Washing venetian blinds is messy; postpone this operation by dusting regularly. Use a vacuum cleaner or put on cotton gloves and wipe the slats by hand. Don’t wash wooden blinds. Spray each slat with furniture cleaner and wipe with a soft cloth. To wash metal blinds at the window, first dust them.
Have two pails of water at hand: one with household cleaner or ammonia in it, the other clear. Extend the blinds fully, with the slats horizontal. Starting at the top, wipe each slat with a sudsy sponge; rinse immediately with clear water and a second sponge.
Metal blinds can also be washed in the bathtub or outdoors and then hung on a clothesline or stretched on a drop cloth. Outdoors, hose the blinds, scrub one slat at a time, and rinse. In the tub, put the blinds in warm suds, scrub, and rinse in clear water. Let water drip off. But before the tapes dry, rehang the blinds fully extended so that the tapes don’t shrink or wrinkle.
Replacing cords and tapes Kits of cords, tapes, and knobs are sold in most hardware stores. Begin with the blinds fully extended and the slats horizontal. If the tapes are stapled to the bottom bar, remove the staples. If they aren’t stapled, remove the end caps and the bottom bar base.
Unknot the cord ends and pull them out of the slats, but leave them on the pulleys. Knot the cord ends. Now slide the slats out. Next, detach the tapes at the top and substitute new ones of the same lengths. Cut new cord the same length as the old and thread it on the pulleys, following the old cord as a guide and unthreading the old cord as you proceed. Replace the slats and run the cord through the slat holes on alternate sides of the tape rungs.