Whether you’ve just had new plantation shutters installed or if you’ve had the same set for years, cleaning them regularly is vital to extending their lifespan.  However, if you don’t take the proper steps, you can possibly end up doing more harm than good.  That’s why Gallery Shutters Inc. is providing the following cleaning tips for plantation shutters!  For over 20 years, we have been the leader in window shutter sales and installation from Buena Park to the rest of Orange County.  As your local plantation shutter experts, we take pride in sharing advice that can save you money in the long run.  

  1. Do Not Use Soap and Water on Wooden Shutters

    This is the single most common mistake that people make when cleaning wooden plantation shutters.  It is extremely important to remember that real wood is not water and moisture resistant.  Therefore, cleaning them with water can seriously damage them.   Real wood is capable of absorbing water, and thus expanding.  This can cause the shutters to swell and either get so heavy that they break the frame they are mounted on or that they warp.  If they warp, they can also crack.  Lastly, warping can hinder functionality and prevent louvres from being completely movable.  On the other hand, poly shutters are more water resistant, but as we will see, there are still much better ways to clean them.  In short, you should avoid using water to clean your shutters.  Here is a great video about how to clean wooden plantation shutters.  Don't Use Water on Wooden Plantation Shutters

  2. Dry Dust

    The quickest way to clean your plantation shutters is to use a dry duster such as a dust cloth, microfiber, feather duster, or sponge.  Lightly wipe down all of the surfaces with one of these to pick up residue.  Granted, this will only clean dust and other grime that has lightly settled on the louvres and frames.  This will not remove substances that have adhered to the surfaces or grime stuck in tight corners and crevices.  However, dry dusting regularly can prevent hard-to-remove residue from forming and thus keep you from having to clean more thoroughly often.   Plus, it only takes a few moments to do it!  We suggest dry dusting your shutters about once a week, to extend their lifetimes and to prevent build up.  

  3. Use Furniture Polish to Make Plantation Shutters Look Brand New

    If you dry dust your shutters regularly, you should only need to polish them once every month or two.  For real wooden shutters, you should naturally choose a polish that is meant for use on wood.  Then use a microfiber cloth, dampened with a bit of the polish to wipe all of the wooden surfaces.  We don’t recommend using paper towels or other materials, because microfibers do the best at spreading the polish without rubbing any existing dust or dirt into the surfaces and therefore damaging them.  Also, note that you should put some polish onto the microfiber cloth as opposed to putting it directly on the surface which you are cleaning.  Putting polish directly onto a surface increases your chances of using too much and making them appear greasy.  Poly shutters can be cleaned with harsher materials if needed.  First, follow the same process as you would for dry cleaning wooden shutters.  Then use a cloth and your cleaning solution to scrub them down. Note that poly shutters are water resistant, so you don’t have to avoid using water in this process.

  4. Use a Toothbrush to Remove Dust and Grime from Corners & Crevices

    Of course there are those tight spaces that none of the above techniques can clean.  Whether it be the corners of the shutter frames or the small spaces between where the louvres and frame meet, these spots can easily build up gunk and grime if they are not also regularly cleaned.  In order to clean them, we suggest that you place a drop of furniture polish onto a toothbrush and scrub lightly and the hard-to-reach spots.  The bristles of the brush should work their way into the crevice and remove any dirt, dust, or other build up.  Obviously, you shouldn’t use the toothbrush on yourself after this.   

    These 4 steps will ensure that your plantation shutters last as long as they possibly can.  If you don’t regularly dry dust, you run the risk of dust building up to the point where it sticks to the surface of your shutters.  This in turn will cause you to spend more time and effort cleaning, scrubbing, and polishing them.  If you have wooden shutters, this also increases the risk of you damaging them while you are cleaning them, either by scrubbing them too hard and scratching them or by using too much polish.  The toothbrush method will ensure that all of the moving parts of your shutters keep from sticking, possibly so bad that they affect the functionality.  For more tips about plantation shutters and more, visit our website.  You can also give us a call to schedule a free in-home estimate.  At Gallery Shutters Inc., we are dedicated to providing the best possible addition to your Buena Park home.