We put so much time and effort into buying and installing the window treatments that really work well for our homes, that sometimes maintenance can fall by the wayside. Classic treatments, especially larger louvers like you find on plantation shutters, do require some TLC to keep them looking great and working well. As a quick reminder, consider these easy cleaning steps from our team at Colorado Shade and Shutter.
One of the great things about plantation shutters is that they come in all kinds of materials to fit your needs. You may have louvers made from composite, natural-grain hardwood, or finished with a variety of paint treatments. A good first step is to check with the manufacturer’s recommendation for cleaning. These steps will follow the same basic outline, but may differ at some steps depending on your finish. For general cleaning, the main goal regardless of material is going to be the removal of dust. There are a lot of different options available for this main goal. There is nothing wrong with a good old rag and general cleaning spray for this step, or you can also take advantage of specially-made blind cleaning brushes that are made to clean both the top and bottom of your shutter’s louvers. If reach is an issue, you may want to consider an extendable brush with an articulated head that can help you clean higher areas or hard to reach places. Another option is to use compressed air to remove dust, the same way you would with a computer keyboard. Some homeowners prefer not to go this route, as it can spread existing dust inside your home. For smaller areas or control features, a toothbrush or small paint brush is an underrated cleaning tool (just be sure to use a NEW one!). If you are cleaning a substance that has spilled on your shutters, rather than just removing dust, just be sure to use a cleaner that is recommended for the material and will not stain or discolor.
The material of your shutters is almost more important for the second step of general cleaning, the finishing. Hardwood shutters made of natural wood can essentially be treated the same way you would a hardwood floor. Polish designed for natural wood should be sprayed on after cleaning and wiped away, leaving a new varnish that looks great and will also help extend the life of your shutters. For painted shutters, you may consider using a different finishing polish made to preserve painted surfaces, which you can find at any hardware store. Don’t feel the need to go through this step every time you dust off your shutters, but once or twice a year is certainly recommended. Take a before-and-after picture of your plantation shutters after a nice application of polish and you will see the difference in an instant. Remember to let polish and other cleaning solutions dry properly after application.
Regular maintenance and cleaning is often when you will identify scratches and nicks on your shutters. It is easy enough to include basic repairs in your cleaning regiment, just keep a bottle of wood scratch cover on hand or some of the paint that is used to finish your shutters. Making small repairs as you clean is much easier than doing everything at once after you realize your window treatments have taken a beating.