6 genius outdoor blinds maintenance & cleaning tips

beige outdoor awning in backyard

What better way to enjoy your little slice of the great outdoors than with some outdoor blinds and awnings? Whether it’s to block out the sun or for some added privacy, outdoor blinds can really transform your space.

While they’re already built to last, with some routine cleaning you can extend the lifespan of your outdoor blinds and ensure they withstand the rainy months.

1. Use a soft-bristle brush to clean mesh blinds

Wondering how to clean outdoor mesh blinds like our cafe blinds? All you need is a soft-bristle brush and a hose.

You can gently remove any dust or debris that’s accumulated on your mesh blind using a soft-bristle brush. A brush like this is tough on grime but gentle on your blinds if used correctly.

Hosing the blinds down with a gentle stream of water will rinse away anything leftover, leaving your outdoor mesh blinds clean and fresh. Leave them rolled down to dry and they’ll be good as new.

2. Check your blinds’ warranty and always patch-test a cleaning product first

If water just isn’t cutting it, you might want to pull out a cleaning product to help the process. Before you use anything on your blinds though, there are two things you need to check.

Firstly, check your blind’s warranty rules. Some blind manufacturers might void your warranty if you use any kind of cleaning product on them, while some will only allow you to use specific ones. You don’t want to risk voiding your warranty in case of future problems that are out of your control simply because you used the wrong product to clean it one time.

If you’re safe to use a cleaning product, there’s one more thing you need to do – a patch-test. Not all cleaning products are made equal, some barely clean at all while others can possibly do irreparable damage to your blinds. 

If it’s the first time you’re using a product on your blinds, be sure to test it on a small, hidden section first.  If your patch test is successful without seeing any damage to your blinds, then it should be safe to use on your entire blind.

3. Don’t leave bird-droppings and other debris on your blinds for long

The best way to clean a stain on your outdoor blinds and awnings is to prevent them in the first place. Bird-droppings and other debris will leave a mark or stain on your blinds and awnings if they’re left for too long.

So when you see that nasty bird-dropping, don’t delay – grab out the soft-bristle brush and garden hose and hop to it.

black outdoor blinds on patio drawn down

4. Be gentle on your blinds

Outdoor blinds and awnings have been designed to withstand the harsher outdoor elements. That doesn’t mean you should be harsh or aggressive when you’re cleaning them though.

Avoid using brushes with hard bristles or cleaning with hard rubbing motions when using any brush or tool. This will thin your blinds and cause microscopic scratches that will only worsen with time. 

Likewise, never use a high-pressure water hose on your blinds or awnings. Continued use will lead to holes and frays, as well as degrade any UV protecting qualities it might have had. We recommend you stick to the garden hose, a soft-bristled brush and a gentle touch. 

5. Know when to keep your outdoor blinds and awnings up and down

Part of keeping your outdoor blinds and awnings in their best condition is knowing when to roll them up and when to leave them down. This is especially important when the wet months roll around.

As a general rule, your blinds should be left rolled down – this is how they’re designed in the first place. Leaving them to loosely hang will help to keep their shape too. If they’re rolled up frequently or they’re hanging down with too much tension, they can become warped. 

When a gail wind starts blowing or hail starts falling, it’s time to roll up your outdoor blinds. While they’re designed for the outdoors, it’s best not to test this against extreme weather conditions. Harsh winds and falling objects like hail will damage your blinds and most manufacturers won’t cover this in their warranty.

6. Never wind them up when they’re wet

You should always wait for your blinds to dry before rolling them up. If there’s any moisture left in the blinds and the sun is out, it can heat the water up and potentially damage your blinds. 

On top of that, moisture and warmth are the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and mould. Your wet, rolled up blinds on a warm day perfectly meet this criteria. Mould will require a deep and more time-consuming clean and can potentially  become a health hazard.

Depending on the weather, you can either leave your blinds to air dry in the sun, or we recommend giving them a wipe over with a towel to speed the process up. 

Transform your backyard with outdoor blinds and awnings from Jim’s Blinds and Shutters. Our team deliver the solutions your outdoor space needs. Contact us to discuss how we can elevate your outdoor living.