How to Clean Honeycomb (aka Cellular) Shades

Cellular window treatments can be cleaned infrequently, but this time of year, when the calls go out to your friends and relatives, “honeycomb home for the holidays,” it’s a good time to clean those cell shades along with everything else that you are cleaning in preparation for your house guests. Cellulars are the same thing as honeycombs, so please forgive me if I use both monikers throughout this post.

If you have cellulars in your home, there is a pretty good chance that you have never cleaned them. I’m not calling you an unfit homemaker. I’m just pointing out the fact that these window shades look great, and they look great over time. Honeycombs are made from a soft material, usually man-made, and they just seem to be anti-dirty.

At SelectBlinds.com, all of our fabrics, for which we have scoured the four corners of the planet to come up with the best possible offering, are put through rigorous testing to confirm that they are worthy to have the Select Blinds label affixed to them. That includes their native anti-static properties, as well as the optional Scotch Guard coating that we can treat your shades with before they leave our factory.

Even with all that we do, dust will eventually find an open spot on your honeycombs to roost upon. It might not be visible, but it is there, and it should occasionally be cleaned. Unlike hard window coverings, like real woods, aluminums, and faux woods, cellulars are made of a soft material that can be bent and/or crimped.

1. Feather Duster

Careful cleaning is the key to doing the job correctly. A feather duster will work just fine.

2. Brush Attachment

If you can control the pressure of the brush against the material, then the vacuum attachment brush is a viable option for cleaning them.

 3. Spot Clean

Be careful with anything containing moisture or water. Honeycombs of a certain minimum size will have more than one sheet of material, and they are glued together at a seam that you have likely never even noticed. That seam has a chance of parting if it gets wet. So please take care. To spot clean, add mild soap onto a slightly damp rag and dab at the spot. Do not rub the spot, as it could cause some damage to your honeycomb shades.

4. Use Blow Dryer on Cool Setting

Sometimes dust or even bugs end up inside the open cells. The best way to get them out is to use your blow dryer on a cool, low setting. Never use hot air because that can melt the glue that holds the shade together.

 

Winterize Your Home Decor & Stay Warm

Winter is here. And sometimes winter is harsh and unforgiving. Winter can leave your home cold and drafty,  every bit of warm air escaping as quickly as it can. But there are ways to keep your electric bills low and still have a comfortable, warm home. And the best part is that you have options. The first step is to cover your windows.

Use Drapery

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When you hear the word “drapery,” you might think of your grandmother’s house, but drapes have been modernized to include interesting and fashionable fabrics and patterns, making them a great, customized fit for every home. With drapes, you can:

  •  Keep the warmth in and block the cold out.
  •  Update your room instantly and create a whole new look with one simple change, with 100s of color, pattern, and fabric options.
  • Add liners for your needs, like blackout and privacy liners. This will add even more insulation to your windows.

Add Honeycomb or Solar Shades

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Honeycombs and solar shades provide added insulation for your windows, but using these shades doesn’t mean you have to spend your winter in darkness. With these shades, you can:

  • Maintain a comfortable home temperature and block out harmful UV rays.
  •  Choose a blackout shade option for added privacy and improved insulation.
  • Filter and diffuse the bright sunlight to create a warm, inviting glow with light filtering shades.
  • Reduce glare, making it perfect for viewing computer and television screens.

Combining both the shades and the drapes can give your home the barrier it needs from the cold.

Layer Bedding

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‘Tis the season for warmer bedding. Either swap out your bedding for warmer, cozier items, or learn to layer your bedding to keep the look you want while staying warm these next few months. If this still isn’t keeping you warm, it’s either time to upgrade your bedding or simply use more layers. Plus, adding bedding layers will give your room a chic look, so what’s to lose?

Add Rugs

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

If you don’t already have rugs or carpet on your floor, add a few rugs. If you already have rugs that are a bit thin, consider upgrading to thicker, fuller rugs just for the winter. Or you can even layer rugs to create a unique look with loads of winter-related benefits. Not only will it keep your feet warm this winter, but it can keep the warmth in your house, right where it belongs.

Winterizing your home decor is easy. All it takes is a few changes and updates, and you’re looking at a toasty and comfortable winter season inside your home.

How to Clean Shutters

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Shutters, also known as plantation shutters, are made from hard wood or wood-like materials.

Real Wood Shutters

1. Furniture Polish

Real wood shutters provide unparalleled beauty, and should be cleaned much in the same way as you would clean your wood furniture. Before you pull out the lemon pledge, take a close look. It’s important to know the material that makes up the visible parts of the window treatment. You might have real wood shutters, with real wood frames and louvers. If this is the case you can use the furniture polish on the entire window treatment but if it is not the case you need to use the furniture polish on only the real wood.

2.Dust Them

Sometimes cleaning shutters is as simple as dusting them. You can use a traditional feather duster or even just a clean dry cloth.

3. Dryer Sheet

You can actually run a dryer sheet over the louvers, and it will help prevent dust from sticking in the future. It’s a quick tip that can save you time down the road.

 

The other end of the spectrum is that your plantation window treatments could be made from faux wood.

Faux Wood Shutters

Faux wood shutters are like wood in appearance, and can even be made with the same kind of embossed irregularities and grain, but they are some kind of vinyl or plastic. This is no reason for concern or despair. Faux woods can add the same warmth and comfort as real wood, but they are more affordable, and can withstand extreme temperatures and temperature swings, including high humidity levels, better than real wood ones.

Real wood ones feel like real wood, and faux woods don’t! Check out the frame and the louvers. It is very possible that you have real wood frames with faux wood louvers for the insets.

1. Damp Cloth

Use a warm, damp cloth to clean your faux wood plantations. It’s that simple!

2. Vacuum Attachment

To get your faux wood plantations sparkling clean, use your vacuum’s brush attachment and gently slide it along the louvers.

3. Mild Detergent

If you need to spot clean your window treatments, use mild detergent and a slightly damp cloth. Make sure to wipe off the detergent when you’re finished.

How to Clean Vertical Blinds

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Vertical window treatments are great for doors, meaning that for the most part, they are bigger than most other types of window coverings. Verticals are also made out of a variety of materials, making a single cleaning solution unrealistic.

1. Dusting Cloth

Fabric verticals can be cleaned easily with a dusting cloth.

2. Vacuum Brush Attachment

They can also be cleaned with the extension brush of a vacuum cleaner. In addition to the care needed in cleaning the fabric slats, there are some basic fabric verticals that are fabric exposed on one side of the slat and are a plastic material on the other side of the slat.

If you are able to reach to the top of the vertical slat, then both options are available for you to try. If there is no way that you can reach the top, you will probably find it easier to use the vacuum extension with a brush. The other option is to get a step ladder or stool to stand on, giving you that extra bit of reach that you need to clean the top of the vertical.

3. Damp Rag

Verticals are made of a hard material, like faux wood or real wood, which can be cleaned as described above. Or, they can be cleaned with a damp rag or dusting cloth. Washing vertical blinds with a damp rag or cloth is also a viable option for cleaning the outside-facing side of a basic fabric vertical slat that is plastic.

Please note that verticals require a certain amount of attention is paid to the process. Verticals that are made for sliding doors are tall enough to cover the door, and there are a lot of slats hanging freely from the headrail, making them a bit of a challenge to keep in place while you run a cloth or vacuum up and down the slat. Not to worry, though. It takes some doing to knock them out of the headrail.

Click here to learn more about vertical blinds and their benefits.

How to Clean Mini Blinds

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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

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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

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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

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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:

Curtains

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

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

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

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

 

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.

Barbeque

 Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

 

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

Bedding

Photo Credit: Bedding.com

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.

Towels

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

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

Photo Credit: SelectBlinds.com

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

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

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