Caring for your DIY Shutters

By: My Shutters Online

Plantation shutters are beautiful window treatments that can be found in many homes today. Plantation shutters are typically made of wood however, it is also possible to find shutters made of plastic materials.
If you are looking for a window covering that will last a while plantation shutters are a good choice. With proper care and maintenance, they will last decades however, they can accumulate quite a bit of dirt, and may begin to look shabby. Exterior window shutters will get dirty faster and will need cleaning more frequently. Sometimes shutters may also become home for tiny insects. There are a few tips on how to maintain your shutters:
Cleaning Timber Plantation Shutters
To clean your timber shutters you will need a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment, a dusting cloth, spray on wood polish and a toothbrush.
1. Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to lightly vacuum your shutters. This will keep them free of dust and debris build up. Doing this at least once a week makes it easier when you go to do a proper clean of your shutters.
2. Once every month, spray your dusting cloth with the wood polish. Use this to then dust the shutters thoroughly. If you have shutters high, make sure you use a stepping stool or small ladder. Standing on a chair or table may be dangerous as they were not made to support your standing weight. Also, ensure you have your ladder or step stool on level ground.
3. If there are small grooves or crevices in your shutters you will find they can collect dust which is harder to reach. Spray your toothbrush, obviously not the one you use on your teeth, lightly with the polish and clean out those hard to reach places.
4. It’s important to ensure you do not use soap and water on your shutters. The water may cause damage to the shutters and may warp the wood.
Cleaning Vinyl or Painted Shutters
To clean vinyl or painted shutters you will need the following things available: A vacuum with a soft brush attachment, bucket, mild grease-cutting dish soap, warm water, two wash clothes or cleaning rags, a cleaning toothbrush and an absorbant, soft towel.
1. Once a week use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to lightly vacuum the shutters, in the same way you would with timber shutters. This will help to remove pet hair, pollen, dust and other debris that builds up on the shutters.
2. Combine the warm water and dish soap in the bucket to form a sudsy cleaning solution.
3. Use the cloth to wash the shutters thoroughly, dampening it is the water. Again, ensure that you are using a stepping stool or ladder, and not tables and chairs to reach those higher places.
4. Dampen the second cloth with clean plain water without any soap. This cloth is then used to wide away any soap residue.
5. Use the soft towel to dry the shutters thoroughly.
6. Use the toothbrush in the sudsy water to clean out the hard to reach grooves and crevices.

Here are a few more tips that will help you care for your shutters:
• If you don’t have a soft brush attachment for your vacuum hose, you may find a feather duster will also do the same job however, this is often a more difficult task.
• If you choose to use soap and water on your timber shutters to achieve a raw and rustic look, keep in mind that this will make the wood brittle and will become prone to breakage.
• The key to maintaining your shutters is to clean them regularly. By doing this, you’ll have great looking shutters for years.
• Always double check with the shutter manufacturer’s for any specialised cleaning that may be required.
• Avoid the use of all purpose cleaners on your interior plantation shutters. These are often too harsh and could cause discolouration or staining.

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