Recently, I wrote about how to clean your window coverings. This time I’m going to talk about cleaning a more specific type of product that many of you have in your homes; the Hunter Douglas Silhouette Shade. Though this product appears to be very delicate but, in reality, it is quite durable as long as you treat and care for it properly.
The configuration of the shading lends itself to needing cleaning not only on the surface of the shade, but also the interior. These are the methods to clean both.
Facing (Exterior) – When one speaks of the facing, they are talking about the external surfaces of the shade. In the case of a Silhouette, you are referring to the sheer material that runs from the head rail down to the bottom rail. The Silhouette also has a rear facing made of a similar sheer material. Hunter Douglas Silhouette Shades is made of polyester and is fairly durable.
If you are doing just a basic cleaning, then use a vacuum that has a brush attachment or a static duster without any additives and gently remove any dust off of the front and back of the shade. If you have a spot, you may attempt to remove it using a gentle spot remover. Always rinse your shade thoroughly with water after a spot removal product is placed on it to prevent staining or bleaching.
Some areas have ultra sonic cleaners available as a mobile service. These companies are trained to remove your shade, clean them in their cleaning tanks and re-hang them for you for a reasonable charge. If you are up to the challenge, you can also wash your shades by using soapy water and placing everything but the head rail in the water and gently scrubbing them to the desired cleanness. If you do this method, be sure to rinse off all of the soap. If dried correctly, your shades will not look wrinkled.
Vanes (Interior) – The Silhouette has fabric vanes that connect the front and rear facings, this poses some problems for cleaning as the vanes are not easily accessible. The easiest way to clean the interior of the shade is generally with air pressure. The most common methods of doing this are the blower attachment on some vacuums, the blow dryer on the cool setting, and the compressed air that comes in cans. With all of these, you are able to blow out dust and bugs fairly effortlessly. This is a way to dust, not to clean. If one of those bugs got squished in your shade, you are going to have to work through the facing to gently clean that stain with some sort of water based fluid.
It is especially true with Silhouette shades that if you have some sort of stain on them it is imperative that you clean them quickly. If you let a stain sit for a while, the sun will bake in the stain. If you are reading this, and you are unsure as to whether to purchase Silhouette Shades, or something similar, keep this in mind: If you live in a high dust area, or an area that has a lot of gnats or other creepy-crawlies, then the Silhouette Shades and their open ends may not be a good choice for you. Your window covering professional should be able to guide you through all of the choices to select what will best suit your needs.