Plantation shutters are not only a stylish addition to your home, but they are also functional and durable. But like all household fixtures, they accumulate dust, dirt, and grime over time, making regular cleaning essential.

Whether you have wood shutters or vinyl shutters, understanding the proper cleaning techniques can help you make sure that they stay in pristine condition for years. There are simple steps you can take to extend the longevity of your investment, keeping your shutters looking new and fresh long after they’ve been installed. 

In this guide, we will walk you through how to clean shutters effectively and provide some do’s and don’ts of shutter cleaning.

Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Shutters

First, here are some basic do’s and don’ts for shutter cleaning:


  • Dust regularly: Keeping up with regular dusting can prevent the build-up of dirt and make the cleaning process smoother.
  • Use a soft cloth: Microfiber cloths are excellent for capturing dust and preventing scratches on the shutters.
  • Test a small area: Before using any cleaning solution, test a small, inconspicuous area of the shutter to ensure no damage or discoloration occurs.
  • Use natural cleaners: For wood shutters especially, natural solutions like a mixture of vinegar, olive oil, and lemon juice can be gentle yet effective.
  • Check Hardware: Ensure that all screws, bolts, and other hardware are tight and in good condition. If you notice any rust or deterioration, consider replacing the hardware.


  • Use excess moisture: Especially with wood shutters, too much water can warp and damage the material.
  • Use harsh chemicals: Strong cleaning agents can strip the finish off shutters or discolor them.
  • Force dirt out: If dirt is lodged in crevices, gently work it out rather than forcing it, which can damage the shutters.
  • Try abrasive tools: Steel wool or rough scrubbers can scratch and damage the shutter’s finish.
  • Neglect the details: While it’s easy to focus on the louvers, don’t forget to clean the tilt rod, frame, and other components of your shutters.

How to Clean House Shutters

The best approach to cleaning shutters largely depends on the specific shutter material. As you would imagine, there are different methods for wood vs. vinyl shutters, and knowing which one to use is crucial. 

How to Clean Wood Shutters

Real wood shutters, like those made from basswood or yellow poplar, bring a warm and natural aesthetic to your space. However, cleaning them requires some extra care to ensure the wood remains undamaged.

Step 1: Begin with dusting. Use a soft microfiber cloth or a feather duster to gently remove dust from each slat. Pay attention to both the top and bottom of each slat.

Step 2: For stubborn dirt in corners or along the edges, a soft toothbrush can be effective. Gently brush away the accumulated dust.

Step 3: If dusting doesn’t remove all the dirt, create a gentle cleaning solution. Mix two parts vinegar, two parts olive oil, and one part lemon juice. Dampen a microfiber cloth with this solution and wring it out well.

Step 4: Gently wipe each slat with the damp cloth, moving from the center to the edges. Avoid soaking the wood. The mixture not only cleans but also adds a shine to the wood.

Step 5: Finish by wiping down with a dry cloth, ensuring no moisture remains on the shutters.

How to Clean Vinyl/Poly Shutters

Vinyl or poly shutters are durable and can handle a bit more moisture than wood shutters. Here’s how to clean them.

Step 1: Dust off the shutters using a duster or a soft microfiber cloth. For vinyl shutters in kitchens or bathrooms that might accumulate grease or soap scum, vacuuming with a brush attachment can be beneficial.

Step 2: For deeper cleaning, create a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Dip a cloth into the solution, wring it out thoroughly, and wipe down each slat. This solution can effectively remove grime without harming the vinyl.

Step 3: If you have any stubborn spots or stains, you can use a soft toothbrush dipped in the cleaning solution to gently scrub the area.

Step 4: Dry the shutters thoroughly using a dry cloth.

Cleaning Window Shutters: FAQs

How often should I clean my shutters?

For homes with pets or those prone to dust, weekly dusting and monthly deep cleaning are recommended. Otherwise, dusting every two weeks and deep cleaning every two to three months should suffice.

Can I use commercial cleaners on my shutters?

While many commercial cleaners might be safe, always test a small area first. Avoid cleaners with harsh chemicals, especially on wood shutters.

What if my shutters have a unique finish or paint?

Always refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations. If in doubt, use the gentlest cleaning methods possible.

How do I prevent dust buildup on my shutters?

Regular dusting is key. Additionally, running a dryer sheet over the cleaned slats can minimize static and reduce dust accumulation.

Can I use a steam cleaner to clean my shutters?

It’s not recommended to use steam cleaners on wood shutters as the intense moisture and heat can damage the wood. For vinyl shutters, use caution and ensure they dry quickly to avoid any potential warping.

What should I do if my wood shutters get a scratch or nick?

Small scratches can be touched up with a bit of matching wood stain or paint. If the damage is more significant, consider consulting a professional or the manufacturer for repair advice.

How can I ensure the small mechanical parts of my shutters (like hinges) stay in good condition?

Ensure these parts are kept clean and free from dust build-up. Every few months, it’s a good idea to inspect them for any signs of wear. A small amount of silicone spray can help keep hinges operating smoothly, but avoid using oil-based lubricants as they can attract dust.

Expert Shutter Installation in Phoenix from Weaver Shutters

Understanding how to clean shutters, especially how to clean plantation shutters, is essential for their longevity and aesthetics. With regular care, these window treatments can remain a beautiful addition to your home for years to come. Whenever you think of shutter cleaning, remember to approach the task with gentle tools and cleaners, preserving the integrity of your investment.

Or, if you’re ready to upgrade your window shutters – or install them for the first time – you can turn to Weaver Shutters for help. For decades, we have served Phoenix and the surrounding Valley, providing premium shutter solutions and expert installation. All of our shutters are made here in Arizona, so you won’t have to worry about the subpar quality or delayed delivery issues that commonly occur with imported products. And because we are dedicated to building lasting relationships with our customers, we are always here to answer any questions you may have, even after installation is complete. 

For more information about shutter solutions for your home, contact Weaver Shutters today!