Frugal Tips for Easily Cleaning Vinyl Blinds

by Reader Contributors

Frugal Tips for Cleaning Vinyl Blinds photo

From bathtubs to hoses, these frugal tips for easily cleaning vinyl blinds can help you keep your blinds looking their best.

Dear Dollar Stretcher,
I have several very dirty & greasy blinds that need cleaning. Can any of your readers suggest an easy and inexpensive way for how to clean vinyl blinds? Thank you!

Hose Those Blinds!

If they are mini blinds, I would take them outside and drape them over a clothes line, spray them off with the hose, then wash down with a solution of ammonia and water, rinse and then turn them over and repeat the process for the other side. I have gotten several really disgusting mini blinds clean that way in places we have rented.

Cleaning Blinds ‘By Hand’

I read a tip somewhere that said to put on rubber gloves (I used surgical gloves) and then an old white sock over that, dip your whole hand in rubbing alcohol and start cleaning the blinds. It worked great! So much better than those blind “finger” looking things, and it was so easy too. Give it a try!
Deanna W.

Advice from an Apartment Manager

I used to manage an apartment complex and we used one of two methods for cleaning blinds

  1. In winter or inclement weather, put the blind in the bathtub with just hot water and automatic dishwashing detergent; let set until cool and clean with ‘bowl’ brush or other long handled brush; rinse in cool water with a little vinegar or alcohol for a nicer finish; towel dry and hang to completely dry.
  2. In summer or nice weather, take the blind to the nearest self-serve car wash and use the car brush and detergent. You can even give them a light waxing for a nice finish if desired; towel dry and hang to completely dry.

Elizabeth B. in West Valley City, UT

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Degrease Blinds

I used to work part-time cleaning apartments between tenants and the best way to clean vinyl blinds is to take them down, put them in the bathtub, saturate them with 409 cleaner and degreaser, let them soak, then turn the shower on them to rinse.
Shawna from Ohio

A Blind Cleaning Caution

You’ll get lots of good suggestions for cleaning blinds, so I just want to add one little caution. If you have plastic or vinyl blinds, test them for lead content prior to cleaning. Lead testing kits can be found in hardware stores in the paint department. If the blinds contain lead, they must be disposed. Contact your local waste department for the correct way to go about this.
Catherine H.

Give Them a Bath

I have tried many different ways to clean dirty and greasy mini blinds, and the best way i have found is putting very warm water in the bath tub, with degreaser or pine oil and laundry soap. About 1-1/2 cups laundry soap and 1 cup pine oil to 1/4 tub of water. put blinds in and soak for a half hour, moving them around to get the solution between the blinds. Let the water out and rinse well. Then I take them outside and put them on the deck or fence to air dry. It works well for me.

Baking Soda or Borax

We have the mini blinds thru our house and they can be a pain to clean. We take them off once a year and take them outside. We lay them out in a closed position and use either baking soda or borax and warm water solution. Then we scrub them with a handled scrubbie sponge and finally we take the hose and hose them off. Hang them to dry outside for a few hours and they’re done. We have done it this way for the last 11 years and they are still holding up.
Sue H.

Reviewed March 2023

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