When searching for window treatments for your home, you have to consider more than simply the way they look now. You should also consider the maintenance they’ll need as months and years go on. Plantation shutters aren’t difficult to care for, but they’re not immune to a build up of dust or grime if neglected. Fortunately, a little TLC for your shutters takes very little time out of your usual house cleaning routine, and it’s easy once you know the best ways to clean plantation shutters. Here are a few simple steps to help:
Have The Right Equipment
Every task starts with the right tools, so before you start to clean your plantation shutters, you’ll need to be sure you have the right cleaning equipment. What means will depend on the make of your plantation shutters. For instance, vinyl shutters may use traditional chemical household cleaners, but faux wood shutters should avoid any wet elements at all. Instead, faux wood plantation shutter owners will stick to a vacuum cleaner and a duster.
However, the most elegant plantation shutters are made with authentic wood, which is what we offer at Shenandoah Shutters. We use basswood for our stained shutters and yellow poplar for our white and cream shutters, or even custom woods like mahogany, oak, and cherry. So you’ll need to know how to clean wood plantation shutters, and importantly, what equipment you need to clean wood plantation shutters.
Much like faux wood, you want to avoid using soap or water on wood shutters, as this can wear down the quality of the wood. Instead use furniture polish to give the shutters a shine like new, along with the help of a microfibre cloth. A duster and a vacuum are important elements to your shutter cleaning. Have any tight corners collecting dust? Add a spare toothbrush to your inventory, as well.
Have all the right equipment? Great. Now let’s talk about how to clean plantation shutters.
The Best Way to Clean Plantation Shutters
As much elegance as wood plantation shutters add to your home, their maintenance is reasonably pain-free. Just follow these three simple steps to ensure that your plantation shutters stay looking great for years to come.
Step One: Remove the Dust
For this, you’ll need the vacuum cleaner and duster. If your vacuum has a brush attachment, now is the time to use it. Vacuum each row of the shutters to remove any dust that might have built up since the last time you cleaned. You should try to suck up what you can from the corners of the shutters, but with a clunky vacuum handle, you may not be able to get much of it. That’s okay. Once you’ve thoroughly vacuumed, you can switch to the duster.
Your feather duster allows you to remove dust with a little more finesse. You can sweep off whatever might have remained clinging to the shutters and you might have a better chance of getting the tight corners. When that doesn’t work, you can take your toothbrush to give those areas a careful scrub. With that done, you should be ready to move on to step two.
Step Two: Polish
You want to be careful with the type of furniture polish you use. Most is safe to use on wood, as that is the purpose of it in the first place, but many manufacturers will caution you against using cleaners with harsh chemicals. If you don’t feel quite confident in your furniture polish, you can find a natural furniture polish or create your own, using two parts vinegar, two parts olive oil, and one part lemon juice.
Once the shutters are thoroughly dusted and you have your furniture polish ready, apply furniture polish to your microfibre cloth. This is true even if you have a spray bottle of furniture polish. If you apply the polish directly to the shutters, there’s a chance that it could slip through the gaps and land on the window. Then with your cloth, wipe down the shutters row by row. Make sure to wipe down the frames as well and any tight corners. You can use the tilt wand to get the shutters from different angles, and open them up to get the other side. Try not to leave any gaps and take your time wiping them down.
Once you’re finished, there’s no need to rinse the shutters off — and in fact, that would be a bad idea since water can damage your wood shutters. However, there might be one more thing that you have to do before you call it a day.
Step Three: Finishing Touches
Give the shutters a minute to dry. With simply furniture polish, it shouldn’t take very long. Then inspect them carefully, especially the corners and edges. Do you still see any dirt or dust built up there? If so, take out your toothbrush again. Scrub down any problem areas first with a dry brush. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can apply a little bit of furniture polish. You probably won’t have much work to do here, but it’s always a good idea to give things a second glance before you consider the work done for the day.
Which Plantation Shutters Are Easiest to Clean?
You may be wondering, after that guide, if there are certain types of plantation shutters that are easier to clean than others. At Shenandoah Shutters, we offer wood plantation shutters typically in basswood or yellow poplar, with some shutters done in custom woods like oak, cherry, and mahogany. These are beautifully and carefully finished, so they don’t vary much in terms of cleaning. Additionally, with easy-to-operate tilt wands, they should all adjust fairly easily.
What might matter more is color. Most of our shutters come in white and cream colors, which many homeowners worry can easily become dirtied. This might lead you to prefer stained wood shutters, which we also offer. However, dirt and dust may be harder to spot in these darker shutters, so there is a balance. As long as you clean your shutters regularly and have craftsmanship you can trust, they should be easy to clean for years to come.
Have any more questions about how to clean your new plantation shutters? Contact Shenandoah Shutters today.