Mini Blinds Tips

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Cleaning Tips for Mini Blinds

Mini blinds are attractive and convenient to use. The only disadvantage is that they are not easy to clean. Cleaning tips for mini blinds begin with delicate handling instead of strength.

  1. Vacuum the blinds while they are hanging on the window. This helps to remove excess dust. Use a micro material that collects dust if you don't want to vacuum them.
  2. Take the blinds down from the window and put them outside or in a bathroom for a washing.
  3. Use a liquid washing compound, hose, clothesline, bucket and sponge. A good solution for a gallon of water is one part water, one part ammonia. Test the cleanser on a section of the blinds so you know it won't harm the finish.
  4. Gently apply the mixture and allow to stand for five minutes. Hose them off and wipe with a soft cloth. Hand them on the clothesline to dry.
  5. After re-hanging the blinds, wipe them with an anti-static dryer sheet to prevent dust building up.
  6. If the blinds are heavily caked with greasy material from hanging in a kitchen, consider steaming them. Vinyl blinds may warp or melt so make sure your blinds can stand-up to the heat.
  7. If the blinds are wood, washing is not recommended. The wood may warp or discolor the slats.
Proper care and cleaning of your mini blinds will ensure they look beautiful for many years.


How To Shorten Mini Blinds

Window blinds come in various lengths from the manufacturer. It will probably be necessary to shorten mini blinds or any other blinds, especially if your windows are small. When there is too much blind at the bottom of the window, it is unattractive and takes away from the goal of having a smooth, sophisticated look.

  1. Remove the plugs at the bottom of the blind. This releases the string ladders and shows the knotted lift cord. Undo the knot so the correct amount of slats can be released.
  2. Remove the bottomrail and slats per the determined length.
  3. Re-insert the bottomrail onto the last ladder rung.
  4. Cut the string ladder and only leave enough to put the strings back into the holes at the bottom.
  5. Insert the lift cord through the bottom rail and tie a knot. The knots must be the same length or the blinds will not hang level.
  6. Replace the bottomrail and insert the plugs.
After the blinds have been shortened and the string ladders cut, it will be too late to lengthen them later. It is up to you to determine how long you want the blinds or how many extra slats, if any, to leave at the bottom. You can shorten the blinds anytime, but if you do it right after installation, you can walk away from the project with satisfaction and a beautiful new look for your window.


Designers Feature Window Blinds

Projects such as installing window blinds or shades throughout a house are a major investment, both for re-sale value and emotional satisfaction. Different types of window blinds convey different personalities, so you might think about using old-fashioned and comfortable drapes in a bedroom; efficient mini-blinds in a kitchen, warm wood mini blinds in an office or study and inviting vertical blinds over a sliding patio door.

Blinds can be mounted either inside or outside of your window frame. An inside frame makes for a cleaner look because the blinds will be flush against the wall and seals the opening for better insulating properties. An outside mounted blind or shade sticks out from the wall. Some window frames are too narrow to allow an inside mount, so make sure you have enough space for them.

Blinds come with a wide variety of special features. Remote control is a popular option. Most shades are opened by pulling on a string. Remote controls take all the manual work out of opening and closing windows by adding a motor to the blind. An extension bracket is a mounting that extends a blind past the frame of a window. You usually find this on outside mounts for vertical blinds. Hold down clips are a nice little feature that are usually available on all blinds to keep them from flying around and often used for doors. Two blinds on one head rail are often used with multiple windows that have more than one window sitting side-by-side. Designers created this two blind feature so that the individual blinds that are covering each window have a common valance. The window treatment looks like a single unit.


Safe Vinyl Mini Blinds

When it comes to blinds, faux wood is another name for vinyl mini blinds. Real wood is popular, yet quite expensive. When you want the look and style of real wood for your window treatments, try vinyl blinds. Vinyl blinds are made of high quality polyvinyl that is extremely durable, easy to clean and resists warping. Vinyl blinds are heat and moisture resistant making them perfect for any climate from Arizona or Alaska. Bathrooms, kitchens, sunrooms, and poolrooms have humidity and heat. Basements are often quite damp and vinyl is the ideal material for window treatments. Fabric draperies or curtains can mold from dampness and fade or become destroyed from the sun. All of these problems are alleviated with vinyl blinds. Choose from natural wood finishes or a selection of whites and alabaster. Your guests will swear the blinds are real wood. If you still want the softness of a decorator fabric detail, add a valance to the top of the blinds.

After testing and analyzing imported vinyl mini blinds, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that some of these blinds can present a lead poisoning hazard for young children. Twenty-five million non-glossy, vinyl mini blinds that have lead added to stabilize the plastic in the blinds are imported each year from China, Taiwan, Mexico, and Indonesia. When shopping for blinds, purchase only vinyl material made in the USA so you know what you are buying is safe for your family.


Choosing Aluminum Mini Blinds

Most blinds come with a rod that twists instead of cords that pull. This is a clean look and much safer for children. Aluminum blinds, also known as mini, micro or macro blinds are the most typical horizontal blinds on the market. The aluminum material makes these blinds a cost-effective alternative to other expensive window treatments. They are usually sold in ½” to 2” sizes; however, you can obtain custom blinds made of aluminum as well. The ½” size is perfect for shallow depth windows and doors. Scratch resistant slats keep them looking like new for years. Expensive products are not needed to maintain aluminum; just one metal cleaner is enough to keep bright your aluminum blinds.


Installing Mini Blinds

If you are in the process of redecorating your home, you may have had professional interior decorating advice for picking out window treatments, carpet colors, furniture and more. If you have chosen window blinds, you do not need professionals to hang them. Installing window blinds is rather easy with the right tools, preparation and manufacturer's instructions.

Start with gathering tools such as a drill and bits, tape measure, pencil and screwdrivers. Remove your old blinds and hold your new ones up to the window. Go through the packaging to see if all of the hardware is present for each blind – most blinds include mounting brackets, screws, and faceplates. Some also include hold down brackets. Determine the surface the where you are drilling. If metal, pre-drill holds with special screws. If concrete, stone, wallboard or plaster, use plugs, anchors or screws. If you have several blinds to install, use two drills to save time. Fit one of the drills with a screwdriver bit and the other with a drill bit so you do not have to switch them back and forth. Smear some bar soap on the screw threads to make them drive more easily.

Hold the blind to the window and make a pencil mark to be your drilling guide.

Mount the brackets on the inside or outside of the frames, depending on the style of blinds purchased. Be sure to have appropriate room for the head rail, ensuring it is level. After the brackets have been installed, the blind head rail can now be attached per the instructions that came with the blinds. Attach the hold down brackets if your blinds have them. The last step is to add the tilting pole to operate the blinds and you have just installed your new window blinds.

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Jolyn Wells-Moran