Injection-Extraction Blind & Drapery Cleaning Chemicals: What should I use?

Those who are using portable injection-extraction machines like the Kleenrite 204Hx or the old US Products PB3 can use an infinite variety of cleaning chemicals to clean fabric shades, blinds, or draperies. However, the difference between the professional and the novice comes down to knowing not only what types of chemicals should be used, but also how to properly use them. We offer more detailed information for our Members on this topic on the secure side of the website and go over the basics in this area and many others in our training classes. Our network is for the type of professionally minded drapery and blind cleaners who recognize their need to invest the time and research to learn from us or others the basics of the types of cleaning they wish to perform for their clients. Trying to find a quick "How To" article to read doesn't make one an "Expert" nor competent to offer the services that can be performed with the right equipment and chemistry.  It takes a knowledgeable technician to assess the situation and know how to best use the resources at their disposal to accomplish the task. As cleaning chemistries and equipment change over the years—as do the types of fabrics being cleaned, one should regularly be doing things to improve stay current or improve their knowledge base.


What chemicals should be used to clean draperies, fabric blinds or shades all depends upon several common-sense limitations. Despite one's best intentions, you can't break the laws of science and change outcomes.  Wrong techniques, wrong chemicals, or using the wrong things in the wrong ways will always result in poor outcomes. Using chemicals that aren't tolerated by the equipment, fabrics, or colors/dyes/paints involved will result in damage that is expensive both in terms of what is done to the window treatment and one's reputation. Knowing how the construction of the fabric, color applications, and the performance of the various chemicals interact is crucial to obtaining great results. What chemistry is the best for any given situation is NOT a matter of the type of window treatment but of its construction, condition, and level or type of soil load. Using techniques and chemicals for cleaning, flushing, rinsing, spot removal, or other specialty work will have consequences. The better one's knowledge, techniques, or cleaning chemistry the more likely there is to be predictable positive results achieved with one's cleaning on a wide variety of treatments.

 Dry Cleaning or Wet Cleaning?

 While water is known as the universal solvent, it also can rinse out water-based finishes, cause some dyes to bleed, or cause natural fibers to swell resulting in fabric shrinkage or distortion. The use of dry solvents that contain no water paired with the right cleaning detergents can do a decent job of cleaning fabrics for which wet cleaning is a risk or not ideal. The fabric content, construction of the item being cleaned, and its overall condition need to be assessed to know which method is the best choice. Care tags and manufacturers' recommendations do not always give the information an experienced cleaner can glean from inspections and fabric tests or research.

A professional cleaner uses three basic types of cleaning chemistries in their process. Combined with various cleaning techniques they will be using at least one or more of the following types of solutions:

A cleaning solution that is either water or dry solvent-based that contains basic detergents and additives suited for the particular type of cleaning being done.

Pre-sprays are typically a mix of the cleaning solution applied minutes before the main cleaning to allow soils to loosen up or in a two-part cleaning process the "cleaner" is sprayed on and the cleaning head is delivering a rinse solution to flush out soils. In a one-step process, the cleaning head delivers a dilute cleaning solution that doesn't need to be rinsed out. Spotting Chemicals are various cleaning solutions one can use that are formulated for specific types of soils like grease, proteins, or discolorations when a general cleaning agent isn't effective. The more one knows about cleaning, the larger their collection of cleaning tools and chemistries is likely to be to address common and not-so-common challenges.

It is also important to remember that at some point, a spot may become a stain as it permanently impacts the material it is on for one or more reasons and can not be removed by cleaning.  Time, UV exposure, and the pH of the soils and fabric are all variables. Cleaning done regularly and soon after soiling gets better results than hoping neglected materials are going to "look like new" after years of negative exposure to airborne contaminants.   

Dry Cleaning Chemicals:


Spotting Chemicals:


Wet Cleaning Chemicals:


Degreasers or other Treatments for Heavier Soiling/Soots etc.

Spotting Chemicals:


When you get into blind repairs sourcing parts is an ongoing challenge. Having an account with Hunter Douglas or Springs Window Fashions or working with a vendor who sells their products is the best way to get access to their common parts. Customer Service support for most major brands are often helpful if you have a readable production sticker and order number etc.  Sourcing parts like tilters and end caps requires a hunt for the right vendor. If you do a lot of repairs case/bag lot quantities are fine, but for a smaller volume of repairs and cosmetic fixes on blinds you clean a mix of vendors may be needed.

Caution: Buyer Beware!  Check to see if parts are current and available from customer service first - some online stores charge $15 -$40 for parts that are easily found for $3-$6 + shipping elsewhere. You will always pay more for the time and trouble involved with small orders.

Sources for Parts:
1)  Fabricators: Use their websites or call customer service - They will often send you (or the consumer) parts if you ask.

        Hunter Douglas - They also have an Installer's Program that includes many free parts if you qualify.

        Springs Window Fashions


           Alta -  (Many Hunter Douglas Custom Brands Group parts...)

2)  After market parts retailers - Websites with Parts for Order
       a.   - Great online catalog of pictures and repair videos.  (Discount to Blind Cleaner's Network Members Code in Newsletter)


       f. ( Network Member)

       g.   (set up account and you can get a trade discount - before ordering)

3).  Current Parts
      a.  Local blind Fabricators with whom you have opened an account.
           They don't like dealing in $1-$5 parts orders unless you do more for their business - as they like to sell blinds.

       b.  Wholesale Parts Suppliers-Sell in Large Quantities or Case Lots
    (fair prices on small quantities)

            Genes Industries (parts for many types of blinds made by independent fabricators)

4).  Obsolete Parts - site has pictures for reference or to have customers tell you what they need (over the phone).
       ** They have more inventory than they show on the internet.
       (Note:  Patience is needed, as service/reponse times with this vendor can be slow.)

Repairs - Training

1) Blind fabricators offer training for installation and basic repairs.  

     Hunter Douglas has several classes and online materials for their Certified Installers.

       {This program also includes access to their product schematics and parts} 

2)  Training Classes sells a series of online videos that include training in repairs.

          {There is an annual fee for access in addition to the initial payment.}


3)  Internet Videos and Articles

     a)  You Tube

              Quality and accuracy of the materials is sometimes poor, but good tips can be found.

                   Use search words like "blind repairs"   "cord loop replacement"

       b)  Internet articles on "How to" sites or instructions on the websites that sell parts.


If you know of other sites that would be helpful. please let us know.  Members will find more information relative to repairs, schematics of various blinds etc. in the "Blind Cleaner's Resource Manual" on this site under the Business Resources Menu.

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