How to Clean Your Roman Shades

Roman blinds in a window with a tree in the background.

The ancient Romans washed their laundry in urine, collecting it from the public urinals and chamber pots in Roman cities.

You’ll be glad to know that cleaning technology has advanced since 25 AD, and you now have many gadgets and cleaning agents at your disposal (most of which have a far more pleasant aroma than urine). It’s easy to keep your Roman shades in mint condition.

The cleaning method will depend on the fabric and the severity of the dirt or stain. Here, we’ll give you the lowdown to keep your Romans shades looking their best.

Weekly to Monthly Cleaning Tasks


  • Lower your shades all the way.
  • Using the upholstery brush attachment, vacuum your shades gently to remove dust and dirt.
  • Dirt often accumulates along the folds or creases of your shades. Pay close attention to these areas.

Alternative Method of Dust Removal

  • Use a cloth or duster instead of your vacuum for delicate shades.
  • Some materials, especially those with embellishments or other decor, require special care with soft tissue like microfiber cloth.
  • A lint roller can also remove dust safely from smooth shades.

Spot Cleaning

You’ll know when it happens. The occasional mishap can result in an unsightly stain on your shades. Spot cleaning methods to the rescue!

Spills & Stains

  • Club soda can work like magic on stains and spills. Apply this quickly to the affected area of the shade. Don’t let it sit.
  • Mix equal parts water and white vinegar. Dip a cloth in this solution and dab at stain.
  • If the stain doesn’t disappear completely, mix some mild detergent with water and dab it on a clean cloth. Then, gently rub the area.
  • Rinse with plain water.

Annual Cleaning

Your Roman shades may not need deep cleaning. They’re often made of delicate materials and should be treated with care.

Hand Washing

  • Remove any dust or debris with a vacuum or cloth.
  • Remove the cords from the bottom hem. Set them aside for reattachment later.
  • Fill your bathtub with warm water and add a mild detergent.
  • Lower the shades into the tub, completely submerging them in the soapy water.
  • If your shades are too large for the tub, wash them gently by hand with a clean cloth.
  • Rinse the shades thoroughly with clean water.
  • Squeeze out excess water without twisting or wringing.
  • Hang the shades outside to air dry completely before reattaching the cords.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is a good option if your Roman shades are made of heavy materials like wool or linen.

  • Fill your steamer with water and turn it on according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Hold the steamer nozzle a few inches away from the shades and move it back and forth.
  • Be sure to cover every inch of the shade.
  • Allow the shades to air dry completely before reattaching the cords.

Machine Washing & Laundering

  • You may be able to launder Roman shades made from sturdy fabrics like cotton and polyblends.
  • Remove the shade’s headrail and any dowels or rods in it.
  • Wash your shade in cold water on a delicate cycle.
  • Lay the shade flat to dry and iron as necessary.

Professional Cleaning

  • Remove dowels, rods, and the headrail.
  • Drop your shades off for a professional cleaning.
  • Some professional shade and blind cleaning services may be able to clean shades in your home, eliminating the hassle of removing and rehanging them.
  • Make sure to discuss any special cleaning considerations with the professionals beforehand.

Are you considering Roman shades for your home? Call us at Aero Shade to learn more about our window treatments. We serve metro Los Angeles and ship to destinations across America and the world.

FAQs: How to Clean Roman Shades

Q: Can I clean Roman shades without taking them down?

Yes, you can. Use a handheld vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean Roman shades without removing them. However, you should take them down for a more thorough cleaning.

Q: How often should I clean my Roman shades?

It’s a good practice to dust or vacuum your shades at least once a month, and perform more thorough cleanings every six months to a year.

Q: Can I machine wash Roman shades?

Most Roman shades aren’t machine washable. If you buy your shades from us, we’ll give you detailed care instructions.

Q: What if my Roman shades have stubborn stains?

For tough stains, we recommend hiring a professional cleaner specializing in window treatments.

Q: Can I use chemicals to clean my Roman shades?

Avoid harsh chemicals as they can damage the fabric. Stick to mild detergents and gentle cleaning methods.

Q: Do I need to iron Roman shades after cleaning?

Ironing may not be necessary if you hang the shades properly and let them dry without wrinkles. If needed, use a low heat setting.

Q: What should I do if my Roman shades get wet?

Dry them as soon as possible to prevent watermarks or mold. You can use a towel to blot the moisture and let the shades air dry completely.

Q: Can I use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process of my Roman shades?

High heat can damage the fabric. Please let your shades air dry naturally.

Q: What’s the best way to remove pet hair from my Roman shades?

A lint roller or the upholstery attachment on your vacuum should remove pet hair.

Q: What should I do if my Roman shades have yellowed with age?

If your shades have yellowed, it might be time for a deep clean. Try a gentle bleach-free whitening agent, but always do a spot test first. If the yellowing is severe, it might be time for new shades.

Q: Can I use baking soda to clean my Roman shades?

Baking soda is a natural cleaner and deodorizer safe for many fabric types. However, always do a spot test first to ensure it doesn’t discolor the fabric.