Caring for your plantation shutters

Plantation shutters are a worthwhile investment. They not only offer style to a house, but help save on electricity costs, and increase the resale value. Whether they’re real wood or faux plantation shutters, if they’re well made, they can last for several years. Proper care is essential, but fortunately, this care is relatively easy.

Plantation shutters are a wise investment, but a significant one, so you want to keep them looking their best. An essential part of the care of plantation indoor shutters is keeping them clean. Otherwise, dust and dirt can build up and destroy the sheen.

Cleaning Real Wood Plantation Shutters

How you clean your indoor shutters depends on what they are made of. Real wood plantation shutters if nicely painted with a high-quality finish, are as easy to clean as faux wood shutters, but do not use water, which can harm or warp wood. At least once every month, spray a dust cloth with wood polish, and dust the shutters thoroughly. If your walls have small grooves or crevices that accumulate dirt and dust, spray on a toothbrush gently with spray polish and use it to wash hard-to-reach areas.

Cleaning Faux Plantation Shutters

Most faux plantation shutters are made of some kind of vinyl. Indoor vinyl shutters should be dusted at least once weekly. You can use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner hose. Tilt the slats up and gently vacuum them. Don’t forget the tops and bottoms of the dividers.

For cleaning, soap and water can be used on vinyl shutters. Some specialists recommend using distilled water because it doesn’t contain minerals that will cause spotting. In a bucket, combine warm water and mild dish soap or some other mild soap to make a sudsy cleaning solution (about one teaspoon with one quart of water). Dampen a soft cloth in the sudsy water, and wash the shutters thoroughly. Next, dampen another cloth with just water, and rinse away any soap residue. If your shutters have small grooves or cracks, remember those, as they are easily able to collect dirt and grime. Dip a toothbrush in the soapy water to clean those areas. It may be tempting to use an all-purpose spray cleaner, but these can be overly harsh and can discolour or stain your own walls. Dry the walls thoroughly with a towel. This is essential, to prevent spotting.

A big benefit of indoor faux plantation shutters over the true wood variety is that they can be used in kitchens and bathrooms, where they are subjected to heat and moisture. However, in these rooms, shutters will collect particles from hair spray, grease, and other items that can stick to them. These may require a bit more cleaning. You can create a solution of one teaspoon dish soap and one gallon of hot water. Wet a cloth in the solution and wring it out well. Then wipe the shutters down on both sides while in the closed position. Rinse the cloth as necessary and continue till they are clean. Again, do not forget to dry them with a clean, soft cloth.

Handle with Care

Quality shutters are durable, but you still have to be gentle with them. When opening and closing the slats, twist the pole gently. If you’re going to be opening the shutters all of the way out to the side, be sure they are fastened and won’t bang against the wall. That will damage the framework (not to mention the wall).

The best way to ensure that you’re providing the appropriate care for your shutters is to consult the plantation shutter manufacturers. If you do not have the documentation that came with the shutters, call the manufacturer, or check their website for advice on what they’re made from, and for instructions on proper care to maintain the life and look of your window coverings.