Light-diffusing or opaque shades are usually made of fabric that is washable, and some shades have a protective vinyl coating that makes them easy to clean. Other shades are not washable and must be dry-cleaned.
- Vacuum shades regularly using the brush attachment. Lower the shades completely before vacuuming to clean the full length; don't forget the tops and valances.
- Remove finger marks with a sponge or a quick spray of an all-purpose spray cleaner.
- To thoroughly clean the shades, remove them from the window and spread them out on a flat surface. Test a corner of the shade with a detergent to see if the color bleeds.
- To clean nonwashable window shades, thoroughly rub the surface with a rough, absorbent cloth dipped in cornmeal. The secret of this treatment is that the abrasiveness and absorption of the cloth and cornmeal pick up the soil and grease. Terry cloth is good for this job, but an old sweatshirt turned inside out is even better. Kitchen flour can be substituted for cornmeal.
- To clean washable window shades, make a mild soapy solution using a liquid dishwashing detergent, and apply it to a rolled-out shade with a sponge. Rinse with a clean sponge dipped in clear water, and allow it to dry before rerolling.