We spend a lot of time looking at the world through our windows, but often forget about the window treatment itself. When was the last time you cleaned your curtains or blinds?
If you have some zebra shades around your home, these striped sheer fabric coverings can quickly collect dust. Luckily, I’ll show you how to clean zebra blinds in a few easy steps. In a nutshell, you’ll begin by quickly dusting the surface, followed by vacuuming with an upholstery attachment. Finally, you can spot treat any areas as needed.
If you’ve neglected your drapery, don’t worry. We’ll go through the process of cleaning zebra blinds from start to finish, including some important do’s and don’ts. Let’s get cleaning!
What exactly are zebra blinds?
Zebra blinds, otherwise known as dual blinds, are a relatively new form of drapery that are similar to horizontal blinds. These blinds feature a horizontal combination of opaque and sheer stripes. They can be easily adjusted to block out light during the day or allow light in at night. By changing the location of the stripes, you can control the amount of light and privacy in your room.
Zebra shades provide the ultimate light filtering solution with a loop roller shade made of alternating dark and sheer fabrics stripes. These alternating solid and sheer horizontal stripes give the material its namesake.
These blinds come in a variety of colors to match your home décor. Some are motorized, some have cords, while others are cordless. They’re a great investment and can last for years if properly taken care of!
What fabric are zebra blinds made of?
Many manufacturers use 100 percent polyester to create the shades, while others use a poly-blend with cotton or a similar type of natural fiber.
Tip: Ensure any type of mild soap or cleaner you use is safe for these materials.
Why you should clean your zebra blinds
Besides obvious reasons it’s important to clean your window shades (for basic maintenance and upkeep) it’s also important to keep these sheer shades dust-free as dirty blinds can interfere with incoming light.
(So if you’ve noticed that the sunlight isn’t filtering into the room like it used to, you could chalk it up to dusty zebra shades, or perhaps dirty windows!)
Cleaning your zebra blinds will also help you to get rid of any dust that has accumulated from the outside over the past while. Regular cleaning keeps your blinds looking as good as new for as long as possible.
And, perhaps one of the most important reasons to break out the cleaning supplies is to promote better indoor air quality and overall health. Indoor dust can irritate allergies or trigger respiratory issues such as asthma.
According to American Chemical Society (ACS), regular household dust is comprised of a slew of unappetizing molecules including: dead skin cells, hair, fibers from clothes, dust mites, bacteria, dead insects, soil, pollen, and tiny bits of plastic.¹
This collection of household dust then soaks up chemical contaminants from everyday consumer products and cleaners, which can consist of pollutants and harmful endocrine disruptors.¹
Anytime dust is kicked up or disturbed (such as pulling down blinds), it collects new household particles and pollutants before resettling to the floor again.
The takeaway: Keeping your blinds and shades spotless not only ensures your window treatments last longer, it’s also vital to your health by minimizing household dust particles and contaminants.
How frequently should you clean zebra blinds?
You should dust your zebra blinds at least once every week or two. If you have pets, you should clean them more often because of the dander and hair that accumulates from your furry friends. This regular maintenance will keep the fabric looking fresh.
You should spot treat any spills or messes as soon as possible to prevent staining.
A deep clean of the fabrics may be needed at least once a year.
How to clean zebra blinds: do’s and don’ts
Before you get started, let’s look at a few basic cleaning tips on the best way to clean your striped shades.
Zebra roller blind do’s
- Dust weekly to keep sheer shades looking great.
- Clean from top to bottom.
- Use an upholstery attachment (looks like a brush) when vacuuming to prevent fabric snags or snares. Choose the lowest setting, if possible.
- Spot clean any spills as soon as possible to avoid permanent staining.
- Test any mild soap on an inconspicuous area first.
- Let curtains air dry.
Zebra roller blind don’ts
- Use any overly abrasive scrubbing brush or cleaner which can potentially damage the fabric.
- Avoid getting regular household window cleaners on fabric. Many window cleaners contain strong chemicals which may discolor the delicate material.
- Use very hot water when cleaning. Stick with warm or lukewarm water.
- Use high heat of any kind to dry the curtains. This could melt or warp the blinds.
- Get the blinds overly wet when cleaning as this may leave water stains.
Cleaning supplies you’ll need for zebra roller blinds
Ready to get your shades looking their best? Let’s gather a few cleaning supplies.
For a quick, basic cleaning of zebra roller blinds, you’ll need:
- Microfiber cloths or a feather duster to remove dust buildup
- Vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment or a similar attachment with a soft bristle brush
For spot treatment, you’ll need:
- Mild soap (liquid detergent for handwashing dishes such as Dawn, or Castile liquid soap)
- Optional: baking soda (for extra cleaning power if needed)
- A small bowl filled with warm water
- A sponge or gentle scrubbing brush
- Dry microfiber cloth
For deep cleaning, you’ll need:
- Mild soap (liquid detergent for handwashing dishes such as Dawn, or Castile liquid soap)
- A large bucket filled with warm water
- A sponge or microfiber cloth for wiping
- A dry microfiber cloth for drying
How to clean zebra blinds step by step
Follow these steps for a sparkling clean.
Step 1: Pull down blinds
Whether you have a cord, cordless version, or motorized curtain, the first step is to pull down the blinds fully to expose the fabric.
Step 2: Dust
Dust the surface of all the zebra blinds in your home regularly with a lint-free cloth or feather duster to keep them clean and working properly.
Start from the top and work your way down. Use large sweeping motions horizontally.
Clear any cobwebs and remove any dirt or debris that may have found its way into your zebra blind hardware.
If dusted at least once a week, this should be enough to keep your blinds looking clean and dust-free. However, can still follow up with a quick vacuum job.
Step 3: Vacuum using an attachment
Twist or snap on an upholstery attachment to your vacuum. Turn to the lowest power setting, if possible.
Hold the bottom of the blind taut as you gently vacuum zebra blinds from top to bottom.
That’s it! With regular maintenance, your window fixtures will stay clean and looking good as new.
How to spot clean zebra blinds
Sometimes dirty hands can leave grubby fingerprints, or accidental spills can tarnish your once pristine curtains. Don’t worry—when treated right away, most stains will come out easily.
- Add a squirt or two of mild soap to a small bowl. Fill the bowl with warm water to make a soapy solution.
- Use a damp cloth, sponge or gentle scrubbing brush and dip in the soapy solution. Wring out excess water.
- Gently scrub to remove stain. Adding a bit of baking soda may help to lift the stain. Remember to hold the curtain taut when scrubbing.
- Use a dry microfiber cloth to absorb excess water.
- Let the fabric fully air dry before retracting.
Tip: If you have a few stains, you may find it easier to remove the roller blinds first and lay on a flat surface before cleaning.
How to deep clean zebra blinds
About once or twice a year, it’s a good idea to do a deep cleaning of your window draperies. This prevents dust and dirt from accumulating.²
- Retract your shades. Remove your blinds from the wall by removing the brackets. Lay on a flat table or surface.
- Make a soapy water solution in a large bucket with mild soap (liquid dish soap or Castile soap) and lukewarm water.
- Dip a sponge or a cleaning cloth into the mild detergent. Wring out excess water before wiping curtain. It’s important to avoid soaking the curtain to prevent water marks.
- Wipe the shade from top to bottom with the soapy solution.
- Repeat step 4 using only clean water (no soap).
- Use a clean, dry cloth to lightly absorb excess moisture on the fabric.
- Let the zebra shades air dry fully before replacing into the brackets.
👉If you like this post, see other Timeless Cleaning Tips You Need To Know.
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- Pelley, Janet (07 February 2017). “Tracing the chemistry of household dust,” (Volume 95, Issue 7). Chemical & Engineering News (American Chemical Society). Accessed February 2023.
- Architectural Digest, How to Clean Blinds in Less Than 30 Minutes, https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/how-to-clean-blinds. Accessed February 2023.