels of dirt, and accessibility.
How do you clean dirty fabric blinds?
Roman, vertical, perfect fit, roller, sash or even homemade… there are many different types of blinds on the market, and unlike Venetians, are often crafted from various types of fabric. Cleaning will depend on which type of blind, and the type of fabric used, so there is not one standard approach. However, most can be approached in the following way:
- Dust if that is all required
- Hoover if there is more to remove than possible with a standard duster
- Wipe with specific fabric cleaning wipes for any types of dirt that do not immediately wipe off
- Dry cleaning is often possible as a rule – for heavier stains do not wash unless it is definitively stated that this is possible – and certainly don’t put them in the tumble dryer!
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions if unsure, or ask at point of sale for verification before attempting any cleaning activity.
However, as with curtains, fabric window coverings will always tend to act as dust magnets, and so a solid wooden alternative, such as plantation shutters, would potentially be a more hygienic solution for your home.
How can I keep my home cleaner?
If you find that even after a clean, your window treatments are no longer looking their best, you may need to think about changing to a new solution with a longer life span. Some coverings may also be simply due for an upgrade due to practicality. For example, taking drapes to the dry cleaners may be proving a hassle, so wooden coverings may be easier for you.
Start the process today and get a quote from your local S:CRAFT stockist.