Vertical blinds are among the most versatile and easy-to-maintain blind styles. However, they feature hooks and holes that can break — especially if you have a busy household or use your blinds often. Fortunately, you don’t have to run out and purchase a whole new set of blinds when something goes wrong.

Here, we’ll give you tips on how to maintain and care for vertical blinds slats so you can keep them looking their best. Plus, you’ll find handy troubleshooting tips from DIY repairs and replacements options to warranties that can save the day when it comes to your vertical blinds.

How To Maintain Vertical Blinds Slats

Vertical blinds are easy to maintain thanks to their durable construction, but they’re not infallible. There are a few things all blind owners should do to help protect vertical blinds from damage and keep them looking their best for years to come. Here are a few tips when it comes to maintaining and protecting vertical blind slats.

Clean Regularly

Vertical blinds have slats that run up and down rather than side to side. This construction means this blind style collects less dust compared to other horizontal blind styles. However, they still require regular cleaning to keep them in tip-top shape.

While some vertical blind fabrics are washable, other styles made of PVC and wood should be dusted rather than washed. Use a vacuum or feather duster to remove dust every week or two. You can also use a damp cloth to remove built-up grime or dirt from wipeable individual slats.

Additional Care for Wooden Blinds

Vertical blinds can be made of both real wood and faux wood in addition to rigid PVC and other plastics. Real wood vertical blinds require added care when it comes to maintenance. That’s because wood can warp when exposed to water. The porous nature of wood also means these slats can soak up stains.

If you plan on using vertical blinds in wet spaces such as kitchen and bathroom windows, opt for aluminum, PVC or faux wood versions instead. If you use water to remove grime on real wooden blinds, make sure to dry them immediately and thoroughly to avoid water damage.

Take Care of Mechanisms

It’s important to regularly clean the headrail, tracks and other mechanisms of your vertical blinds. This ensures a smooth movement that is free from squeaks and won’t result in blind slat damage. To clean the tracks, simply use a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust. You can remove the blind from the mechanism for easy access and don’t forget to lubricate winding mechanisms to keep things moving smoothly.

Remove Cord Tangles

Vertical blinds feature built-in cords that enable you to open and close the blinds. Some vertical blinds come with metal chains while others feature ropes and cords. These can become tangled over time, especially with consistent use.

While tangled cords won’t immediately impact the operation of your blinds, over time the cords can become so tangled that you won’t be able to open or close the window dressing. Tangles can also make it more difficult for the mechanism to slide properly, causing wear and tear that can break the blinds. Periodically, check for tangles in corded vertical blinds and undo the knots to prevent damage.

Troubleshooting Broken Vertical Blinds and Slats

Vertical blinds slats are durable, but they are prone to breakage with hard and aggressive use. While these blinds stand out when it comes to light control and functionality, they can also break over time with repeated use. If you pull on the blind cord too hard or open the blinds too quickly on a regular basis, the mechanism holding the slats together can break or the vertical slats themselves may become compromised.

Vertical blinds are attached to the headrail using a hook and bracket. These pieces are usually the ones that break with repeated or aggressive use. Here are a few ways to fix broken vertical blinds slats.

Use Vane Savers

Vane savers are made of plastic or metal and are designed to repair tears in vinyl vertical blinds where they attach to the hook and bracket near the headrail. These work similarly to the adhesive circles you use to fix holes on notebook paper. All you have to do is clip the vane saver over the hole or tear on the vertical blind slat. With the added support, the vertical blind slat can now be reattached to the hook and bracket to ensure proper movement.

This offers a quick and affordable fix for broken blind slats. You can find vane savers at most home improvement stores including Homebase.

DIY Repairs

If your vertical blinds have a small tear in the slats, you can also use a combination of tape and household items to make a repair. The most common items include toothpicks and paper clips. You can use a toothpick to bridge the gap of a very small tear by securing it with tape. Alternatively, you can attach a paperclip to the vertical blinds slat to bypass a hole or tear, enabling you to reattach the blind to the hook.

You can also simply use a hole punch to create a new hole near the top of the slat. Try to make the new hole as close as possible to the original hole so the slat will hang near the same height as the others.

Replacement Vertical Blind Slats

Some companies offer vertical blind replacement slats where you can swap in a new slat in place of a broken one. Replacement slats can be difficult to obtain for certain blinds, especially those that are custom made.

To find a replacement slat, start by figuring out the slat width of your vertical blinds. The most common slat sizes are 35 millimetres, 50 millimetres and 64 millimetres. However, some blinds feature larger slats — running to more than 127mm slat widths. Use a tape measure or consult your order history to find the width of your vertical blinds slats.

If you choose to order vertical replacement blinds, make sure the blinds match the exact colour and style of your existing blinds. Consider not only the blind style but also whether it is a dimout or blackout blind and ensure that the replacement slat is made of the same material of the original blind. Some vertical blind slats are also treated to offer waterproof or flame retardant capabilities or feature a finish — such as Hessian or brushed metal designs. Make sure you know the exact style and construction of your vertical blinds before ordering replacement slats.