When people are researching their options in the realm of blind cleaning, there are basically three common cleaning methods. The tools for doing hand cleaning methods (or power washing) can be purchased at the local big box or hardware store. When it comes to ultrasonic or injection-extraction cleaning methods, however, there is typically a more significant investment required. This leads naturally to other considerations regarding performance vs. price or discussions regarding the efficiency, limitations or potential liabilities of these methods.
Ultrasonic blind cleaning works with both hard and soft blinds (metals to fabrics) while injection-extraction cleaning is used for fabric blinds. If the injection-extraction cleaner has a machine that works with both water and solvent based cleaners, then their repertoire expands to include all fabrics - draperies, custom upholstery etc. So if one is really serious about cleaning all types of custom window treatments it's not a question of which one, but when does the budget justify both. Remember, however, that having the right equipment is only one part of the equation.
Which method does a better job cleaning shades? There is no simple answer; while an ultrasonic cleaning may provide a deeper removal of dirt in one situation, it could be a recipe for disaster in another. Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each method is crucial, push beyond the reasonable limits of their capabilities and you'll have trouble.
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, the residual soot seen in the cup here was removed from a Silhouette that had already been ultrasonically cleaned. While the blinds looked much better after pretreatment and ultrasonic cleaning the additional heat and flushing action of the injection-extraction method obviously removed a bit more of the gray in this case. Heat, however, can be a damaging factor in either cleaning method. The type of fabric, condition of the glue lines, knowledge of the technician and their understanding of the cleaning chemistry (and what chemicals they use) will all play animportant roles in determining the success of each job.
As you can see, there are too many variables to make a simplistic judgment in favor of one method or the other. One has to decide which method is the best fit for the intended business model, or if both are desired. Also, the ability to use either or both methods effectively depends upon one's training and knowledge of the products to be cleaned. All the factors in the equation affect the outcome. With a basic model machine, good chemistry, and technique, a knowledgeable blind cleaner will out-perform a novice with fancy equipment all the way to the bank.
So as you consider the opportunities that exist in this niche market of blind and shade cleaning, consider the main points raised here. While it’s simple to realize mini blinds are best done ultrasonically and draperies are better dry cleaned using an injection-extraction method, there is plenty of potential for learning, sharing and improving professional skills in the space between these two extremes. If one method, machine or chemistry were clearly superior, there would be no debate. For the blind cleaner looking to enhance their operations, we suggest exercising their critical thinking skills rather than sitting on a prejudice that may obscure an opportunity. Deployed properly in your business, either method will earn a healthy profit.
Blindcleaners.biz Members discuss topics such as this on our professional forum.