· Homekeeping Tips · Cleaning Tips · How To Clean The Pull Cord On Your Window Blinds

How To Clean The Pull Cord On Your Window Blinds

clean pull cord

Yesterday I was going through the zillions of photos I have stored on my computer in an attempt to organize them. In the process I came across some photos I took forever ago that I never got around to using. I’m not sure how or why these particular photos got lost in the shuffle because they were for a post that I think the world needs to know about! How to clean the pull cords on your window blinds when they get really, really, really dirty (like mine!)

Anyone who has ever had blinds in their home knows that after repeated lifting and lowering, the pull cord can get pretty gross! I must have stared at the dirty cord above my kitchen sink a million times in frustration because I had no idea what to do about it. Then one day it came to me in a “lightbulb moment.”

clean shower head

I was engaging in my daily Pinterest perusal when I came across this clever trick for cleaning a shower head. I realized that the same concept might just work for my nasty pull cord. I figured it was at least worth a try.

clean pull cord


Take a small plastic bag and fill it with a 50/50 mixture of bleach and hot water.

CAREFULLY put your lift cord in the bag (you might want to get someone to help you with this, however, I managed to do it alone because I was worried if I asked anyone to help me they would question my sanity!)

CAREFULLY twist the top of the bag and secure it closed with whatever means you have available. (I used a clothespin, but a rubber band or twist tie would work as well.) Just make sure it’s VERY SECURE! You don’t want bleach water to come crashing down all over the place.

If you have an aversion to using bleach, CLICK HERE for my post about a Natural Bleach Alternative you can try.

clean pull cord

Once you have your bag securely in place, all that’s left to do is wait. I left mine like this overnight.

In the morning, after I took the bag off and patted the cord dry, it looked like this!

clean pull cord

Quite an improvement! I’d venture to say it looked BRAND NEW (except for the cracked plastic thingie on the end.)

clean pull cord

I know it’s a small thing….but I can’t tell you how happy it made me. I look at that cord at LEAST once a day, every day, and now when I do it’s to admire how nice and clean it looks rather than ruminate over how icky it is.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference when caring for our homes. Wouldn’t you agree? :-)

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Thank you all for your advice BUT unfortunately l don’t have a pool or bath tub (shower only), is there any suggestions on cleaning my blinds (don’t think my landlord ever cleaned them). I have both wooden and plastic blinds. Any suggests would be deeply appreciated and will take a load off my poor shoulders.

  • You need to be aware that even in a small amount a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water is very dangerous! Bleach in this high a concentrate can do permanent damage to the user. It should never be used at full strength. I tell you this because thru no fault of my own I was exposed to a 50/50 solution and after less than an hours exposure suffered permanent damage. I also passed this onto my son. Bleach is a very dangerous chemical and should be used carefully. The bottle tells you to use the 1/10 mix.
    Thanks, Kathleen

  • […] How To Clean The Pull Cord On Your Window Blinds [One Good Things By Jillee] […]

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  • […] How To Clean The Pull Cord On Your Window Blinds | One Good Things By Jillee […]

  • […] How To Clean The Pull Cord On Your Window Blinds | One Good Things By Jillee […]

  • I replaced my “cracked plastic thingys” with chandelier crystals that I picked up at a salvage shop… love it when the sun comes in and everything sparkles.

  • This is my favorite part of this post, “(you might want to get someone to help you with this, however, I managed to do it alone because I was worried if I asked anyone to help me they would question my sanity!)”

    Great tip that I’m going to try!

  • I put them in the tub with hot water and dissolved Oxy-Clean and let them soak, then drain and rinse by turning on the shower with cold water for a few.

    I’ve also used this magical stuff called Spot Shot….no idea what’s in it, but it smells like what I imagine The Dip in Who Framed Roger Rabbit must smell like — and it works wonders. It’s GREAT for cleaning the inside sole of sandals with “toe prints”.

    But since it appears to be all chemicals, I use it very sparingly.

  • I clean my blinds in a strong mixture of either orange cleaner and water, or OxiClean and water in a few inches of water in my bathtub. They come out sparkling clean (so does the cord!) I’ve been doing it this way for years.

  • rug fringe: my sone cleans carpet/furn/tile for living, so what they do with oriental carpets is spray with peroxide / water mix on light fringe and lay it out in sun for a while on a concrete driveway or on tarp on grass. checking back to see progress and spraying it off when clean…BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET ON COLORED AREAS…CLEANING WITH A BRUSH HELPS ALSO.

  • You mentioned shower heads. A great way to clean them is vinegar and baking soda. It just bubbles all the scum away in about 10 seconds AND clears the little holes too! Really simple.

  • I’ve always used the bleach water combination to clean the pull cords but never thought of using the plastic bag option. Going to try this next time.

    My method in the past was to wet a white rag with the 50-50 bleach/water solution and just run the rag up and down the lift cord for about 3 minutes, wait 5-10 minutes or so and then go over the cord with a clean wet rag, using plain water.

    Another method I use if just the ends of the pull cords are noticeably soiled:

    After raising the blinds about mid-way, fill an empty bleach bottle with the bleach/water solution approximately (2 cups water/2 cups bleach) ratio, set the container on a table, put the lift cord inside the bottle as far as it can go and let it sit for an hour or so. After about an hour, pour the bleach/water solution out and fill the container with clear water, place the lift cord back inside bottle let it sit for 5 minute, then take the cord out and go over it with a clean dry cloth.

    Works magic!

  • Great post! We have very expensive triple cell blinds across the back of our house and it was so rewarding to get them looking new again! When I called the company we bought them from, they couldn’t tell me how to clean them, only how to buy new ones :-( When one of the cords broke, I found replacement parts at http://www.fixmyblinds.com. Once I saw how easy it was to disassemble them, I cleaned them by soaking overnight in the tub. I went ahead and restrung all of them! As for the wooden blinds, you might be able to restring them if they are put together in a similar manner.

  • jenn-jenn .. that’s a GREAT idea… all my blinds are way to big to fit in a bathtub, & I take them to a window business that sonic (or something like that) cleans them. The blinds come back clean, but the cords are never white. I’m going to try jillee’s “cord cleaner” right now because I can’t stand those grungy looking cords. But no more paying to have the blinds cleaned… gonna try your “put ’em in the pool” trick.

  • I can’t believe the cords lasted a month after that. Bleach continues to eat the fibers of anything you use it on even if you rinse it well. Anything you bleach should be followed up by a vinegar rinse. Try an experiment. Make a circle on some old cloth, put a drop of bleach in the middle, let it dry and in a week you will be able to put your finger through the cloth where the bleach was.

    I learned these facts about chlorine bleach at the International Fabricare Institute in Silver Springs, Maryland many years ago. I have a aunt we call the Clorox Queen. She can vouch for chlorine bleach eating holes in tee shirts.

  • To clean full blinds, I throw the whole thing into the POOL for a couple hours. My blinds are faux wood. It bleaches out the entire length of the cords and cleans the blinds at the same time. You could also do this in your bathtub if your blinds are small enough.

  • Jillee to the rescue! And to think I kept cutting my cord shorter. Even though I realize that in the end it would not be any good. I thought well, eventually the solution would present itself.

    I’m with Joe–use a strong clip or two.

  • I am so happy to see this. I have been wondering how to clean the cord on my blinds on the kitchen window for about 6 months now. I am going to give this a try today!! Thanks so much for posting this.

  • How do you clean the cord that runs in between the wooden slates? Have wooden blinds (only about 5-6 months old), the cord in the center section is gross and dirty, but the rest are white as can be. Need help figuring out how to get those 2, 4 inch sections cleaned. Thanks!

  • Clever. Big improvement. Have to remember this one. Just a reminder to people with kids in the house, or visiting kids. Better not to tie a knot in the cords to keep them together. Kids do wacky things like stick their heads in between the cords and risk strangling themselves. The shower head thing is a great idea, too. Just stick a note at eye level to remind others that the bag is over the showerhead. Learned the hard way when I forgot to mention it to DH and he turned the shower on. He’s still complaining about that.

  • I hated the plastic thing at the end of my blinds in my old apartment. So I used some pretty wooden beads I had left over from a craft project and replaced them. A 10 minute project that made a huge difference!

  • Good idea, Jillee. And you’re right–sometimes a seemingly little thing can just drive you crazy until you figure out what to do with it. ;-)

  • Good idea, but I get that anyway. I let the blinds soak in a bleach and water mix in the tub overnight. Come back to brand new blinds! (That’s for the cheapie plastic blinds; wood ones are obviously not soakable.)

  • I agree. I’ve been appalled looking at them. What a great idea!! Wish I had known that when I washed the blinds with the sprayer and brush in the shower.

  • Hmm..what about puting the mixture in a water bottle and feeding the cord into the solution. you could cover the hole and give it a few good shakes to agitate it like a little washing machine?

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