I’m always looking for easy-to-make tools. It’s so much better if I can use inexpensive household materials. So I decided to peruse the cabinets to get inspired for my next cleaning project: Blinds.
Guess what I found? A pair of tongs and chopsticks!
Let me show you how I turned these into a blind-cleaner contraption, perfect to reach to the hardest spots.
Time: 30-60 Minutes Difficulty: Easy
Low-Tech Blind Cleaning Tools Did the trick!
When it comes to dust, our boiler room gets the cake. No matter how often I clean it (truth is, not often enough) it’s always dusty, especially the blinds!
Enter my latest Low-Tech Tool: A tong & chopstick (T&C for short) device that gets to the hardest—and dustiest—spots.
We need a serious cleaning, pronto!
See what I mean? This window is crying for mama’s TLC.
Tongs & Chopsticks is all you need!
STEP 1: GET YOUR MATERIALS READY
To make the T&C tools you’ll need:
– Medium size tongs
– 1 or 2 Chopsticks
– Cotton Rags, T-shirt, socks, or small towels
– 6-8 Rubber Bands or ties
– Spray Cleaner
– Sewing Pins (optional)
– Alcohol, to make DYI cleaner
– White Vinegar, to make DYI cleaner
– All purpose Mask (optional)
TIP: You can use an old cotton t-shirt or socks instead of rags or towels. Just make sure the fabric is clean and absorbent.
Let’s start with the window
STEP 2: FIRST THING’S FIRST: LET’S CLEAN THE WINDOW
Upon close inspection, I realized how dusty the window was! So before I get to the blinds I have to vacuum and clean the window frame, encasing, and glass.
TIP: Skip this step and move to STEP 3 if you only need to clean your blinds.
Get your vacuum cleaner and do an overall pass: we want to remove the dust before we wet the window and glass.
Now, grab a rag (I’m using an old tee) and spray your cleaner.
I‘m going to use my Non-Toxic DYI All Purpose cleaner (basically, alcohol and white vinegar in equal parts), but you can use any you like.
To get the recipe, check my previous post: http://www.hometalk.com/16447697/a-super-easy…
TIP: No need to soak the rag. Spray just enough to moisten it and use circular movements to clean the glass.
Let’s do some prep work!
STEP 3: CUT YOUR FABRIC FIRST
I’m using an old t-shirt (I also added old socks later) but you can use any soft fabric you fancy. A towel would work too.
Get your rag or towel and a pair of scissors, and start cutting.
I’m doing two sizes: a 7”-9” square for the tong tool and a smaller one, about half the size, for the chopstick tool.
Keep in mind if your fabric is thick you’ll need smaller pieces.
TIP: Cut one piece and test the size before you cut all of your fabric. If the blinds are very dusty, you’ll need to change rags a few times.
Let’s put the Tong Tool together!
STEP 4: MAKING YOUR TONG TOOL
Gather the tongs, cut rags, and rubber bands.
Start by laying flat a piece of fabric: double it if it’s thin (like a t-shirt). Fold the top section over the tip. Then fold the sides around the tong, and wrap the fabric around the tongs. (Take a look at the second pic.)
I’m a righty, so I wrapped it right to left, but you can reverse order, if that’s more comfortable.
Once you have the fabric around the tip, use one or two rubber bands to keep it place.
TIP: Besides the rubber bands, you can also use a sewing pin to secure the fabric onto the tip.
Let’s put the Chopstick Tool together!
STEP 5: MAKING YOUR CHOPSTICK TOOL
Now that you’re a ETM (i.e. Expert Tool Maker) let’s tackle the chopstick tool!
Get 1 or 2 chopsticks, ties, and fabric and start by tying two chopsticks together.
TIP: I prefer 2 sticks because it gives me a wider area, but it’s up to you.
Get the fabric and repeat STEP 4: fold it over the tip, then wrap the sides.
Are you ready? Time for some cleaning!
Get your T&C tools, spray cleaner (again, any would do), and let’s get our hands dirty!
Start at the top and move down
STEP 6: CLEANING WITH YOUR TONG TOOL
Though there’s no right or wrong way, I suggest you start at the top and move down since some dust may come down.
TIP: Also, depending on how dusty your blinds are – mine had a 1” coat! – you may want to start with a dry rag. Once you wet it, that dust will smudge all over
Hold the blind with one hand to prevent wiggling, and press your Tong Tool on both sides. Then move left to right. Once you’ve reached the end move down to the next blind.
Continue until your reach the bottom.
TIP: As the rag gets dirty, you can either change it or simply add another layer of fabric. Note that you’ll be able to do that only if the fabric is thin enough—too thin of a fabric is not good, but neither it is too thick
Dirty rag? Change it or add another layer!
STEP 7: TIME TO CHANGE RAGS
My rag was getting dirty and it was time for a change. But instead of replacing it by another piece, I decided to try a sock this time wrapped around the previous one.
Not only made my TT (Tong Tool) more efficient, but it seemed to last a little longer. I was able to remove more dust on every pass.
TIP: If you feel your TT is not grasping the blind well, add another layer of fabric. You can even try a different kind of rag, as I did with my sock.
All done with the first pass?
Give yourself a big hug and let’s get ready to practice with the chopsticks!
Not done yet—Don’t forget the Chopstick tool!
STEP 8: LET’S GIVE THE CT (Chopstick Tool) A TRY!
Though you’ll likely need a final pass using a cleaning solution, let’s tackle the corners next. For that, my CT comes in real handy!
Because it’s smaller than the Tong Tool I can access smaller surfaces, getting even to the area in between the cords.
Take a look at the picture to see what I mean. Also note the difference between the middle — somehow clean after a first pass — and the left, still in need of some serious TLC.
Again, start with the top and move down. If it’s dusty, keep it dry or you’ll end up with a nice smudge all over the blind!
TIP: Use your left hand to hold the blind, and the right for the tool. Start with one side (either left or right, it is up to you), dust all the way down, and then move to the other one.
And as in STEP 7, replace the rag as needed, and keep dusting to complete the step.
NOTE: Now, have to say: I could also have vacuumed the blinds before using my handy tools, but I really wanted to see how much dust they took off.
TIP: To save yourself some time, vacuum first (and skip STEP 6 & 8), and use the tools to make your blinds shine!
Almost done. But first, let’s wrap this up!
STEP 9: CLEANING SPRAY + TT & TC TOOLS = SPARKLING CLEAN BLINDS
If you’re a perfectionist and want to do an A+ job, change your rags and get your spray bottle.
We’re gonna make these blinds shine!
Once again, start with your Tong Tool at the top and keep moving all the way down. Then, move to the sides and use the chopstick tool to finish smaller areas.
TIP: Use the spray bottle to keep the rags moist, and replace as they get dirty.
It may take longer than you expected (mine did!), but I really can’t remember when was last time I cleaned them.
Done and Done! I love my new TT & TC tools.
STEP 10: TAKE A BREATH AND ENJOY YOUR HANDY WORK.
Whether your tools were perfect for the job or not, keep them handy for future cleaning. You can always improve them by substituting fabric, or even getting a smaller or larger pair of tongs.
I can see how these (especially the Chopstick tool) will save me time when dusting areas that are hard to access, such as the narrow tops of doors and windows encasing, or the fan blades.
Hope you enjoy this post. Be sure to follow me for more cleaning hacks and DIYs. Next time I’ll be making fizzy toilet bombs that you don’t want to miss!
Materials I used for this project:
– Medium size tongs (Supermarket, Home Center, Dollar Store)
– 1 or 2 Chopsticks (Supermarket, Home Center, Dollar Store)
– Cotton Rags, T-shirt, socks, or small towels (Drugstore, Home Center, , Dollar Store)
Scissors (Craft Store)
– 6-8 Rubber Bands or ties (Craft Store)
– Spray Cleaner (Drugstore, Home Center, or DIY recipe)
– Alcohol, to make DYI cleaner (Drugstore, Dollar Store)
– White Vinegar, to make DYI cleaner (Drugstore, Dollar Store)
– All purpose Mask (optional) (Home Center)
– Sewing Pins (optional) (Craft Store)