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Cleaning window shades

Last month I talked about cleaning blinds. What about shades? Shades are a bit trickier because there are so many different fabrics or materials used. What works for one type of shade fabric may damage another.

Joan Miller

Some honeycomb shades may actually be immersed in water to clean, however, proceed with caution! Depending on the type of fabric and/or lifting system or bottom rail, you may NOT immerse as it will potentially damage the fabric or inner workings of said systems. If immersion is not an option, you may be able to spot clean with water and mild detergent. If your shades are deeply soiled, then consider a professional to do an ultrasonic cleaning. There are a few companies around the Atlanta area that specialize in this method and it is generally done onsite.

For other than honeycomb shades, it is best to refer to the manufacturer for their recommendations. If you cannot find a manufacturer’s name and you don’t have the original sales receipt, it may be best to call a professional unless you’re willing to risk harming the shade.

Some very basic immersion instructions from

1. Immerse entire shade assembly in lukewarm water with mild detergent. Wash for five minutes by gently moving liquid around with your fingers.
2. Rinse with clear water.
3. Close shade before removing from rinse water.
4. Hold rails and tilt the shade to allow excess water to drain off.
5. Re-install damp shade into the window opening.
6. Lower shade all the way to let it dry completely.

For more in-depth information you can visit these websites. Hunter Douglas and Bali/Graber have product and fabric specific restrictions. If in doubt, call the manufacturer directly. The name brand, if there is, one can be found on the bottom side of the bottom-rail that sits on your window sill.

For more information or a free in-home or office consultation, call Joan at (404)918-5288 or visit