Plantation shutters are a popular option when it comes to window treatments. They are different than traditional shutters in that the individual shutters are wider than traditional ones. Many of them often have a narrow divider rail to really accentuate the top and bottom louvers and shutters. If you are getting them installed, it is important to protect your investment with regular cleaning and maintenance. Here are some tips for keeping them clean and taking good care of them.
Cleaning Your Shutters
The first thing to learn is how to properly clean your shutters. Regardless of what type of material they are made from, they should be dusted regularly with a feather duster or microfiber cloth. However, when spot cleaning them, their material makes a difference.
Real Wood Shutters - If your plantation shutters are made of real wood, you should avoid using water when wiping them down with a cloth. The water can warp the wood and damage it, which will be very noticeable. Instead, use a quality wood polish. If there are areas that collect dust, such as grooves in the wood, you can use a toothbrush sprayed with wood polish to get them clean.
Faux Wood Shutters – If you have faux wood plantation shutters, it is safe to use water for wiping them down. The best combination is water and mild soap, plus a microfiber cloth. If regular water leaves spots on your shutters, you can try using distilled water instead. Make sure you wipe the soap off thoroughly before drying them.
Opening the Shutters
When it comes to taking care of your plantation shutters, this begins with the simple task of opening and closing them. While it is tempting to use the tilt rod to open and close the panels, never do this. You might accidentally pull the staples out and damage the shutters. Instead, tilt the louvers by grabbing hold of the stile, which is at the end of the panels. Then you can gently tug it open. If you have shutters in the "Archtop" design, they are meant to stay in the up position. Don't try to put them down, or you will break them.
Adjusting the Shutters
You may eventually need to adjust the shutters, especially if they are opened and closed frequently. You can do this by adjusting the tension screw on the sides of the shutter panels by using a screwdriver. It is most likely a Philips-head screw. You will use the same tension screw to adjust them for loosening the louvers as well. Make sure when you are tightening or loosening the shutters, you do so equally on both sides.