We all agree that plantation shutters are awesome. They can transform a room from blah to fabulous, not to mention the great protection they give from light and nosy neighbors . But despite all these super-powers, plantation shutters are NOT self cleaning, which leaves that job up to us. There seems to be a lot of drama surrounding the care and cleaning of shutters, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Just follow these simple tips, and you’ll be in the clear (and clean, too).
A cute and fuzzy lambswool or static duster works well for all types of shutters (real or faux wood). These dusters are soft, and won’t scratch any kind of finish. Just tilt the slats all the way closed, and dust using downward strokes (to knock all the dust onto the floor). Reverse the blinds, and do the same. You can use this same method using the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner – your choice (see, isn’t this fun?).
Wood Shutters: DON’T spray cleaning solution and/or water on wood shutters! The water can stain and warp the wood. If you do have some stubborn stains or dirt that dusting didn’t remove, spray a soft cloth with a wood-friendly cleaner (as little as possible), and wipe gently. If your wood shutters are unpainted, you can bring out the natural wood grain by spraying a soft cloth and non-wax wood polish, and giving the shutters an overall wipe-down (nothing sticky, or you’ll just lure more dust to your shutters).
Faux wood or vinyl shutters: Spray a cleaning solution on a soft cloth and wipe the shutter slats and frame (I recommend any of the multi-purpose concentrated “green” cleaners on the market). As with wood shutters, never spray directly on the shutters. Use a well-diluted solution sparingly to prevent smears and stickiness (which will just attract more dirt). Dry the surface thoroughly with a clean cloth. Don’t allow it to air dry, or you’ll get water marks.
TIP: A really effective tool to get dirt out of plantation shutters’ many crevices is an aerosol duster (the same can of compressed air you use to blow the donut crumbs out of your computer keyboard).
Now, maintain your cleanliness. Once you have your shutters sparkling, keep them clean by using your vacuum’s soft brush attachment to eliminate any dust, pollen and pet hair on a regular basis (or that cute lambswool duster works, too, but be sure to vacuum the dust off the floor, so it doesn’t end right back up on your shutters). It’s much easier to do a little weekly maintenance than have to tackle dirty, dirty shutters once a year!