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Old 22.04.2009, 11:41
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Cleaning External Blinds

Anyone know the best way to clean white metal external blinds?

I have tried with water and detergent, but it is a big job and they don't look that clean. I have a tool to do it with, but it only works for curved blinds and mine have a bend and a lip/edge on one side.

Someone suggested a pressure washer or steam cleaner. Would they work and what is better?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 22.04.2009, 11:51
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

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Someone suggested a pressure washer or steam cleaner. Would they work and what is better?
pressure washer or 'power hose' works pretty much on anything. it might be difficult getting the jet of water to reach any floor above second though, with any real effect!

(c;
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Old 22.04.2009, 12:00
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

Er, sounds like you need to do it more often, as build up is your enemy. It's terribly 1950's to clean your blinds like some bored housewife, but I generally do them each time I clean the windows. Which, of course, is every second week not.

If you have your own house, consider hiring a pressure hose, which are usually available for around CHF50 a day or so. IronMeyer / Blattner in Zurich is currently selling a 1400w on offer at CHF290. Might be a good investment, as they're useful - and somehow fun - for many things.

If you're in an appartment above ground level, er, good luck with that sponge...
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Old 22.04.2009, 12:14
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

Hi
You could try using washing powder (usually for clothes, I know) mixed with very little water into a thick paste then scrub them with that. It must be biological detergent though as the enzymes in it will help break down the build up of grease and pollutants from the air. This is if you can't use the power hose though, as it would be much faster & easier
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Old 22.04.2009, 12:20
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

For future reference, and if you know anyone going to the UK, you can get a product called "Sugar Soap" from DIY shops. That cleans anything and is even gentle enough to use on paintwork. Pubs (used to) use it to remove tabacco stains off the ceiling and paintwork.

I used it to remove general city bleeuurrg off our concrete balcony and it gave the balcony a rather embarrassing bright look about it compared to the others in our block...
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Old 22.04.2009, 12:25
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

how do you clean them when you're on the 4th floor? the little note from landlord suggests not cleaning it from the inside???
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Old 01.05.2009, 01:00
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

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Anyone know the best way to clean white metal external blinds?

I have tried with water and detergent, but it is a big job and they don't look that clean. I have a tool to do it with, but it only works for curved blinds and mine have a bend and a lip/edge on one side.

Someone suggested a pressure washer or steam cleaner. Would they work and what is better?

Thanks in advance.
If you have "Stören", they are not fun to clean. Lamellen are easier. I have a pressure washer and I bought a brush attachment but I still found that a sponge (non abrasive)picked up more dirt. If you don't have a pressure washer, use a garden hose and fit it with a spray attachment. This of course is only an option if you are cleaning the blinds from the outside. First thing you want to do is close the blinds, and give them a good rinse. Then you have to open them and wash each slat, top and bottom and rinse each one.

If you are not on the ground floor and do not have some way to deal with all the water, and must wash the blinds from the inside, then stick with the simple method, one pail with soap and water, one pail with clean water to rinse. Leave the blinds down but open and begin.

If you live in the country like we do, the first thing to do is take a microfibre cloth and take off as much dust. Do not wet the cloth.

For detergent, use something that does not suds too much. An all purpose cleaner is fine.
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Old 06.05.2009, 21:17
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

Good Lord, this whole thread sounds like pure torture. I have an even more fundamental question than "how to clean". What is the purpose of these exterior blinds in the first place? Is everyone trying to keep the weather/fresh air out or keep the sun/light out or what? Our apartment has them but I haven't lowered them once because it makes me feel like I'm in a penitentiary and introduces slight claustrophobia. Everyone around me though religiously lowers and tilts them shut every night. What am I missing about the benefits of these blinds?
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Old 06.05.2009, 21:33
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

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Good Lord, this whole thread sounds like pure torture. I have an even more fundamental question than "how to clean". What is the purpose of these exterior blinds in the first place? Is everyone trying to keep the weather/fresh air out or keep the sun/light out or what? Our apartment has them but I haven't lowered them once because it makes me feel like I'm in a penitentiary and introduces slight claustrophobia. Everyone around me though religiously lowers and tilts them shut every night. What am I missing about the benefits of these blinds?
In winter they help keep the heat in, in summer they help keep the heat out. If you have curtains to give you privacy (not just sheers but something thicker) then of course you don't need to use them to keep neighbours from looking in. You can use them to keep direct sunlight out of the room by closing them and then tilting the slats. When people go on holiday, they tend to close all the shutters. I think it is thought this will help reduce the risk of break ins though a great majority of these are carried out by breaking in through a basement window. People who live on the ground floor tend to feel safer closing the shutters, particularly at night if you are going to sleep with a window open.
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Old 06.05.2009, 21:36
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

A few uses I can think of. Many people don't have second curtains to pull for privacy. In winter it's extra insulation, in summer they keep the place cool.
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Old 06.05.2009, 21:46
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

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What is the purpose of these exterior blinds in the first place? Is everyone trying to keep the weather/fresh air out or keep the sun/light out or what? Our apartment has them but I haven't lowered them once because it makes me feel like I'm in a penitentiary and introduces slight claustrophobia. Everyone around me though religiously lowers and tilts them shut every night. What am I missing about the benefits of these blinds?
As Oldhand and Mrs. Doolittle said:
They help to keep warmth in and noise out in winter. They also keep light out if you have 'garden lighting' which you cannot turn off. (route to garage in a 'morefamilyhouse').

They help to keep heat out if we have a summer.

This Thread from last year might help you to see the point in them.
Post 29 says what I do with mine!

Keeping rolling them up and down also discourages the wasps which LOVE making their nests in the 'box' they roll up into (when it is not already occupied by a family of birds)!

I'm not keen on cleaning mine either but a nice shower of rain helps to keep the layer of dirt down. Anyway, when we had a really heavy hailstorm, they got all battered and the insurance paid for replacements so it would have been pointless cleaning them all the time. It's an ill wind...
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Old 06.05.2009, 21:46
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

Pressure sprays can go haywire and can damage something you didn't
want to clean, i.e. dogs, cats, birds, kids...

I use steam machine purchased from Migros. Use it on just about
everything from rims/wheels, bikes, shutters, fabric, metal, stone,
cement... also turn the delivered pressure down some and clean wooden
parts with it.

However, till now I do not use any fluid or water, pressurized or steam on
my equipment or lenses Only on the tripod legs
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Old 06.05.2009, 22:01
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

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Good Lord, this whole thread sounds like pure torture. I have an even more fundamental question than "how to clean". What is the purpose of these exterior blinds in the first place? Is everyone trying to keep the weather/fresh air out or keep the sun/light out or what? Our apartment has them but I haven't lowered them once because it makes me feel like I'm in a penitentiary and introduces slight claustrophobia. Everyone around me though religiously lowers and tilts them shut every night. What am I missing about the benefits of these blinds?
Some reasons:

1. They block sunlight and stop me getting sunburnt on my couch and my wooden floors getting sun damage. Can't watch TV with them up between 12 and 6pm in summer.

2. Putting them down in the heat of the day helps keep bedrooms cool - particulary south facing ones with cieling to floor, full-width windows.

3. The police say to put them down to deter breakins. Thieves can't be bothered and will move onto the next house. After the blinds I have multi-lock doors and security glass since the original owner worked in security - and he always put the blinds down when not at home.

4. People don't see inside your home after dark.

5. The 5am sunlight doesn't wake you up.

6. The garden shock-lighting doesn't wake you up when a cat runs through.
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Old 06.05.2009, 22:40
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

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Keeping rolling them up and down also discourages the wasps which LOVE making their nests in the 'box' they roll up into (when it is not already occupied by a family of birds)!
Related to caring for these blinds (and hopefully not to hijack ) ...
i discovered one of mine's got stuck 2/3s of the way down and even if the "rope" is slack, it just won't go down

From below the window, when inspecting where it rolls into, there doesn't seem to be any blockage though, but even when I try to pull it down by grasping the ends, it just won't go down. Does anyone have a similar experience and would you have a solution for how I can get it unstuck? Could a nest of some insect have been built there over the winter?

Fingers crossed someone would have an idea please...
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Old 06.05.2009, 22:50
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

When we arrived at the end of last summer we noticed that people closed their blinds a lot during the day...

Then one afternoon there was a pretty big wind-storm, and we realised that one of the reasons for closing them is the weather can change here really fast...

As for the cleaning, I'd pretty much agree with all the other suggestions - rinse first then if you can't reach, pressure hose, and if you can reach them, I'd use detergent and warm water and an old towel cut into manageable pieces...

And yes, it's a nasty house-frau business...
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Old 07.05.2009, 08:11
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

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Related to caring for these blinds (and hopefully not to hijack ) ...
i discovered one of mine's got stuck 2/3s of the way down and even if the "rope" is slack, it just won't go down

From below the window, when inspecting where it rolls into, there doesn't seem to be any blockage though, but even when I try to pull it down by grasping the ends, it just won't go down. Does anyone have a similar experience and would you have a solution for how I can get it unstuck? Could a nest of some insect have been built there over the winter?

Fingers crossed someone would have an idea please...
You need to get someone our to repair them. They will take them down
and wind-up the slack cord and remount them.
I have one stuck open and another stuck closed at the moment
Upstairs cost almost CHF 1000 to put new cords in when they broke when a wysteria plant grew into the blind and my mum didn't hear it getting stuck.

Thanks for all your suggestions on cleaning blinds. I think the pressure washer is good, but for the 1st floor I will need to get on a ladder. A steam cleaner looks like it will work best there.
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Old 07.05.2009, 09:13
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

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When we arrived at the end of last summer we noticed that people closed their blinds a lot during the day...

Then one afternoon there was a pretty big wind-storm, and we realised that one of the reasons for closing them is the weather can change here really fast...

As for the cleaning, I'd pretty much agree with all the other suggestions - rinse first then if you can't reach, pressure hose, and if you can reach them, I'd use detergent and warm water and an old towel cut into manageable pieces...

And yes, it's a nasty house-frau business...
As soon as the hot weather starts most people put their external blinds down during the day, this helps to keep the place cooler. They also keep the windows shut during the day having had a 10 minute airing out in the cool early morning. Keeping windows and blinds shut helps keeps the heat out without the need for eco-busting air-conditioning systems.
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Old 23.10.2019, 21:25
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

Hello all I'm bringing back this thread from the archives to ask for suggestions on my own blind set-up:

We live in a Dachwohnung (5th floor) and have windows with metal blinds. Obviously, I can't reach these blinds from the outside, so any cleaning will have to be done from within.

Based on the previous suggestions, it sounds like a two-bucket system and plenty of patience will be the way to go. I guess I'm hoping that someone can recommend a proven cleaner to use to make the process go that much easier. - Or a better way of cleaning them short of hiring someone else to do the work
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Old 23.10.2019, 23:50
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

DD, most probably that's not your responsibility to begin with.
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Old 24.10.2019, 07:07
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Re: Cleaning External Blinds

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DD, most probably that's not your responsibility to begin with.
The Mieterverband is your friend
Why not? If they can be reached from the inside, they can be cleaned. Unless I misunderstood and the blinds are on roof windows, rather than dormer windows, and therefore are not within reach even with a stepladder.
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