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:


Using Window Coverings as Closet Doors


Looking for an easy way to spice up any room? It can be as simple as thinking outside the box when it comes to your closet doors. Traditional closet doors are great, but you can change the entire look of your room by using window coverings instead. Using curtains, blinds, or shades as your closet doors can give your room a more elegant, sophisticated, and even modern look and feel. And some of the great things about using window coverings are that they’re versatile, stylish, and easy to use for all ages. Find your style muse in these examples:


With the right draping, curtains can look soft and elegant or bold and act as a statement piece. Curtains are great for closet doors because you can pull them open to showcase your organized closet or pull the closed to give the illusion of organization without the required effort.  Out of all your window covering options for closet doors, curtains give you the most design choices, including patterns, colors, textures, and fabrics.

Roman Shades

With roman shades, you get the look of curtains but with usefulness of traditional blinds and shades. You can raise them all the way to give a nice frame to the top of the closet or you could lower them halfway for more closet coverage. When you need to, you can let them down completely. Roman shades give you the ability to choose the look you want when you want. You can further customize your look by choosing from one of the four available folds: European, flat, hobbled, and classic.

Roller Shades

These are also easy to use, which makes them perfect for a child’s room. You can raise and lower according to your needs. It really is as easy as that. You can choose from different patterns and colors to make it fun, exciting, and lighthearted. You could even choose Disney roller shades to add a little oomph to your child’s room.

Woven Shades

Want a more natural feel with lots of texture? Woven shades are the answer. This will give a fun, modern, and rustic vibe, which is perfect for a contemporary home or even a teenager’s room. Make your closet and your space unique. Woven shades are the perfect way to do that. If you like the look of roman shades, but you want natural texture, woven shades actually raise and lower just like roman shades, so you can have the best of both worlds.

Paneled Vertical Blinds

Traditional vertical blinds are a great choice, but paneled vertical blinds are better suited to be used as closet doors. The panels are much wider than the traditional vanes, and it create a cohesive streamlined look.

Show your closet some love with new, modern closet doors. Closet doors don’t have to blend into the walls anymore. Make a statement that reflects your personality. And if you ever want a new look, simply swap them with something new. For double closet doors, you’ll need to use multiple shades on one headrail, but that’s easy to do.

How to Keep Cool This Summer

Summer is here! So now is the time to prepare to keep cool this summer. Control the heat before it amplifies to stay cool for the entire summer. The first thing to start with is the interior of your home. After that, move to the outside. You’ll eventually have a summer-ready home where you can keep cool and enjoy spending time with your loved ones. Here’s how to get started:

Cover Your Windows

A home with open, bright windows can make for a beautiful space. However, even with new windows, outside heat can come in, heating up your house and increasing your energy bills. But to get the best heat reduction, you can’t cover your windows with just anything. For optimal energy efficiency, choose cellular shades. If you still want that natural light during the summer, choose light filtering cell shades, and you’ll have the best of both worlds.

Keep Your Lights Off

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With light filtering shades, you can keep off your lights longer, helping to keep your home’s interior cool and comfortable. You may not realize it at first, but leaving your lights on during the day can really heat up your home. Plus, keeping your lights off as long as possible will also save you money each month on your utility costs.

Swap Out Your Bedding


Change out your heavier winter bedding with linens specifically made for warmer weather. Being the right temperature while you sleep will help you to feel cooler the rest of the day. If you’re overheated at night, you may feel as though you’re catching up to stay cool all day.

Use Outside Misting Systems

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Don’t let the summer heat keep you from enjoying time outside. Install misting systems around your porch, deck, or backyard sitting area. It will keep you cool and you don’t have to hide from the heat inside your house.


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Cook outside as much as you can during the summer. Using your oven and stove will heat up your house, and it might be difficult to cool it back down right away. Instead, keep the heat outside where it belongs.

What’s your favorite way to stay cool in the summer?


Charlene Jimenez

Surprising Back-to-College Necessities


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Your dorm or college apartment may supply basic bedding, but don’t take any chances. Bring your own bedding. Not only can it give you peace of mind, but it’s a great way to add color, personality, and style to your personal space. Quick Tip – Bring at least two sets of sheets. This will keep your bedding clean, even when your laundry is backing up.


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Bring your own towels. Again, even if your dorm provides towels, it’s probably best to use your own. However, the provided towels are great for an emergency. Choose bright, fun colors and patterns or go with a classic white so you can bleach them and keep them looking fresh and new.

Window Shades

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You probably won’t be allowed to drill in the required mounts for window blinds or shades. But you don’t have to! Use Redi Shades instead. Just use the adhesive to attach them to the top of the window frame or on the outside of the window frame and that’s all it takes! These are perfect for college life because they’re cheap, easy to use, and they come in blackout, which means you can sleep whenever you want without light bothering you.

Hanging Organizers

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In a dorm, chances are you won’t have much floor space. That will be taken up by beds, dressers, and desks. Instead, opt for hanging organizers. Why not use that vertical space instead of wasting it? You’ll be surprised how much you can store with hanging organizers.

Now you’re ready to head off to college with all those other essentials, like shower shoes and your laptop. What’s your must-have for college this semester?


Charlene Jimenez

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.

Say Hello to Fall with Window Insulation and Warmer Bedding

Fall is finally here! It may not feel like it in some places, but in other places, autumn is in full force. Leaves are changing colors, and soon they’ll be scattered on the ground. The air is getting cooler and the daylight hours are getting shorter. So now’s the time to prepare your home for that beautiful fall weather, which will inevitably turn to the harsh chill of winter.

Better Insulation


Because the fall season brings with it colder temperatures, you’ll want to make sure you have the best insulation possible. This will save you money by reducing your energy usage. One of the easiest ways to better insulate your home is to focus on your windows. By simply adding the right window coverings, you’ll save money, energy usage, and still have a beautifully stylish home.

Honeycomb shades, also called cellular shades, provide the best insulation. Their honeycomb construction gives your window shades even more layers, all while trapping the cold weather in the little cells. For even more insulation, choose double cell honeycomb shades.

Don’t like the look of cellular shades? You can still get great insulation benefits with other types of window shades, including roman shades and solar shades.

Light Filtering


Fall is beautiful, but it just doesn’t offer the same warm natural light that summer did. While you may have wanted to block out the sun and the heat in the summer, blocking out light in the fall will only leave your home cold and dark.

Choosing a light filtering window shade will give your home that soft, warm glow that’s perfect for this time of year.  With the decreasing amount of sunlight for the next few months, it’s important to use the sunlight you do have with light filtering window shades.

Warmer Bedding

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If you haven’t yet, now’s the time to change out your bedding. Depending on where you live, you may need even warmer bedding than other places. Start with warm sheets. Then you can add blankets, throws, down comforters and duvet inserts. Make your bed as cozy as possible, and you’ll have a happy and warm fall while you appreciate the chill in the air, tucked away in your bed.

One of the best, and most fun, benefits of saying hello to fall is that you can choose fall color palettes for everything from your window coverings to your bedding. Isn’t it time you prepared your home for fall?

How to Clean Your Window Shades


We’ve already discussed cleaning your window blinds, so now it’s time to tackle cleaning your window shades. At first you may think you can use the same techniques as cleaning wood or faux wood blinds, but there are specific ways to clean specific types of shades, including honeycomb, solar, and even bamboo shades. Using the incorrect cleaning method can actually damage your shades, so here’s what you need to know:

Honeycomb/Cellular Shades


Regular cleaning of your cellular shades is important. Without it, they can develop a yellowish tint. Regularly vacuum the shades with the brush attachment. Make sure to be gentle and not tug on the shades. You want to keep the honeycombs looking nice. You can also dust the shades to keep the dust from accumulating. If you see that dust has gotten into the middle of the cells, use a blow dryer to get it out. But only use it on the softest, lowest air flow and only use cool air, never warm or hot. The most important thing to remember is be gentle.


Solar Shades

Many of the solar shades we offer here at Select Blinds are resistant to both mold and moisture. So that means you can use a damp cloth to clean them, both the front and the back, and you won’t have any problems. You can also use a feather duster or a brush attachment on your vacuum, but a damp cloth will be your best, most effective bet for solar shades.


Bamboo Shades

No water should be used on bamboo or woven shades at all. This will cause ample irreversible damage. Instead, limit yourself to a light dusting or very light vacuuming with the brush attachment. Too much pressure or moisture on the bamboo shades can break the natural fibers apart, eventually causing droops and gaps.

Roman Shades

Because roman shades are made of fabric, it’s generally OK to spot clean using a damp rag and gentle detergent or soap. However, be mindful of the type of fabric of your roman shades, like those made of silk or other delicate materials. You can also use a duster and the brush vacuum attachment for a light cleaning.

Keeping your window shades clean and looking fresh is easy. With the right cleaning technique, you’ll be able to maintain that new look you had when you first installed them. It will also prolong the life of your shades, so you’ll get the most use for your money, all while keeping your shades looking great!

How to Clean Your Blinds

Remember when you first installed your blinds and they looked fabulous and clean? Unfortunately, it doesn’t take too long for blinds to collect dust. But cleaning your blinds can be a pain, especially if you’re not sure you’re using the proper cleaning method. After all, blinds are made from a variety of materials and each requires a unique way of cleaning. But it doesn’t have to be a pain any longer. Here’s what you need to know:

Wood Blinds

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Even though wood blinds have been treated and sealed, using water on them is still not a good idea. Avoid cleaning wood blinds with water or even a spray cleaner. All your wood blinds need is a little dusting. Use a feather duster, dusting mitt, or a clean rag. Simply run the rag or duster across each slat, starting from the lowest slat to the highest. This will help you avoid pushing the dust onto the already-cleaned slats below.

If you want to take it one step further, you can always clean your wood blinds with a vacuum with a brush attachment. This will give you a deeper clean and it won’t leave the dust you’ve pushed off the blinds on the floor or windowsill.

Faux Wood Blinds

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Faux wood is more durable than real wood when it comes to using water. With faux wood blinds, you can use a warm, damp cloth to clean the individual slats. If you’d like to add a miniscule amount of soap or detergent to the mixture, you can do that, too. But never use an abrasive sponge or cleaning tool. This can scratch the faux wood and cause damage, eventually letting the water into the core of the slats.

Just as with wood blinds, you can also use your vacuum’s brush attachment to clean your faux wood blinds. Take it one slat at a time and you’ll be done in no time.

Aluminum Mini Blinds


These are some of the most durable blinds out there and they’re some of the easiest to clean. You can use both warm and cold water to clean them, and feel free to use soap. Because of the smooth finish of aluminum mini blinds, the dust should wipe off easily. However, if you need more cleaning power, you can take the aluminum blinds off the headrail and soak them in the bathtub. This is a sure-fire way to get your mini blinds sparkling again. However, as you’re cleaning, try not to bend the slats. You’ll want to avoid causing any damage to the blinds as you’re cleaning them, no matter how minor it may seem at the time.


Fabric Blinds


Because fabric blinds aren’t as firm as aluminum or even faux wood or wood blinds, they can be a little difficult to clean. First, try to clean them with the brush attachment on your vacuum. This may be all you need to get them clean. However, if that doesn’t work as well as you had hoped, you can always take them to the dry cleaners. You won’t need to do this every time you clean your fabric or cloth vertical blinds, but it’s nice to know it’s always an option.


Cleaning your blinds doesn’t have to be a hassle. With the right knowledge and tools, you can tackle an average cleaning day or more in-depth spring cleaning.

What are some of the best ways that you’ve found to clean your blinds?