My Home Curtain and Blinds: Care Your Plantation Shutters
Plantation shutters are a worthwhile investment. They not only provide style to a home, but help save on energy costs, and increase the resale value. Whether they are real wood or faux plantation shutters, if they are well made, they can last for many years. Proper care is essential, but fortunately this care is relatively easy.
Plantation shutters are a wise investment, but a big one, so you want to keep them looking their best. A crucial part of the care of plantation indoor shutters is keeping them clean. Otherwise, dust and dirt can build up and ruin the sheen. Regular dusting and cleaning are important to keep dust and dirt from building up.
Cleaning Real Wood Plantation Shutters
How you clean your indoor shutters depends on what they are made of. Real wood plantation shutters if well painted with a high quality finish, are as easy to clean as faux wood shutters, but do not use water, which can damage or warp wood.
At least once every month, spray a dust cloth with wood polish, and dust the shutters thoroughly. If your shutters have small grooves or crevices that collect dust and dirt, spray a toothbrush lightly with spray polish and use it to clean hard-to-reach areas.
Cleaning Faux Plantation Shutters
Most faux plantation shutters are made of some type of vinyl. Indoor vinyl shutters should be dusted at least once a week. You can use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner hose. Tilt the slats up and gently vacuum them. Then turn them down and do the same. Don't forget the tops and bottoms of the shutters.
For cleaning, soap and water can be used on vinyl shutters. Some experts recommend using distilled water because it does not contain minerals that will cause spotting.
In a bucket, combine warm water and mild dish soap or any mild soap to form a sudsy cleaning solution (about one teaspoon with one quart of water). Dampen a soft cloth in the sudsy water, and wash the shutters thoroughly. Next, dampen a second cloth with just water, and rinse away any soap residue.
If your shutters have small grooves or crevices, don't forget those, as they can easily collect dirt and grime. Dip a toothbrush in the soapy water to clean those areas. It may be tempting to use an all-purpose spray cleaner, but these can be too harsh, and can discolor or stain your shutters. Dry the shutters thoroughly with a towel. This is important, to prevent spotting.
A big advantage of indoor faux plantation shutters over the real wood variety is that they can be used in kitchens and bathrooms, where they are subjected to heat and moisture. However, in these rooms, shutters will collect particles from hair spray, grease, and other things that can stick to them.
These may require a little more cleaning. You can make a solution of one teaspoon dish soap and one gallon of hot water. Wet a cloth in the solution and wring it out well. Then wipe the shutters down on both sides while in the closed position. Rinse the cloth as necessary and continue until they are clean. Again, don't forget to dry them with a clean, soft cloth.
Handle with Care
Quality shutters are durable, but you still need to be gentle with them. When opening and closing the slats, twist the rod gently. If you are going to be opening the shutters all the way out to the side, make sure they are fastened and will not bang against the wall. That will damage the framework (not to mention the wall).
The best way to ensure that you are providing the proper care for your shutters is to consult the plantation shutter manufacturers. If you do not have the documentation that came with the shutters, call the manufacturer, or check their website for information on what they are made out of, and for instructions on proper care to preserve the life and appearance of your window coverings.