Cleaning methods

First, thanks for the new thread area.

Blinds have always interested me. My area has too few blind cleaners and I think that market is untapped. I am also interested in Drape Cleaning via the dry-clean method. But that might be another thread.

I hope that we can discuss the different types of cleaning blinds. Ultrasonic machines aint cheap and require a serious investment of both money and time…as well as dedicated space or truck to use.

so my first choice of education will be the wash-by-hand using DI water method.

Can we get into that chat here?

What do you know about the blind cleaning business. Im interested

I am planning on making a video on cleaning mini blinds with DI water. It will be very similar to the write up I have in the download section. The one thing that has be slowing me down is the cold weather. When ever I have the time the weather has not been good for it. otherwise ask away.

I am a window cleaner/owner and have been cleaning blinds for 13 years. I also sell and repair blinds. I am a Graber dealer and I also sell Hunter Douglas and Norman shutters. You can ask just about anything and I am sure either I will have an answer or I will find one for you.

Okay, if this is not the place for such dialog…or if no one here can offer it…who will be upset if I bring in someone else?

Phil, I’ve never cleaned blinds, but if I post a theory of what may work maybe it will generate some discussion.

If somebody asked me to clean their blinds I would remove the blinds from the house, being careful to note which ones belonged where. I’d take the blinds outside and hang them to something, possibly on something supported by 2 6 foot ladders. I would use a portable air compressor to blow off all the dust that was present. Then I would use DI in a spray bottle with one of those fancy dusters (not feather tho) to get inbetween the slats. I would then use the air compressor blow tool to spray everything again, which would also help in drying. Maybe a shot of Pledge too…

I’ve never done this before, so somebody correct me.

I am working on a video for you. it should explain it all. the weather has just slowed me up here. in the download section I have a write up on the process that I use. you can read that if you have not already and once I put up the video it will all come together. sorry it’s taking me so long.

Not sure if I misunderstood you or not. the multitude of different blinds compared to the cleaning methods are huge. are you looking the pro/cons of DI compared to ultrasonic? I guess I need a more specific question? but hey, lets chat away.

That is my question.

I have neither the space nor capital for a $15K investment on a whim. I THINK there is a huge market here…but I am often wrong.

I used to do some DI blind cleaning but spotted a few blinds and got afraid to pursue.

so, the DI method and the type(s) of soap (honest) would be a God-send to me.

Down stream, if this is the rigth market, ultrasonic might be the ticket. Then, I’d like to know if you take the machine to the blinds or take the blinds to the machine.

Right now I bring the blinds to the machine or my clients will bring them to me. which ever they prefer. I have not worked out all the bugs on the ultrasonic cleaning yet. In the future I plan on having a trailer with a genorator and will go to the blinds. I have no problem picking up and dropping off it’s just that when you wash them in your own area you have to have the space to hang them. My problem was finding a way to hang the blinds to dry in a small space. With the trailer you can wash and hang right back into the house. The only problem like you said is the price to get it all started. DI washing is nothing to fear. Just like CCU get yourself a good waiver. You never know what condition the blinds are in. When it comes down to spots on the blinds it is rare unless they have been cleaned with the wrong soap or they have a metalic finish. If it was water spots the DI may not have been to good. It all depends on the spots. As far as soap a mild degreaser works just fine. I am talking like 1 ounce to 5 gall of water. the more soap you use the harder it is. I have sprayed strait simple green on blinds with heavy smoke damage and no problems. thats not saying it couldn’t happen. If you are useing a concentraited degreaser to clean blinds make sure you dilute it really well. One mistake people will also make is trying to clean a blind that cannot be cleaned to perfection. Example: a blind is sitting in a south facing window for ten years and the home owner never dusts or cleans. extreme yes but it does happen alot. The heat from the sun will make the paint soft, the dirt will then set into the paint, paint then has dirt stuck to it. most people will see this and think more soap and scrub harder. not the case. this is were your waiver comes in. Mainly makeing you not resonsible for sun damage. one thing you are trying to protect when cleaning is the paint. if the paint has dirt mixed in with it, what do you do? The best you can without messing up the paint. this meaning the blind may still look dirty but in fact is clean. Removing the dirt on the surface.

with the DI method you are limited on what you can clean. Ultrasonic you can clean alot more. With the Ultrasonic it is ALOT easier to mess stuff up. I had a blind that was in pretty bad shape and I knew I shouldn’t have cleaned it. 2 Mins in the ultrasonic and all the paint was gone. cleaned it down to the metal. With anything you will have mistakes. good time to learn from them. Can’t tell you how many things I have learned by messing stuff up with the ultrasonic. good thing I stock piled old blinds to practice on when I got it.

DI is definitly the way to go as far as price. Don’t be fooled spending the money for a new ultrasonic. there are plenty of them around used! Most people buy them thinking they are going to turn a buck fast. I know I did. Being in the market we have our foot in the door. so that is one step ahead of most. when I was looking for my machine I found new ones from $5000-32000. Ebay normally will have some good deals I was bidding on machines there any where from $2500-5000. the only problem with getting one used is you don’t get the training. I didn’t get the training, I had a nice huge book to learn from. That is why I wanted a forum here. I was in a forum for ultrasonic cleaning but no one would participate. a question would be asked and the moderator would answer it 3 months later. I like to know as much as I can with the stuff I am working with. So that being I hope to share so other can pick up and take off…maybe teach me something too. I also hope this will attract more ultrasonic users. time will tell. sorry I just realized I got a little long winded.

Long winded?

I read every word. Twice.

Your time has not been wasted…I so appreciate you posting this.

The spotting I refer to was leopard spotting. My soap may have been too strong…the clear finsish came off. Several times. They were also metallic.

so plastic or fake wood blinds are safer to clean using DI?

Have you though about Draper Cleaning (ON-site)

Where am I? Blind cleaning…I’ll get my coat, sorry :o

THAT was funny. Very funny.

Amzingly bright witted.

I would only clean wood and faux wood by hand. Plastic and metal are ok for DI. faux wood is questionable with DI. Some faux still has wood particles that can warp with exceesive water. The lepard spoting you are talking about is due to too much soap but with metalic blinds it’s bound to happen no matter how little soap you use. The have a clear coat to them that will pretty much fall off with water. the paint isn’t much better. you ever have a storm window that you just know you should not clean? job you are just better off passing up? that is how I am with metalic blinds. I will not do them anymore. I have bought to many people new blinds trying to clean them. I tell them if they want their metalic blinds cleaned they can either clean them with distilled water by hand or pay me big bucks to do it. I have run into very few cases of the lepard spotting with non metalic blinds. Again to much soap or really poor quality blinds are to blame. If you take a wet towel and wipe a blade look to see if the paint transfers. this will indicate what you are about to get into. sun can oxidize the paint so bad that cleaning can bring a layer or two of paint off. I thought about drapery cleaning at one point but I started to look around to see how many drapes people had. In my area the ones that have drapes want to replace them with blinds. same thing is what brought me to ultrasonic cleaning. I had two guys out everyday cleaning about 50-60 blinds using my DI method. When metal got unpopular or broken I would sell new cellular shades or something else. In which case I sold my way out of cleaning. Now I am trying to gain back those customers in which I used to clean for them that I sold blinds to that I could not clean. Catch 22 I guess? cleaning is an add on, repair and sales go right along with it. The blinds that I cannot clean I normally will recoment new blinds that I would sell them.

I take offense to this. Drapery Maybe but there are no good Draper Cleaners :slight_smile:

Use Dawn!

I would agree. there are a lot out there but it is just something that I have not ventured into yet. I would love to hear from someone who does do it. I have many questions myself.

you must be Mike the excelent Draper cleaner? :smiley:

Is there any demand for blind cleaning? I had only one person ask me if i clean gutters and only one person if i clean blinds, i think most people have maids clean their blinds.

As w/ so many things it’s up to us often to let the customer know we offer this service. We see the blinds and their condition as we do the windows. How many times have you lifted a blind and gotten a face full of dust? You’ll be amazed at how many customers will say they wanted to get something done but didn’t think anyone did it.

I agree with Tony.

I’ve gotten almost every Blind Cleaning that I’ve asked the customer about. The problem is that I usually dont want to do them. We charge $10.00 per Blind and do them by hand, slat for slat. You get pretty quick after you do a few.

But I find we can do windows three as fast, so we generally dont ask for them to have us clean their Blinds anymore. If they ask us, we’ll quote it and do it. I know, I know, $10.00 per Blind by hand is pretty cheap. If you guy’s come up with some quick methods, I’m all ears.