Autumn Clean For A Healthier Winter

October 16th, 2019

According to Dr. Lisa Ackerley, aka The Hygiene Doctor, an Autumn Cleancan be an essential way to achieve a healthier winter.

 

As we crank the heating up, fabrics in the home can be a haven for germs and bacteria, mould and mites (unseen to the human eye) – that thrive in our warm winter cocoons – and this can cause havoc with our winter wellbeing.

 

We also think the happiness that Instagram cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch (Sophie Hinchcliffe) exudes, with her regular updates on How To Hinch Yourself Happy may well help to banish the winter blues too!

 

So, while a Spring Clean is about making homes sparkle in the summer sun – an Autumn clean can not only be essential for avoiding dreaded winter flu bugs and colds, it might be just what you need to have your happiest Halloween yet.

 

We’ve shared lots of great cleaning advice in previous posts here on our blog.

 

Why not take a quick reminder on our tips for cleaning windows blinds, rugs, wallpaper and bedding in our “Ultimate How To Cleaning Guide:

https://www.apollo-blinds.co.uk/blog/index.php/2019/04/the-ultimate-how-to-cleaning-guide/

 

If you’re specifically looking for more detailed tips on how to clean window blinds, then check this article too:

https://www.apollo-blinds.co.uk/blog/index.php/2018/09/how-to-clean-your-window-blinds/

 

And if you’re not already one of the 2.8m people that now follow @mrshinchhome then why not hop over to Instagram and give her a follow. A Google search “Mrs Hinch” will also bring up lots of great tips that the media have shared regarding the cleaning products she uses and how she keeps her house smelling super fresh.

 

But for those short of time, here are our five essential Autumn Clean tips. These focus on the most important areas of the home that may impact on winter wellbeing.

 

  1. Concentrate on the kitchen

While most people assume the bathroom would be the worst place for household nasties to reside, the kitchen is the first place that should be subjected to an Autumn Clean. Recent research showed that 75 per cent of dish sponges and cloths contained bacterias.

For your Autumn Clean, swap up your daily cleaning materials for a super powered clean:

  • Use disinfectant wipes or a disinfectant like Zoflora and clean every nook and cranny on your work top, cupboards, toaster, kettle … everywhere
  • Heat damp sponges in the microwave for a minute to kill bacteria.
  • Soak sponges in a quart of warm water with half a teaspoon of concentrated bleach.
  • Change tea towels a few times a week.

 

  1. Switch on to healthy handles

A weekly clean can often overlook things like light switches and handles that are exposed to daily hand contact. Go through the whole house and wipe down handles and light switches with a disinfectant wipe or cloth that has soaked in a gentle disinfectant and been rung out.

 

  1. Deep clean the dishwasher and washing machine

A common assumption is that, because the dishwasher and washing machine are designed to wash clothes and ‘clean’ during every use, they are clean. Wrong! They can harbor germs if not given a specialist clean – and making this part of your Autumn cleanse is a great time to do this. Pop out to the supermarket for a dishwasher cleaner and washing machine cleaning kit, pop on a cycle and job done.

4.Fresh Feet

For many vacuuming carpets and rugs, and mopping floors, is carried out regularly. But there are some hot spots that will need extra love and lather, bathroom mats and front/back door mats in particular. For bathroom mats Mrs Hinch suggests mixing a capful of fabric conditioner with washing gel and wiping them over. Using a disinfectant spray is another great tip for an Autumn clean on these often neglected items.

  1. Radiate a healthy glow

A problem cited in winter homes when it comes to passing on germs is the lack of ventilation and warm moist air (often because of indoor washing and drying on radiators). This is an ideal environment for bugs and germs to flourish.

 

More ventilation can help to freshen stale air and lessen the likelihood of coming into contact with the tiny drops of mucus that are sneezed or coughed into the air when people are ill. And when was the last time you wiped down a radiator? Give these hard working winter wonders a gentle clean with an anti-bacterial cleaning wipe or fluid to help to keep rooms nice and fresh.

 

So that’s it. Just a few simple steps that might help to increase chances of a healthy winter home and keep seasonal bugs at bay.

 

 

Cosy Homes Interior Looks For 2019

October 10th, 2019

Our latest blog post is an image gallery of the Apollo team’s favourite cosy home looks for 2019, and top tips for creating a cosy home.

Luxurious Layering

When the seasons change, try swapping your curtains for heavier fabrics in deeper colours as a cosy autumn update. Double dressing windows with both curtains and blinds is a statement look we’re seeing more and more of – not only is it an extra layer of insulation at windows, it also adds a decadent, luxe feel to a room. Choose lined curtains for added heat retention on cold winter nights.

Dark and Comforting Colours Schemes

It’s all too easy to play safe with neutral colour schemes, but don’t be afraid of the dark! A richer, deeper colour palette – think forest green, deep crimson, midnight blue – can add sophisticated drama to décor schemes and help to create that all important feeling of being cosy and cocooned. We absolutely love the new bedding collection from King of Decadence Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen – perfect for cosy winter bedroom sanctuaries.

Candle, Lights, Action

When the days get shorter and darker (we know it’s coming), layer up lighting around your home with warm watt bulbs, lamps in different colours and styles and a host of candles. Choose lighting that is not only practical, but also creates a cosy, welcoming ambience. Muster a cluster of pendant lights to localise light where it’s needed, backlight a mirror as the focal point of a room instead of a picture and place an angled floor lamp in your favourite reading corner. We love stringing fairy lights across the mantlepiece and grouping lanterns and tea-lights together for evocative seasonal atmosphere.

Warmth at Windows

Another of our top tips for keeping the heat in at windows is to invest in heat retaining window blinds. With between 20%-50% of domestic heat loss escaping through windows, our insulated Duette® blinds are a great way to keep homes snug and fuel costs down. They look stunning in the bedroom and living room and are also a great choice for conservatories – the one room in the house notorious for being too cold during the winter months.

A Hygge Home 

The Danish concept of Hygge – cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being – shows no sign of waning in popularity and it’s easy to see why. After all, Denmark is reputedly one of the happiest countries in the world. It’s all about creating a cosy relaxing environment and indulging in whatever makes you happy. For us this translates to snuggling up on the sofa with hot chocolate, a furry throw and our favourite box set!

Fireside and family time

There’s nothing like a blazing fire and family time to warm up a cold winter evening. We suggest investing in a log burning stove – cleaner and more energy efficient than an open fire – but giving off the same cosy warmth. They’re a great way to bring the comfort of a real flickering fire into your home even if you’re short on space. There are some fantastic new products on the market as an alternative to installing a fixed log burner. Portable indoor electric log burners can be brought into a room in the colder months and will add warmth at the touch of a button.

A Treat for Feet

There’s nothing nicer as you leave your nice warm bed on a cold winter’s morning, than sinking your toes into a sheepskin or faux fur rug – your feet will seriously thank you for it! We’re loving the latest trend for using furry rugs as an alternative to traditional throws – simply drape over sofas or armchairs to make a style statement or lay over hard dining chairs for a rustic look. A sumptuous rug in a rich, warm colour can knit your design scheme together, provide instant super cosy warmth and never goes out of style.

The Game of Throws

Throws and blankets feature highly on our winter wish list – we love nothing more than swathing ourselves in cosy layers for lazy afternoons on the sofa, movie nights and snuggles. Throws are also a great way of enhancing your home decor aesthetic – layer up different styles to add colour and texture-rich diversity to your living room or bedroom. Our new favourite is the chunky knit throw which, unlike the traditional woven blanket, stretches in every way for the ultimate in cosy. A word of warning though – you may not want to venture outdoors again.

Winter Whites 

Strange as it may seem, winter whites can actually brighten up your home. There are myriad shades of white – think ivory, cream, egg shell, oyster – which all complement each other and present unlimited options to personalise with different patterns, textures and accents within the same colour palette.

We hope you feel inspired by our cosy home gallery. Why not browse our website for more interiors inspiration: https://www.apollo-blinds.co.uk/

 

What if I have an unusual or large window? We asked our experts

September 19th, 2019

Not all windows are the same – and that’s why so many of our customers come to us. They need something that’s going to fit perfectly.

As the experts in made to measure blinds, we can create window blind solutions to suit most windows, no matter what their shape, size or functioning.

Here are some of the most popular questions we get asked by customers who have specific needs in mind.

 

Q. Can you create blinds that aren’t rectangular in shape?

A. Yes, absolutely. The best blinds for curves and triangles tend to be Duette® and Pleated blinds. Here are some examples of what can be created.

Shutters can also be made to fit curved and angled windows and doors.

Q. I have bi-fold doors – can I still have blinds?

A. Yes, there are blinds that are specially designed for bi-fold doors.

Our Intu® Micro Pleated blinds tend to be the most popular type and they are made to the exact size of the glass recess. Intu® Micro is a compact, pleated system that works seamlessly within the limited space afforded by bi-folding doors, while retaining the superb quality of the Intu® system. Bespoke 16mm pleated and 18mm cellular fabrics fit within the reveals of bi-fold doors, so this system can equally be used on other PVC, wooden or aluminium doors and windows.

They are mainly pre-tensioned so just pull up and down (no cords) and they don’t flap in the breeze.

They are designed to allow the doors to bi-fold back with no damage caused to the door or the blind letting you keep full functionality of the doors.

Intu Micro blinds

Q. What’s the biggest size of blind available?

A. The majority of our products go up to sizes that adequately cover larger than average windows, generally blinds can be made up to 4m x 7m.

We also have the Capital Roller Collection that is specifically for large windows. These fabrics can be used to manufacture blinds with widths up to 4000mm and drops up to 7000mm to cater for the trend for ‘glass expanses’ in homes.

Vertical blinds are also very popular for rooms with lots of large windows – they look great in bright colours too! Or our newest product, the Allusion range, also suits large windows.

Q. My window tilts inwards. Do I need specific blinds?

A. Intu®blinds are the best solution for tilt and turn windows. Intu blinds fit into the frame of the window so the blind sits flush against the glass. This ensures the fabric travels with the window when it’s in a tilted position and doesn’t hang down.


Q. I have a lantern roof. Can I put blinds in it?

A. Our Elegance Skylight system is especially made for large glazed architectural features. This unique blind can cover areas up to 24m² (much bigger than other types of blinds). It’s available in a choice of sheer, translucent and blackout fabrics and operating the blinds can be motorised.

Unusual shaped window blinds
Q. I can’t reach my window to open and close the blinds, can they be operated remotely?

A. Blinds can be automated with the a number of motorised options we offer, including the Powershade Hub a system that lets you control your blinds from your smart phone, tablet or remote control.

Motorised blinds are ideal for any difficult to reach windows or rooms with lots of blinds, particularly in conservatories.

Q: Can I get blinds for a glass or conservatory roof?

A: Yes, roof blinds can be tailored to any shape.

Again, motorising blinds makes dealing with blinds in high places or multiple blinds, easy and convenient.

If you have an unusual shaped window that could benefit from a made to measure blind there’s never been a better time to buy. We’ve got our best ever promotions currently running – and you could save up to 25% on some of our key window blinds for a limited time only. See our Offers page for details.

Have you seen our Facebook competition to win a made to measure blind? https://www.facebook.com/ApolloBlindsUK/ The competition closes on 31.10.19 so why not enter today?

Terms and conditions apply

 

Autumn 2019 competition – Terms and Conditions

 

The Autumn Facebook competition to win a blind closes at midnight 31.10.19

One winner will be picked at random and notified via Facebook Messenger. If the winner does not respond within a month of being contacted their prize is void.

The prize excludes Duette blinds and Shutters and the total value of the prize blind will not exceed £2000, including fitting.

The prize will be fitted in the winner’s home by an Apollo Blinds representative and it must be fitted to the window shown in the entry.

No cash alternative is available and the judge’s decision is final.

The competition is open to UK residents only, over the age of 18.

Have You Seen Our New Allusion Blinds?

September 18th, 2019

They’re A Sheer Delight for Windows

Our NEW Allusion window blinds are the latest innovation in window coverings – combining sheer curtains and vertical blinds.

We’re a nation that once LOVED net curtains at windows, and everything comes back in fashion (so the saying goes). So here is a new sophisticated update for windows, a sheer window covering that combines the best of sheer curtains and vertical blinds.  They’re a 21st-century version of the once hugely popular net curtain if you like!

New Allusion Window Blind

The new Allusion blinds from Apollo Blinds feature vertical vanes in a soft, silky voile material that are suspended from a top rail.

The delicate fabric drapes beautifully, holding its shape to give the illusion of curtain folds, but as the fabric is hung in individual vertical vanes, you can pass through them for easy access to doors.

21st Century net curtain

Our design director Matt Thomas explains: “Just like their net curtain predecessors, Allusion blinds are made from sheer fabric that provides a veil of privacy but still allows maximum light into a room.

“They’re a brilliant solution for dressing large windows as well as patio, bifold and trifold doors. They can be motorised and operated by remote control or by a neat wand.

“Because each vane hangs separately (i.e. not linked together by a bottom chain or rail), homeowners can pass through the blind at any point without having to ‘open’ the blinds. The louvres can be rotated for variable light control.

“Homeowners can also throw open the doors without flies and wasps entering the home. And there’s good news for allergy-sufferers too, as Allusion blinds let fresh air circulate while blocking much of the pollen and dust particles that aggravate symptoms of hay-fever and asthma.

“A final benefit is that they also stop nosey neighbours and potential burglars from getting a good view into homes.”

New Allusion blinds come in two colours Snow (white) and Pewter (charcoal), with a choice of a colour co-ordinating fascia (or Vista headrail) and the option to motorise.

Made to measure blinds come in two colours

Key benefits and differences of Allusion blinds at a glance include:

  • Vertical blind and curtain functionality combined in one solution
  • Ideal for bifold/trifold doors, patio doors and large windows
  • Vertical vanes versus single sheet of net fabric – allows you to ‘walk through’ and easily access doors
  • Subtle light diffusion – rotate the louvres for extra light/darkness
  • Privacy without losing light
  • Motorised tilt only or wand operation

Allusion blinds in room

Contact your nearest Apollo Blinds now for more information or to book a free no-obligation consultation.

Warming Colourways and Best Window Blinds for Autumn

September 18th, 2019

Best Blinds for Autumn

One of the most exciting things about the changing seasons is that it provides inspiration for interior updates.

The autumnal colour palette – rich ambers, burnt oranges and rustic reds –are the perfect inspiration for easy home décor updates to create a warm and comfortable sanctuary away from the inclement British weather.

 

Curtains – An Easy Autumn Update

Changing curtains is an easy update to transform a room and make it feel cosier in the Autumn months with a heavier fabric and deeper colours or seasonal designs. Curtains chosen for Autumn/Winter schemes are also generally lined and heavier fabrics to provide additional heat retention and blackout functionality.

A look we’re seeing more and more is the combination of sheer and lined, heavier fabric curtains combined. This gives fantastic light control.

As with all window coverings, the blackout qualities and ability to retain heat are often the key reason behind the choice of curtain fabric in different seasons. Thermal lined curtains help retain heat and make a room feel cosy for winter nights. This is particularly important for large windows.

Curtains for Autumn

The Ultimate Light Control With Twilight Blinds

Versatile Twilight Blinds are perfect for making the most of daylight hours whilst providing privacy.

Twilight blinds come with all the benefits of a roller blind, but within seconds allow natural light to flood into the room.  That’s without lifting the blind fully and making the room feel chilly. And there are two layers of fabric too, for even more cosiness and insulation.

Panels of solid and sheer fabrics give greater versatility over privacy and light control than other types of blinds – light, dark or somewhere in between (Twilight) can all be achieved, by adjusting the continuous loop of fabric around the bottom bar.

Light control twilight blinds

Warm colours and insulating Duette® blinds – the perfect autumn update

Duette® blinds provide a double whammy of warmth when chosen in autumnal shades, providing a warming glow into rooms with the added benefits of insulating properties – just perfect for this time of year.

Blinds in Autumnal shades

Designed with effective insulating properties to keep homes warm, Duette® blinds are proven to retain 46% more heat inside a room – with between 20%-50% of domestic heat loss escaping through windows, insulated Duette® blinds are a great way to keep homes snug and fuel costs down.

Blinds in Autumnal shades

Blackout versions are available – perfect for shutting out gloomy winter nights – but the semi-opaque fabric option allows light to ripple through during daylight hours, whilst still conserving heat at the window.

Matt Thomas, Design Director at Apollo Blinds adds:

“Autumn is a time of transition, not only in the colours seen outside of the window but also within the home.  As well as introducing cosier textures and fabrics, homeowners often look to update interior colour palettes to those that provide warmth and sanctuary; reflecting the urge to be indoors out of the cold.”

Window Blinds to Match Tranquil Dawn

September 18th, 2019

The colour trend experts at Dulux have announced the colour of the year for 2020 as Tranquil Dawn. It’s a hazy, fresh sea green that signifies new beginnings for interior design, encourages human connection and is a nod to the new decade we’re about to enter.

The great news is that if you’re looking to for Tranquil Dawn home accessories or soft furnishings, Apollo Blinds has products across all of its window blinds ranges to match the Dulux Colour of the Year.

Our design director Matt Thomas says:

“Tranquil Dawn provides a fresh twist on the greys we’ve become accustomed to in interior design.  There are plenty of gorgeous patterned fabrics from our Roman Blind, Curtain and Cushion Collection to match Tranquil Dawn that can be coordinated throughout the room.

Roman Blinds and Curtains to match Dulex colour of the year

“Shutters also look amazing with this colour, especially as Apollo Blinds operates a colour match service that can perfectly match shutters to any shade. Alternatively, a crisp white, soft grey or natural timber would beautifully complement this colour on the walls.”

Roman blinds to match Dulex colour of the year

Find your nearest Apollo Blinds for an in-home quote.

Shutters – The Ideal Window Dressing for Bay Windows

August 6th, 2019

Apollo Blinds recently collaborated with multi-award-winning lifestyle and interiors writer Helen Powell – aka Design Hunter www.designhunter.co.uk – to find the perfect window dressing for a curved bay window.

Unsatisfied with curtains alone, and in search of a solution to dress the five panelled bay windows in her lounge without removing the original 1930s pelmet, Helen turned to our experts for advice.

She needed something that would suit the pared-back style of their home and give her family some much-needed privacy, but without blocking the abundance of natural light that enters the room. Shutters were the obvious choice.

The pelmet was a beautiful period feature they wanted to keep, but it caused a design conundrum, as outlined in the latest Design Hunter blog post about the installation.

“If we removed the pelmet it would leave behind damage to the plasterwork which couldn’t easily be patched up, but if we left it in place then we wouldn’t be able to open the shutters. And if we couldn’t open out the shutters then we wouldn’t be able to open the windows either, which was obviously a bit of an issue!”

“Luckily our consultant from Apollo Blinds was able to come up with a solution to this dilemma. He suggested tier on tier shutters with a horizontal support post to separate the panels. With this style of shutter, the bottom panel can be opened independently of the top one. So, when we want to open the window, we just open up the bottom tier of shutters and the top one stays in its original position”

Throughout the installation, the level of knowledge and craftsmanship at Apollo blinds impressed Helen. On the Design Hunter blog, she shared her thoughts on whether a full-service measure and fit installation was better than trying to install the shutters themselves.

“There isn’t much we can’t or won’t tackle, but I am glad we didn’t go down the DIY route,” said Helen.

“Even if you measure and install them yourself to cut costs, shutters are still a big investment, and I wouldn’t have wanted to run the risk of spending a large amount of money on them only to end up with a fit that wasn’t quite right because we had tried to save money on installation costs. This is one job I’d definitely recommend getting the professionals in to do.

She continued, “Our installation was successful (and actually ended up looking even better than we’d hoped) because we were able to draw upon all the advice, skills and experience of the wonderful guys at Apollo to get both the choice of shutters and the fit just right.”

A glowing recommendation indeed!

If you’re considering investing in window shutters then why not get in touch with your nearest Apollo Blinds now to arrange a free, no-obligation home consultation.

And you can read all about the benefits of shutters in our blog post on the subject.

Weatherproof Your Outdoor Space with a Retractable Awning

June 27th, 2019

With most of the spring being a washout, it’s been a struggle for much of the UK to get out and enjoy their outdoor living areas.

Conversely, soaring temperatures in the coming weeks could leave you in search of a shady spot to hide from the sun.

Retractable awnings fitted to an outdoor wall of your property can be a huge benefit, sheltering you from the best and worst of the Great British weather.

And we’ve recently extended our awning fabric collection to now include over 200 easy to clean acrylic fabrics and a host of accessories/upgrades, ensuring you’ll be able to make the most of your outside living spaces.

Here are just some of the benefits:

Taking the Indoors Out

The emerging trend for making outdoor spaces more ‘homely’ means many homeowners are dressing their patios with outdoor rugs, lighting and comfy furniture.   Awnings can enhance the cosy atmosphere and protect outdoor furniture and furnishings from sun and rain damage – many of the fabrics having high levels of UV ratings for maximum protection.

Built-in heaters will fend off the evening chill and when the sun begins to set, integrated lighting can provide a soft glow for ambience.

Alfresco Dining

An awning means no more cancelled plans or dashing inside mid-dinner party when the heavens open.

It’s a versatile shelter that prevents soggy sandwiches and ensures the BBQ can always go ahead no matter what the forecast.

 

Totally Automatic

Who wants to spend their time repeatedly covering and uncovering outdoor furniture to protect it from the next downpour? An additional benefit of awnings is that they can be motorised and operated remotely at the touch of a button.

They can also be fitted with light and wind sensors to extend and retract automatically.

Built to Last

We’re confident that all our that are awnings are of the highest quality and are built to last, but in case there was any doubt, a 10-year fabric guarantee comes as standard on all Apollo Blinds awnings.

For more information on our awnings and to book a no-obligation consultation, get in touch with your nearest Apollo Blinds.

Four Ways to Make Your Home Greener

May 28th, 2019

Thanks to wildlife documentaries such as Blue Planet II, as well as increased awareness about how the products we buy and use in our homes affect the environment, being kinder to the planet is becoming a big priority for many UK homeowners.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to be eco-friendly in your home without spending thousands of pounds or affecting your quality of life.

 

1. Reduce Plastic Waste

 

 

Single use plastic bags, bottles, straws and cups are the biggest threat to our ocean eco-systems – causing huge damage to wildlife and turning massive stretches of water into floating rubbish dumps.

You can do your bit to tackle the growing amount of plastic entering our oceans by swapping out single use plastics for reusable versions, as well as making a conscious effort to buy products that utilise plastics recovered from the ocean. Everything from duvets, rugs and now window blinds can reuse plastic waste in this way.

Apollo’s NEW Greenscreen Sea-Tex blinds are made from plastic retrieved from beaches, remote coastlines and inland waterways, transforming it into a long-lasting high-performance roller blind fabric. Greenscreen Sea-Tex fabric is energy-efficient, filters sunlight and is fully recyclable.  It’s also PVC free.

Fifty per cent of the fabric’s weight is recovered ocean plastic, they’re available in five neutral semi-transparent shades.

2. Reduce Energy Consumption

There are lots of ways to reduce energy in the home, some are common sense, others are less so, and overall there are significant savings to be made.

You can read our brilliant energy saving tips here: https://www.apollo-blinds.co.uk/blog/index.php/2019/03/energy-price-cap-rise/

 And one of the best tips of all is to install Duette® blinds at windows. With their unique honeycomb structure, Duette® blinds can help homeowners to achieve a more energy-efficient home, saving up to 25% on annual heating costs.

Within the collection, Duette® Relife blinds are a type of Duette® blinds fabric manufactured using recycled polyester fibres from recycled textiles, scoring you even more eco-friendly points.

 

3. Recycle and Upcycle

Upcycling furniture is not only great for the environment but will create stunning and bespoke pieces for your home.  There are hundreds of tutorials that show you how to breathe new life into old furniture and we’ve collated some of our favourites for you over on Pinterest

 

Another recycling option is to create window blinds from old curtains. Curtains can become worn around the edges but if the fabric is otherwise intact, there’s an opportunity you can recycle these well-loved household textiles into gorgeous window blinds, using our You Choose window blinds making service.  It’s something we’re seeing more frequently and is great for the environment.

 

4. Harness the Sun’s Power

Apollo’s solar powered roof blinds operate by converting energy from the sun via a discreet solar panel on the window side of the blind, which charges the battery during daylight hours.

The blinds are fully motorised for ease of use, yet without any added electricity consumption.   They’re ideal for insulating windows and for light control in hard to reach areas.

Apollo has recently introduced a number of products with impressive eco credentials to its already extensive ranges.

All are delivered with Apollo’s quality assurance and the care and attention to detail that guarantees an expertly crafted window blind, fitted to the homeowner’s exact specifications.

The Ultimate ‘How To’ Cleaning Guide

April 2nd, 2019

How To Clean Blinds & Shutters

How to Clean Wallpaper

How To Clean Rugs

How To Clean Filled Duvets & Pillows

 

How To Clean Blinds & Shutters

Regular cleaning and upkeep will help to keep your blinds and shutters looking as good as new. Here is expert advice on how to clean blinds.

Know your blinds

First and foremost it’s important to learn as much as you can about your blinds (Apollo Blinds provides an aftercare document with every purchase with tips on how to care for your blinds).  Have a basic understanding of the type of washing each type of blind can withstand – some blinds are washable, where others can’t endure any water.

Little and often

As with everything, regular housekeeping is a must for keeping your blinds looking good.  A little cleaning (done often) will limit the need for a major facelift, which can be awkward and time consuming.

The right tools for the job

There are some tools that you may not have thought of, which are perfectly suited for sprucing up your blinds:

  • Baby wipes – Super soft and non-abrasive, baby wipes are not just for little ones, they work wonders with cords or tapes on Venetian blinds too.
  • Ostrich feather duster – the tiny barbules on the ostrich feathers act as fingers to collect dust without leaving static electricity behind, perfect for wooden blinds.
  • Micro fibre cloth – lint free and gentle, it is claimed that micro fibre cloths are up to four times more effective than normal cloths.

You must dust (really you must)

Yes, there are a million other things you could be doing, but giving your blinds the weekly once-over will stop dust building up and limit the potential for stains and dirty marks, which are trickier to remove.

Deep cleaning

Vacuum your blinds every couple of months using the upholstery attachment of your cleaner. About twice a year you will need to give them a more thorough going over. Gently rub them from end to end with a micro fibre cloth.

Avoid chemical nasties

Warm water and a mild detergent should be sufficient for most types of window blind as harsh chemicals can damage delicate material.  Be careful not to drench your blinds as this can cause discolouration and distort wooden blinds.

 

How to Clean Wallpaper by www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk

Pick washable wallpaper

How washable a wallpaper is can be found on most wallpaper websites in the ‘product summary’ section or on the packaging. Look out for vinyl/acrylic covered wallpaper as this can be scrubbed with mild detergents and is more hardwearing than plain-paper wallpaper.

Look for the labels

Before going at the walls with a scrubbing brush, check the instructions that came with the wallpaper.   All of www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk’s products are supplied with easy to follow symbols that signify how to clean them, cleaning agents to use and even how much pressure to apply (information is also listed alongside products on the website).

These range from ‘spongeable’ (only dab fresh paste off when hanging the paper when it’s still wet), to ‘highly scrubbable’ (scrub using mild detergents to remove oils and other tough stains). For more details about ‘washability’ and ‘scrubbability’ head to I Want Wallpaper’s wallpaper symbols guide.

Dust or vacuum the walls

A weekly going over with the duster will keep walls looking fresh and limit the accumulation of cobwebs and ‘dust bunnies’ (fluffy clumps of dust particles) that tend to gather on walls.  Use a feather duster with a long handle or alternatively vacuum with the cleaner attachment for hard to reach areas. Try not to press on the wall with the vacuum extension so as not to leave a mark or transfer dirt.  Always vac or dust the walls prior to washing them.

Get everything you need ready before starting to clean

Tool up with the following items before beginning:

Ladder (free standing is best so as not to damage wallpaper when leaning it against the wall)

Hoover/duster

Plastic/cloth sheet (Line the floor and nearby furniture with a large sheet (preferably plastic), in case of drips, dust or spillages)

Soft brush

Bucket of clean water

Bucket of water with mild detergent

Plain, clean sponge

Clean cloth

Small towel

Do a patch test

Find a discreet spot and test the cleaning solution to avoid costly damage.

Be sparing

Too much detergent can actually attract dirt and leave stains.  Similarly, too much water can damage the paper and leave water marks. Dip the sponge in the soapy water and wring out excess moisture until the sponge is just slightly damp.

Be methodical

Start at the top left corner and wipe the wall with soapy water using gentle downward motions being careful to avoid loosening or ripping conjoining edges.  After cleaning a strip, use the bucket filled with clean water (and the fresh cloth) to remove excess soap. Clean from top to bottom (to avoid drips) and work across the wall from left to right. Rinse the sponges and change the water regularly, so as not to just move dirt around.

Towel dry

Dry each section with a towel as you go. Using a towel will gently absorb any leftover moisture and limit the risk of water marks.

Be gentle

Even scrubbable papers need a soft touch – it’s paper after all. Avoid bleach or harsh cleaning solutions.  Similarly, abrasive products like hard-bristle brushes may be too coarse for this job.  Gentle downward motions will be effective enough to clean off the majority of dirt/stains.

And for hard to shift stains…

Try these WALLPAPER HACKS to remove tougher stains but always remember to spot-check first.

Scuffs: There are a number of methods for using scuff marks – an eraser being one of the most effective.  Baking soda/water can also be used but is slightly abrasive so always test it first.

Grease: Talcum powder can absorb grease stains on non-vinyl wallpaper (simply apply and leave for five mins then brush away)

Alternatively, a low-heat iron applied over paper towels should soak up the stain.

Food: Gently scrape away food that has stuck to the wallpaper.  For more persistent stains, gently rub with a toothbrush dipped in detergent.

Crayon: Scrape away crayon with a blunt knife.  Use the iron and paper towel technique to lift more stubborn marks.

Ink: Baby wipes should remove the ink from washable markers

Gently rub baking soda and water onto non-washable ink.

Rubbing alcohol or silver polish can be used on very durable wallpapers.

Fingerprints: An eraser should rub the stain away with minimal pressure.

 

How To Clean Rugs by The Rug Seller

Rugs are a great addition to homes, and one of their jobs is to protect floors and carpets. This also means rugs fibres can harbour millions of microorganisms – unsurprising considering they’re subject to dirty shoes, spills and in some cases pets.

Without regular cleaning, mould spores and pollen particles can collect in rug fibres, as well as dust mites (microscopic creatures that can worsen allergic symptoms). So, it’s safe to say there may be more than just a bug in your rug if left uncleaned.

Regular maintenance and these easy cleaning hacks can keep rugs fresh and looking great.

Vacuum Regularly

Running the vacuum cleaner over a rug at least once a week is important to keep it clean and fresh.  Vacuuming will prevent dirt from becoming ‘trodden in’ and stop it from working deep down into the pile of the rug, where it’s much harder to remove.

Before setting to work with the vac, give the rug a shake to remove any loose grit or dirt that is trapped within the fibres – these can then be picked up by the vacuum.

Suction only vacuum cleaners are preferable to rotary brush or upright vacuum cleaners which can sometime damage to the surface of the pile and fray the edges of rugs.

Avoid vacuum brushes as they can break up the yarns and create excessive shedding -considerably reducing the life of a rug. Vacuum brushes will also damage the whipping on the edges of the rug due to the change in height between the rug and the floor. Use the nozzle attachment to lightly vacuum the rug to remove any surface dust and loose yarns.

There are anti-bacterial powders that can be sprinkled onto rugs to rid them of germs but always test on a small section first.

And don’t forget the underside – vacuum the backing of the rug once a month to remove trapped dust, dirt, allergens and bacteria.

This video courtesy of The Rug Seller is really useful

Deal with Spillages Immediately

It’s important to soak up liquids quickly to ensure they don’t penetrate into the yarns of a rug.

Dampen a white, cotton cloth and blot the area. Repeat the process until all the liquid has been absorbed. Be careful not to rub as this will damage the surface of the rug.  Alternatively, a cloth can be placed on top of the area and left to absorb the spillage.

Always make sure the rug is completely dried (this takes about three to four hours) before placing back on your floor. There’s more advice in this video

Tackle Stains

Certain types of rugs will stand up to stains better than others. Manmade fibres are more repellent to stains.  Nylon rugs can be steam cleaned.  There are also water resistant and wipe clean rugs.

A mixture of equal parts white wine vinegar and washing up liquid and warm water should remove stains like coffee, red wine and mud.  Mud should be left to dry and vacuumed first.

Stubborn stains should be removed by specialist cleaning companies who will have the experience and knowledge of how to deal with the problem

Try a Washable Rug

Believe it or not there are rugs available that can be machine washed.  Buddy rugs are stain resistant, anti-shed and colour fast with a non-slip backing.  They are fully machine washable at 40 degrees and quick drying so they retain their shape after washing.  There’s a range of shapes, sizes and colours available.

Protect from Pets

Pets love rugs, but rugs don’t always love pets.  Animal hair, chewing, scratching and other little ‘accidents’ can ruin a rug, but there are steps to take to reduce damage from furry friends.

Choose a rug that’s suitable for animal owners.  Dogs love to dig in a high pile rug so short pile rugs are preferable (and easier to clean). Dark colours will hide stains and scratches. Soak up any ‘accidents’ with newspaper and be sure to place the soiled paper in the litter tray to signify the place where a pet should urinate.  Rinse clean with cool water and blot to remove excess moisture.

 

How To Clean Bedding

Washing bedding should be an essential part of a Spring Clean for a healthier home and a better night’s sleep.

Washable bedding has been developed to withstand regular washing, in standard domestic washing machines, even at 60oC. They don’t lose any warmth, quality or comfort.

Wash Duvets Every Six Months

The Fine Bedding Company recommends that duvets should be washed every six months, or once a year at the very least. Making it part of a spring and autumn clean is an ideal reminder to do this.  We recommend larger togs and sizes, e.g.13.5 tog king and superking size duvets, be washed in a large capacity machine (the majority of modern washing machines now have a high capacity drum as standard). Just make sure there is enough room for the duvet to move around a bit inside the drum to allow the fabric cover and fibres to agitate inside and get thoroughly clean.

Wash At 60oC

Dust mites are one of the biggest bed nasties – microscopic mites that can be present in their thousands living on the constant supply of dead skin cells. These can aggravate allergies; dust mites can easily result in irritated skin and eyes and for those with allergies and for anyone with asthma, dust mites can make symptoms worse.

Washing helps cleanse the entire product (filling and cover) of any accumulated dirt, moisture and dust. More importantly, washing at 60oC kills dust mites.

Use Less Detergent

Also it’s wise to use about one third of your usual amount of detergent.

Shake It Out

Shake out the duvet while it’s damp to redistribute the filling evenly and dry products as quickly as possible. Drying on a warm sunny day is ideal or pop into a domestic dryer.

Wash Pillows Every Three Months

No one wants to snuggle their head into a pillow that’s stained or even flecked with mildew. The Fine Bedding Company recommends that pillows are washed more frequently than duvets, around four times a year – or every three months. Most pillows that are filled with synthetic fibres can usually be machine-washed at 40oC or 60oC.

Adding a pillow protector can help to prolong the need to wash the actual pillow itself and these can be washed frequently and easily.

Always Check The Care Label

Always check the care label pillows and natural pillows typically require professional cleaning.

Natural Feather & Down Duvets and Pillows

Natural filled products can not be washed and dried at home, regardless of the capacity or capability of the machine. Most dry cleaners will launder natural fill bedding. Also it is essential that natural duvets be thoroughly dried. Even though a duvet may feel dry to the touch, the filling inside often holds on to moisture so if the duvet is not dried properly, rotting of the filling can occur.