How to Clean Mini Blinds


Mini window blinds are like the dinosaur of the window covering industry. They were originally known as a Venetian blind, and they were primarily made out of vinyl. I remember those vinyl Venetian window treatments when I think back to my early school days. They were the school systems’ window blind of choice in the late 60s and early 70s.

I can tell you exactly how those minis got cleaned in my school. Kids did it. They were not asked to do it, or it would never have happened, but the kids in my school, yours truly included, did it. Our methodology was not one that made our mothers happy. We used our sleeves. That’s right. For some odd reason, we thought that it looked really cool to run our shirt sleeves along the horizontal slats, and watch the dirt disappear.

The end result was not good. We went home with dirty shirt sleeves, and the window treatments in the school never got completely cleaned. We would never clean a slat in its entirety, and we only cleaned the slats that lined up height-wise, so the higher the window, the more slats went uncleaned.

Cleaning the minis of today can be done in the same manner, but these are not your father’s minis, and cleaning them in the old fashioned way is not necessary. The SelectBlinds minis, save one, are all made of the strongest aluminum. They have a high quality paint baked on, which resists fading and looks great longer than those vinyl blinds.

1. Use a Damp Rag

A damp rag is the best way to clean mini blinds. Moisten the rag, run it along the slats, turn the rag inside out, and run it along the rest of the slats. Rinse the rag out and repeat. That is the smart and easy way to clean your mini blinds.

2. Use a Spray Bottle and Soap

Add just a tiny bit of soap to the water in the spray bottle and then spray the slats. Use a lint-free rag to wipe each slat clean.

3. Soak them in a Tub

For big messes, remove your mini blinds from their mounts and soak them in the tub to loosen the dirt. Then you can wipe them down with a rag to remove the rest of the dirt or dust.

4. Don’t Bend the Slats

No matter which method of cleaning you choose, do your best not to bend the slats too much. While they are strong, it will keep them in their best possible shape if you avoid bending them.

How to Clean Faux Wood Blinds


Cleaning faux wood blinds is fairly easy. I’ll get to the nuts and bolts of it shortly. First I’d like to clear up some misnomers regarding the faux wood.

Faux is another word for fake, so these are not real wood blinds. By the way, the correct pronunciation is exactly the same as the word, foe. There is no faux wood tree forest or orchard. There are manufacturing facilities that take PVC and turn it into horizontal slats for window coverings that look like real wood, but are actually faux. Bingo, there you have it. The faux wood window treatments.

Cleaning them is very much like cleaning real wood blinds.

1. Dust Them

Add dusting the slats of the blinds when you do your normal dusting in that room.

2. Use the Vacuum Attachment

Vacuum the treatments with the attachment that you use for those hard-to-reach places. Ideally, you should use the attachment that has the softest feeling brushes on the end of it.

3. Use a Moist Cloth

Faux woods are pretty hearty. That is why they are recommended for use where there are extremes. Those extremes can be humidity if they are in the bathroom and the hot shower is used on a regular basis. That high humidity will cause a very thin layer of moisture to adhere to the surface of the slats. No problem. That is exactly why you buy faux woods. In this situation, the shower has done half the job for you. To clean those slats, just take a moist cloth and clean them by running that cloth along the surface of each slat until you’ve got them all.

4. Spot Clean with Mild Detergent

On a clean, damp cloth, add mild detergent and spot clean. Once you’re done, make sure to wipe off the excess detergent with the damp cloth.

Another extreme is temperature swings. The heartiness of the faux wood makes it a good fit for a garage window, or work shed window, or any other place where the window is exposed to the elements, and those elements hit one or both extremes. These window coverings get the same cleaning treatment as described above.

Faux wood window coverings are also less costly than real wood window coverings, so that is the third reason to hang faux woods. They look great and are affordable to most every budget!

I like faux wood window treatments. I like them fo’ sho’!!

Click here to learn more about the benefits of faux wood blinds.

How to Clean Wood Blinds


Wood blinds are amongst the easiest of window coverings to clean. The window blind is made of wood, rendering those individual slats pretty hearty. That being said, they still won’t clean themselves. But with a minimal regular cleaning routine, they will always look amazing.

Many people ask questions like, “What is the best way to clean wood blinds?” or they just want to know how to clean wooden blinds easily. So here is what we suggest.

1. Dust Them

Consider that the window blinds are part of your furniture. They are definitely part of the home décor.  Simply add your wood blinds to the mental list of items that need to be dusted when you, or whomever, is doing the actual cleaning, Use the same dusting products on your blinds that you use on your fine furniture.

2. Use Your Vacuum Attachment

Every now and then, while you are cleaning your house, you will find the need to put that little attachment on to the end of your vacuum. You might be using the attachment to get into the corners of the furniture, or to get to those hard to reach places. Add your wood blinds to the routine. They will look so much better.

3. Use What You Have

Please note that everything so far, and all methods yet to be reviewed, recommend that you use your existing cleaning products. Whether it’s pledge, or your favorite dusting cloth, there is no need to buy anything to specifically clean your wooden blinds. This includes those weird looking slat cleaners. You know what I mean. They look like a hairy ladder, and they are supposed to fit easily into the slats when they are open. For sure, they will do the job, or more accurately, they will do part of the job. They don’t universally clean the slats, and they can cause your real wood blinds to get all askew. The end result is that you will have to do them over with one of the recommended methods above.

4. Never Use Water

Wood blinds are sealed and treated in order to protect the natural materials, but never use water to clean them. This can cause bubbling, sagging, bowing, and other deformities. A clean, dry cloth is really all you need.

5. Use a Dryer Sheet

One easy way to get dust off of your wood blinds is to use a dryer sheet. The dirt and dust will attach itself to the sheet and it will help keep dust off going forward.

To learn more about how to clean your wood blinds, please watch this short and informative how-to video:


From the CEO – Our 3-Part Promise


Hi, I’m Al Silverberg, the CEO of Select Blinds. I’m actually one of the owners, too. Rick Steele, the founder of the company, and I are partners in the business, and we want to share some of the things that we view as important. We can really boil it down to three main thoughts, our 3-part promise.

1 – The Experience


This is everything about your visit to our site. Shopping for window coverings isn’t an everyday occurrence, but even so, we believe that buying window blinds from Select Blinds should be easy, helpful, and enjoyable. We make it easy by providing information in the right places. For example: information on how to measure for your blinds or shades and how to install them can all be found where you’d expect them to be. If you’re on a product page, there is a tab for measure and install that provides generic information for blinds, and then there is the specific instructions for the exact product that you are considering for your home.

From any page, you can access this information from the drop down menu at the top, called “How To”.


We are helpful by doing more than just publishing this information. We provide videos as well, but sometimes you just want to confirm that what you are doing is the right thing. We can help you. Using our contact manager will send us your question via email, so we can then respond to you directly. We also have live chat available, and we have our own Phoenix-based customer care team, available to you during extended hours. After all, we know that this is something that most people prefer to do from their home and not their place of work. Enjoyable is a relative term. We know that this is not necessarily the most fun thing you can spend your valuable time on, but we do our best to think about our site in the same manner in which you do. We respect your time, and hope that it comes across in our way of doing business.

2 – The Assortment


Each window is unique. Not in the makeup of the glass and frame, but in the role it plays in your home. And being unique requires that the window covering is the perfect fit for its unique role. That’s why we have more than one-hundred products. Our assortment is broad enough to cover any requirement. There are sites with more and sites with fewer options, but not a single other site offers more of the right assortment. By January of 2017, we will be offering only products that are cord-free. This is for aesthetic and safety reasons. Aesthetically, who wants cords dangling on the window sill or pooling on the floor? Nobody! And safety, because there are no cords for small children or pets to get tangled up in.

3 – The Price

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Fair. That’s right, fair. Our products are of the highest quality, configured with upgrades and offered with options, and at better pricing than most. You might find cheaper, but you won’t find a better value.

Once again, I’m the CEO. Don’t just take my word for it. Do your research. You’ll find that nearly a quarter of a million customers have independently reviewed our experience, assortment, and price. And they back me up. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

High Price Does Not Mean High Quality – A Personal Experience from CEO, Al Silverberg

I’m the CEO of SelectBlinds, and a do-it-yourselfer on almost every home improvement project that I can get away with. My wife and I moved into our current house about one year ago. The house was built in 1980, and was in really good condition, but as far as we were concerned, there were quite a few things that we wanted to upgrade, including the window coverings. As I mentioned already, I am the CEO of SelectBlinds, so access to the latest and greatest was not a problem.

We covered all of the windows that needed to be covered, meaning the bedrooms, and the front facing windows. The beautiful view of the backyard was a big selling point, so we left the rear facing floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors bare, just like the people from whom we bought the house did.

We hung battery-powered motorized cell shades in the bedroom. I measured and installed them myself, and I have to admit, it was a fairly easy process, and when I was done, I had a feeling of accomplishment. The other windows were covered with roller shades, roman shades, and non-motorized, cordless honeycomb shades.



The price was not a big concern, but I was aware of the price, and was also aware of the fact that the shades were fairly priced, and they are all excellent quality products. I ordered them through our web site, just like any customer, and all of the blinds and shades that I ordered were delivered promptly, and without damage or issues. Overall a really positive experience. Go, SelectBlinds!

Fast forward to the present, which is mid-December, 2014. We live in Phoenix, and you might have heard that it gets a little warm in the summer. Those rear facing windows point to the north, so there is no direct sunlight on them, but, man, you can really feel the heat. So we decided that we were going to put solar shades on the windows and doors, and we were going to have them motorized. Battery powered is ok, but after using the ones in our bedroom for a year, and having to replace batteries in some of them, I decided that we were going to have these shades motorized, hard wired. I also decided that I was going to take this opportunity to experience a full-service design center, and have a “professional” take care of everything.

October 15th was the date of our first meeting with a Hunter Douglas full-service window coverings design center/dealer. The meeting went well. They brought out sample books of the types of products that we were considering, but surprisingly to me, the swatches were not even as good as the ones that we send out for free to any visitor to our site. Our swatches are bigger, and they are made in a way that it is easy to hold them up to your window to get a real good feel as to how they will look on your windows.

We had the dealer measure the windows, and knowing that I am “in the industry”, he was kind enough to work with the manufacturer, Hunter Douglas, in order to get me a discounted price. So there was a little delay in getting to the point where we said “GO”.  The exact date was 10/31, and they confirmed the order on Nov 1st. I’ll skip the details, but December 16th they finally installed our shades.

Am I happy? I’m always happy! I don’t feel good about the in-home, Hunter Douglas design center dealer experience though. I spent a ton of money, got the shades in an unacceptable amount of time, and the results, well, I’ll let you decide.



Moral of this story? You don’t have to pay more for perceived quality. Just because something costs more doesn’t mean its quality will match its price.

Brand Name Window Blinds for your Home

Window coverings are purchased less often than a new car. When buying a new car you normally start with the brand. If you want a new Cadillac, you don’t go to a Chevrolet dealer. We all have some perception of what each car brand stands for. Window coverings have brands as well. But really, who knows what each brand stands for. I’m a 34-year-old man and I shopped for window coverings for the first time in my life just last week. What an eye-opening experience.

Brand Name Window Coverings

I’m not as savvy as a teenager when it comes to computers, but I know how to shop online. So to the home office went I, in search of the right window coverings for my new house. I found certain brands that I was familiar with like Levolor, but discovered that just like cars, these window blinds brands do not address all types of window coverings.

I cruised through several sites that sold national brands as well as their own brand. In most cases, their own brand was just a generic version with less features than the national brands that they also carried. All in all, those sites confused me more than anything.

I did visit one site,, that carried only their own brand. At first I hesitated to dig deeply into their offerings because I never heard of SelectBlinds. There were a couple things about their website that brought me back a second time and then a third. First of all, they claim to be the most reviewed, highest rated brand on the Internet. Do a Google search for window blinds or window shades and you’ll see that the claim is true. They have more reviews than all of their competitors combined. So just for kicks I started putting together an order. Much to my surprise, they fulfilled every window covering need that I had.


Real Basswood wood blinds went into my home office. A faux wood blind covered a window in my garage. Honeycomb shades in a blackout fabric went into my bedroom. I’m a single guy now, but I was married, and have a little girl. So obviously I have a bedroom for her, and I found a Disney window shade for her room. Every single window covering that I ordered was comparable or better than any national brand, including Hunter Douglas, that I could find on any other site.

I was still not sure that I was going to buy from SelectBlinds, and had a couple questions regarding inside mount versus outside mount. So I called their customer care department. They answered the phone, they were courteous, they knew their stuff, and helped with the last couple of issues I was unclear on.

Buying blinds is not a fast endeavor. I had spent approximately 2 hours measuring, ordering, on the phone with customer service, and creating an account. So I figured what the heck, put in my Amex number, and placed my order.

All of the blinds showed up within two or three days of each other, and I hung them myself. All in all it was a really satisfying experience. In my opinion is the number one brand of window coverings on the Internet. Come to my house and you’ll see why.

Which Window Covering Is Right For You?

Window coverings are really anything that covers your window. Most people think of window blinds or shades, plantation shutters, or even drapes. But the fact of the matter is that even an old sheet hanging over your window, is a window covering. I’m not advocating the use of old sheets to cover your windows; I’m just saying that your idea of what should be covering your window is not necessarily the only option.

Solar Shades vs. Wood Blinds

I recently changed the window coverings in my home office. Recently being this past weekend. I can save you reading the rest of this by telling you the end result. My wife was right. But you already knew that. The interesting thing about it is the details. My home office is a nice size room, and two of the walls face outside, and include 4 French doors each. And actually, two of the French doors are faux French doors. I had hung motorized lift solar shades on the windows. They had a handy remote, with which I used to raise them and lower them. The shades were beautiful, and although the privacy factor was less than 100%, they blocked harmful UV rays, and there was the “cool” factor. I mean any time anyone was over, I found the need to raise or lower the shades, and always got the desired response of “wow”.

So my really cool solar roller shades, due to the motorization, had some issues. Although these issues were not a deal killer for me, my wife pointed out the deficiencies in their operation. These shades never seemed to go up or down at the same speed. These window shades were battery operated, and it seemed like there was always one or two shades, out of the eight, that had to have the batteries replaced, which is no easy feat. Oh, and on two of the roller shades, I couldn’t get the battery case to fit behind the head rail, leaving the battery case exposed.

My thinking had been that the solar roller shades were the window covering that made the most sense for the room. Now that I have replaced them, I can easily see that my inclination towards window shades, specifically roller shades, and even more specifically solar shades, was not the best solution. So, I decided on the 1″ basswood, real wood blinds to cover the windows of my French doors, and faux French doors.

I love them! The solar shades provided limited privacy. The basswood blinds give total privacy. The solar shades blocked harmful UV rays, but only when they were in the lowered position. The 1” wood blinds have a tilt rod, and I can tilt against the rays of the sun, and still have the ability to clearly see out through the slats. The roller shades had motorization, which eliminates cords, and is really cool. The wood blinds, well, never mind. They do not have motorized lift, but they don’t have to be raised. Just tilt the slats where you want them. The wood blinds look amazing, and I have to admit that they actually enrich the look of the room.

Both the shades and the blinds are great window coverings, and they both can be found at, where you can find all of your window covering needs.

Ready your Home for the Holidays

Update your blinds for Christmas

Do you have holiday guests staying with you this season?

If so, you probably are freaking out a little bit about making sure that your house is going to look as good as possible. And unless you have just redecorated, you know that there is some room for improvement. Well time is running out, and the things that you can do to ready your home for company, shrinks with every passing hour.

Window coverings. What a great idea! Transform your home with new window blinds and window shades and accomplish more than just impressing your company, which you will surely do. New window coverings are a good idea for several reasons. Please allow me to share some thoughts.

Window shades give the entire room a feeling of transformation. The visual impact of going from a horizontal blind, whether a real wood bind, mini blind, or faux wood blind, to a fabric shade, such as a Roman shade or honeycomb shade, is impactful.

Window blinds and shades are easy to change out. Each window covering can be replaced in a matter of minutes, and unlike new wallpaper or paint, changing the window coverings requires no prep work. Either one, paint or wallpaper, will require so much more time to prep than the required brackets being changed in order to hang new shades. Plus new paint will smell up your house for a period of time.

The visually pleasing impact and the ease of installation are enough in the way of reasons to make a change to your window coverings, but there is more. Energy efficiency will likely be better than your current situation, making the new window covering idea even more appealing. If you already have a fabric window shade installed, the impact might be negligible, but if you are going from a horizontal blind to a fabric shade, there will be a positive difference.

It all sounds good, right? I know what you’re thinking . Thanks for the tip, but it must be too late to order window fashions for delivery by Christmas. For the most part, this is true, but at you can order with a guaranteed delivery by Christmas, or FREE!! So get those windows measured, jump on-line, and visit

Use Window Shades for Energy Efficiency

Double Cell Blackout Shades for Energy Efficiency

Window shades provide a certain level of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency, in the case of window shades, relates to two main benefits, which are summarized here, in the order of how they affect you.

Energy Efficient Window Shades

  1. Cover your window with an insulating window shade, and the first thing you will notice, when standing by the window, is that you are not feeling the weather outside. Honeycomb shades are good insulating window coverings, and the double cell honeycomb shades are better at insulating, than the single cell shades. The insulating benefit is realized in every season. The window shade, whether it’s a room darkening shade, or a blackout shade, will provide the insulating, energy efficiency, from both the heat and the cold.
  2. The second noticeable benefit of a window shade is true energy efficiency. To varying degrees, depending on the construction of the shade, your energy costs will be less than if you did not have a window shade covering that window. This is true even if your window is covered with a real wood blind. Window blinds are great, and I have several in my home, but a real basswood wood blind will be trumped in the insulation factor, by a cellular shade, every time.

Window shades offer benefits beyond energy efficiency, including privacy and light control. And for the record, a window blind is not the same thing as a window shade. Both are window coverings, but a shade is made of a fabric material, and a blind is made of a more solid material, like wood or faux wood, or even aluminum. Another characteristic of a window blind is that it will have slats. Horizontal blinds have horizontal slats, and vertical blinds have, well you know, vertical slats.

Winter is fast approaching, so if there are drafty areas in your home, that are originating at a window, now is a good time to consider changing your window covering for an energy efficient, insulating window shade.

Genie in a Bottle Themed Home Redesign Project

We finally updated our family room furniture. We have been in this house for nearly 3 years, and we had old furniture to begin with, so it was time, even though as the man of the house I could have probably been okay with the old stuff for the rest of my life.


I’ll admit that we did use a designer to help us, and they were great. The couch and chair are custom made, which this is the first time I’ve ever done that, and it was worth it. The theme, chosen by my wife, is Genie in a Bottle! Everything tied in with the Roman Shades and Cornices that we bought from when we moved in.


My chair! I actually got to do a “Sit Test” on it before it was completed, to make sure the cushion was right for my cushion. And I love that rug, which we initially had some doubts about. Thank you


When we go out for dinner, I like to sit at a high top, or at the bar, so we put one in the house. This is where we eat, not at the dining room table.