23 Jun How to Safely Clean Plantation Shutters on High Windows
How to Safely Clean Plantation Shutters on High Windows
Cleaning shutters is likely not at the top of the list for things that you love to do, especially when those shutters are covering windows in high or difficult to access areas. When neglected too long, the shutters begin to get covered with an oily, grimy gunk that is difficult to remove. This takes a significant amount of time, much longer than it would if you cleaned the shutters regularly.
Weekly dusting maintains a like-new appearance for your shutters. On lower shutters, this can easily be done with a feather duster or a vacuum cleaner with an attachment. On higher shutters, you can purchase a long extension pole for the duster, and even some vacuums have extensions tubes that allow you to reach the high windows. Be sure to remove the dust from both sides of the shutters if feasible. This may not be an easy task if you need to get a long extension ladder and set it up just to flip the shutters to the other side. However, if you’ll be installing shutters in the future, you may want to consider installing shutters that have a remote control to adjust them.
By dusting regularly, you will lengthen the time before the shutters need to be deep cleaned. This is especially important on the high windows and difficult to access shutters. Nonetheless, all shutters will eventually need to be thoroughly cleaned.
To clean real wood plantation shutters, use caution with water. Any water that gets into the wood can potentially warp or damage the wood. Instead, apply a bit of wood polish or wood oil to a rag and rub it over the wood slats. Slide the tilt rod and clean the other side. If the shutters are faux wood or vinyl, you can use plain soap and water. Remember that even the small gaps, grooves, and small areas also need to be cleaned. If neglected, these areas will collect dirt and grime faster than other areas. To clean, use a toothbrush dipped in oil for wooden shutters, or soapy water for the vinyl shutters, and scrub away. Remember to wipe everything off with a clean rag when you’re done scrubbing.
On the high windows, the same cleaning process needs to be done periodically. If you want to clean your own plantation shutters, wear a tool belt or some other device so that you can have your hands free while climbing the ladder. When setting up the ladder, make sure the base is on solid flooring and that it is clean and dry. Don’t set up ladders on area rugs or plastic. If you’re using an extension ladder, set the base out away from the wall in a 1:4 ratio. For every four feet in height, the base should be 1 foot away from the wall. Climb the ladder using three points of contact at all times.
Do not exceed the height of the ladder according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically, the top two rungs of the ladder are not to be used to step on, they are for balance only. Be careful when you’re cleaning, and be sure not to lean too far or overreach, which could result in a disastrous fall. If you’re timid or nervous around heights, it’s best to leave this job to a professional. It’s not worth climbing up on a ladder, only to get weak knees and fall off. The ER bill will cost you more than you would have saved by not calling in a professional.