Find out how to keep your outdoor shade blinds in top notch condition. Outdoor shade blinds can improve a pergola, verandah or timber deck to no end. Because they are such a beneficial addition to a comfortable outdoor lifestyle year-round, it is important that they are properly maintained to ensure a satisfying product lifetime. Caring for outdoor shade blinds requires very little effort, and is relatively straightforward. Compared to their clear counterparts, outdoor shade blinds carry less risk of being scratched or clouded by poor handling. Despite this, they still need regular upkeep to ensure they last well into the future. Tips on how to make your outdoor shade blinds last longer. Outdoor shade blinds: wind them up or keep them down? Australian Outdoor Living\u2019s range of outdoor shade blinds come with a winding mechanism that makes extending and retracting the blinds a simple process. This allows you to wind your blinds up or down whenever you like. We are also able to install 'half-hitch' anchor points so securing the blind halfway is an option too. Keep in mind, blinds last longer if you keep them extended - this means you should keep them in the vertical fixed position as much as possible. This allows the material to maintain its shape. If your blinds are too tight, the material may start contracting or \u2018wasting\u2019 in the middle due to the tension. Simply loosen the tension slightly to allow the blind to fill out. During heavy gusts or high winds, it is vital to wind the blinds up. If you don't, the wind could damage the blinds and potentially even your house. This kind of damage is not covered under the warranty, and you will find that there aren\u2019t many other experienced outdoor blinds suppliers who will cover this either. Do not roll up your blinds if they are wet. Moisture can be captured inside the rolled up layers and if sunlight filters through the material, the moisture can heat up and cause irreparable damage that may void your blinds guarantee. How to ensure their durability Don't\u00a0leave foreign matter, such as dirt, bird droppings or tree sap, in contact with the fabric of the shade blind for an extended period of time. Keep the fabric unsoiled by regularly cleaning both sides of the material using a soft cloth and water. Here is our recommended cleaning process: Remove any particles on the shade blind material to avoid scratches when wiping with a cleaning cloth.Wipe gently with a soft fabric cloth using diluted warm water mixed with a water-based cleaning detergent (one part detergent to ten parts water). Avoid hard scrubbing which may otherwise damage the surface of the material.Rinse completely with fresh water and wipe dry with a soft lint-free cloth or sponge.Allow to dry completely before rolling up. It is also a good idea to occasionally hose your outdoor shade blinds with fresh cold water to keep them looking clean and crisp. Be careful with the detergent you choose for your outdoor shade blinds. Natural detergents work best. Avoid non-diluted detergents, cleaning fluids, soap, insecticides, garden sprays, petrochemicals, solvents, and bore water. Keeping your shade blinds clean will ensure their durability. If you have tougher stains: Mix a weak concentration of household detergent with lukewarm water (one part detergent to 20 parts water). Make sure you avoid detergents with solvents!Use a soft cloth or sponge to wash the fabric.Rinse off any residue with fresh cold water. Regularly tending to your shade blinds ensures you\u2019re getting the most out of the product. Prolonged neglect of your blinds could potentially result in damage to your blind material and shorten its lifespan. With a regular wash, you\u2019re ensuring years of resistance from the sun and the weather. Click here to find out how shade blinds are great for protecting your outdoor furniture. Ready to renovate? Australian Outdoor Living is passionate about helping people love their life outdoors. We offer a range of products, including: Outdoor blindsArtificial grassRoller shuttersConcrete and fibreglass swimming poolsCarportsTimber deckingPergolas, verandah and patios Have you been thinking about renovating your home? Fill out the free measure and quote form at the top of this article and a member of our dedicated sales team will be in touch.