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19 January 2024

How to Clean Window Shutters?

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How to Clean Window Shutters?

Window shutters not only enhance the beauty of your home but also serve practical purposes like controlling light, privacy, and insulation. Unlike blackout curtains and traditional blinds, regular thorough cleaning is essential to ensure they continue to look their best and function properly. In this guide, we will explore the importance of maintaining clean window shutters and the benefits of regular cleaning, and we will provide a brief overview of the cleaning process.

Importance of maintaining clean window shutters

Maintaining clean shutter blinds is of utmost importance for several reasons. Clean shutters enhance the overall appearance of your home, adding to its aesthetics and creating a welcoming environment. Regular cleaning contributes to the pleasing visual and longevity of the shutters by preventing the buildup of dust, dirt, and grime that can lead to deterioration or damage. 

Clean shutters also operate more smoothly, allowing for easy adjustment of the slats or louvres. Moreover, keeping the shutters clean helps improve indoor air quality by removing allergens and reducing the risk of respiratory issues. 

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Step One

Preparing for the Cleaning Process

Before diving into the cleaning process of your window shutters, it's essential to make the necessary preparations to ensure a smooth and efficient cleaning experience. Let's go over the essential steps to prepare for the cleaning process:

Gathering necessary cleaning supplies

  • Soft cloth or duster: Use a soft cloth or duster to remove loose dust and debris from the shutters.
  • Mild soap or detergent: Prepare a mild soap or detergent solution for deeper cleaning. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the shutters.
  • Water: Ensure access to clean water for rinsing the shutters during cleaning.
  • Sponge or microfiber cloth: Utilise a sponge or microfiber cloth for scrubbing and wiping down the shutters.
  • Bucket or container: Have a bucket or container available to mix the soap or detergent solution.
  • Soft-bristle brush: A soft-bristle brush can be helpful for hard-to-reach areas or stubborn stains.
  • Clean, dry cloth: Prepare a dry cloth for drying the shutters after cleaning.
  • Optional: Wood conditioner or polish, vinegar (for wood shutters), or any specific cleaning products recommended for your shutter material.

Ensuring safety measures are in place:

  • Wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, if necessary.
  • If you're working on a tall height shutter, use a sturdy step ladder or platform to reach higher areas safely.
  • Take precautions to avoid accidents, such as securing the ladder properly and having someone nearby in emergencies.

Tips for removing dust and debris before cleaning

  • Start by closing the shutters and securing them in place.
  • Use a soft cloth or duster to gently wipe away loose dust and debris from the surface of the shutters.
  • Pay attention to hard-to-reach areas, corners, and crevices where dust may accumulate.
  • For more stubborn dust or debris, consider using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a compressed air canister to blow away the particles.

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Step Two

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process:

a) Dusting the Shutters:

Regularly removing loose dust from your window shutters is essential to maintain their cleanliness and prevent the buildup of dirt and allergens. Here are some steps to effectively remove loose dust:

  1. Choose a soft cloth or duster: Opt for a soft or duster specifically designed for dusting. Avoid using abrasive materials that could scratch or damage the surface of your shutters.
  2. Gently wipe the shutters: Start from the top, work your way down, and gently wipe the shutters with a soft cloth or duster. Use smooth, sweeping motions to capture and remove the dust effectively.
  3. Pay attention to both sides: Remember to clean the shutters' front and back surfaces. Dust can accumulate on both sides, especially if your shutters are openable or have slats.
  4. Shake out or wash the cloth or duster: The fabric or duster may collect dust as you clean. Periodically shake it out outside or follow the manufacturer's instructions for washing to ensure it remains effective for future use.

While dusting your shutters' visible surfaces is essential, paying attention to the hard-to-reach areas and crevices is equally crucial. Here's how you can effectively clean these areas:

  • Use a small brush or a cotton swab: To access narrow crevices or tight corners, use a small brush or a cotton swab. 
  • Be gentle: When cleaning hard-to-reach areas, be gentle to avoid any damage. Use light pressure and small, controlled movements to remove the dust without causing any harm.
  • Consider a vacuum cleaner attachment: If you have a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, you can utilise it to suck up dust from hard-to-reach areas. 

B) Cleaning with Mild Soap and Water:

Cleaning your window shutters with mild soap and water can effectively remove dirt, grime, and stains. Follow these steps to clean your shutters using this method:

  1. Prepare a solution: Fill a bucket or basin with warm water. Add a small amount of mild soap, such as dish soap or a gentle household cleaner. Mix the solution until the soap is dissolved.
  2. Wet the sponge or cloth: Dip a sponge or microfiber cloth into the soapy water, ensuring it is thoroughly saturated but not dripping wet.
  3. Gently scrub the shutters: Starting from the top, use a sponge or cloth to scrub the surface of the shutters gently. Pay attention to any areas with visible dirt, stains, or grime. Work in small sections, moving horizontally or vertically, depending on the orientation of your shutters. Avoid exerting excessive pressure to prevent damage.
  4. Rinse the sponge or cloth: As you clean, rinse the sponge or cloth frequently in the soapy water to remove dirt and debris. This will help maintain the effectiveness of the cleaning solution.
  5. Wipe away soap residue: Dampen a clean cloth with plain water after scrubbing. Use it to wipe away any soap residue left on the shutters. Ensure that you wring the cloth properly to avoid excess water dripping onto the shutters.
  6. Dry the shutters: Once you have removed the soap residue, use a dry, lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth to dry the shutters gently. This will help prevent streaks or water spots from forming.

C) Dealing with Stubborn Stains or Grease:

Before cleaning, carefully inspect your shutters to identify any areas with stubborn stains or grease marks. These can include food splatters, ink stains, or grease buildup.

  • Take note of the material and finish of your shutters, as different cleaning methods and products may be required for specific types of stains or grease.
Utilise appropriate cleaning techniques and products:
  • For non-greasy stains: If the stain is non-greasy, you can try using a mild detergent mixed with warm water. Gently scrub the stained area using a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they may damage the shutters.
  • For greasy stains: Grease marks can be more challenging to remove. Start by dabbing the stain with a paper towel or cloth to absorb as much grease as possible. Next, use a mild dish soap or a specialised grease-cutting cleaner diluted in warm water. Apply the solution to the stained area and gently scrub with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.
Cautionary tips to avoid damaging the shutters:
  • Test cleaning products: Always test any cleaning product or solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the shutters before using it on the entire surface. This will help ensure that the product does not cause discolouration or damage.
  • Avoid excessive scrubbing: While it may be tempting to vigorously scrub at stubborn stains, be gentle with your shutters to avoid scratching or damaging the surface. Use a soft cloth or brush and apply gentle pressure.
  • Follow manufacturer's guidelines: If your shutters have specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer, follow them closely to avoid any potential damage. Different materials may require different cleaning methods and products.

D) Drying:

  • Allow the shutters to air dry, or use a soft, absorbent cloth. Once you have finished cleaning the shutters, they will air dry naturally. This method is suitable for most types of shutters.
  • If you prefer to speed up the drying process, use a soft, absorbent cloth to wipe away any excess moisture gently. Ensure the fabric is clean to avoid transferring dirt or residue onto the shutters.

E) Polishing:

  • If you want to enhance the appearance of your shutters further, you can polish them after they have dried. However, it's important to note that not all shutters require polishing, especially if they have a specific finish or coating. Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for your particular shutter material.
  • For wood shutters, consider using a suitable wood conditioner or polish recommended for your type of wood. Apply the polish to the product instructions using a soft cloth or applicator.
  • Vinyl, aluminium, faux wood, and composite shutters usually do not require polishing. Simply ensuring they are clean and dry will maintain their desired appearance.

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Different cleaning tips for other shutters

There are various types and materials to consider when it comes to window shutters. From Plantation shutters to real wood shutters, each type comes with it's own chosen material - and each material requires specific cleaning methods to ensure they remain in optimal condition. Let's explore the different kinds of window shutters, their materials, and their specific cleaning requirements.

Wood Shutters:

  • Cleaning requirements:
    • Dust regularly with a soft cloth or duster.
    • Use a mild wood cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar for deeper cleaning.
    • Avoid excessive moisture to prevent warping or damage to the wood.
    • Apply a wood conditioner or polish occasionally to maintain the natural beauty of the wood.

Vinyl Shutters:

  • Cleaning requirements:
    • Wipe down with a soft cloth or sponge dampened with mild soap and water.
    • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth.
    • Avoid abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface of the vinyl.
    • Inspect the shutters for any cracks or damage and repair as necessary.

Faux Wood Shutters:

  • Cleaning requirements:
    • Dust regularly with a soft cloth or duster.
    • Use a mild soap and water solution for deeper cleaning.
    • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth.
    • Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the faux wood finish.

Aluminum Shutters:

  • Cleaning requirements:
    • Remove dust and debris with a soft brush or cloth.
    • Wipe down with a mild detergent solution and water.
    • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth.
    • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes that can scratch the surface.

Composite Shutters:

  • Cleaning requirements:
    • Dust regularly with a soft cloth or duster.
    • Wipe down with a mild detergent solution and water.
    • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth.
    • Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface.

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Additional Tips:

Here are some additional tips for preventing streaks or watermarks during the drying process of your window shutters: 

  1. Use a clean, lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth to dry the shutters: Using a fabric that is free from lint will help avoid leaving behind any fibers or particles on the surface of the shutters. Microfiber cloths are especially effective at absorbing moisture without streaking.
  2. Avoid using paper towels or abrasive materials: Paper towels can leave behind lint or disintegrate during use, resulting in streaks on the shutters. Additionally, abrasive materials such as rough cloths or scrub brushes can scratch the surface of the shutters, causing damage.
  3. Wipe the shutters dry in a gentle, circular motion: Instead of wiping back and forth in a straight line, using a soft, circular motion can help minimise streaking. This method distributes the moisture evenly across the surface and reduces the chances of leaving visible streaks behind.
  4. Pay extra attention to areas where water tends to pool or accumulate: Areas such as the bottom edges or corners of the shutters are more prone to water pooling. Thoroughly dry these areas to prevent watermarks or streaks from forming.
  5. Buff out streaks or watermarks using a clean, damp cloth: If you notice streaks or watermarks after the shutters have dried, you can use a clean, damp cloth to buff them out gently. Apply light pressure and continue buffing until the streaks or watermarks are no longer visible. Afterwards, dry the area again with a separate dry cloth to ensure it is completely dry.

Final things to remember

To maintain the cleanliness and beauty of your window shutters, it is important to implement a regular cleaning routine. Set aside dedicated time every few months to thoroughly clean your shutters, focusing on the surface and hard-to-reach areas. By incorporating this into your household maintenance schedule, you can stay on top of the cleaning process and prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris.

Here at British Made Shutters, we make made-to-measure shutters with the best materials for your home. From our large range - from café style to Tier-tier, we can make top quality new shutters for small, medium and large windows, doors and partition spaces. For a stylish way to help with opening windows and privacy control, or free samples to try from, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. 

Download our latest brochure and see how shutters could add another dimension to your home.