We've put together a comprehensive guide to maintaining your outdoor blinds. Installing outdoor blinds is a great way to add an extra element to your outdoor entertaining area. They\u2019re easy to use, they look great, and they make entertaining a breeze. The only annoying aspect of owning a set is when it comes time to maintain them. Luckily, they actually require very little maintenance! Clear and tinted caf\u00e9 blinds If you\u2019re fond of your view, you probably opted for a set of clear or tinted caf\u00e9 blinds. Maintaining your cafe blinds is the best way to make sure you\u2019re able to appreciate that view every day. Keeping your blinds clean and well-maintained will not only save you money on repair costs in the long run, but it will also keep them looking their best. Our first tip is to regularly wipe your blinds with a sponge or chamois soaked in warm, soapy water. This will ensure that dirt and dust don\u2019t build up and scratch your blinds when you roll them up. Scratching can also become a problem if you use an abrasive cloth to wipe your blinds. Always make sure you\u2019re cleaning your blinds with a cloth made of soft material. Another way to make sure you get the most out of your cafe blinds is to ensure they are free of creases when you roll them up. The best way to do this is by operating them when they are warm. Obviously this isn\u2019t always possible, so if you do use them on a cold night, roll them slowly to make sure creases don\u2019t appear. The reason we recommend operating your blinds when they\u2019re warm is because they, like all plastic, will be affected by changes in temperature throughout the day. They might become slightly stiff if they\u2019re exposed to colder temperatures, so it\u2019s important to be as careful as possible when operating your blinds. Be as gentle as possible and try not to force the mechanism. Clear and tinted cafe blinds. Shade blinds Shade blinds can totally transform your outdoor space, giving it a new lease on life that you might never have thought possible. They can give you the ability to entertain all year-round, turning your space into a warm and inviting area in rain, hail or shine. Maintaining your shade blinds is exactly the same process as it is for caf\u00e9 blinds. This means regularly wiping them down with a cloth soaked in warm, soapy water. Shade blinds are considerably harder to scratch than their caf\u00e9-style counterparts, but you should still take care when wiping them down. It\u2019s important to mention that outdoor roller blinds usually have some loose threads on them when they are first installed. Don\u2019t worry; this is completely normal and they will fall off eventually. Shade blinds. Do I wind them up, or keep them rolled down? Our extensive range of retractable outdoor roller blinds can be fitted with your choice of four operation systems, ensuring ease of use and longevity. But with that much control at your fingertips it can be hard to decide whether to wind the blinds up or keep them down. The majority of the time you can keep them in whichever position you like. However, there are times when it\u2019s better to keep your blinds in a particular position to ensure safety and durability. Our outdoor PVC blinds are designed to be kept in an extended position, so it is usually best to keep them wound down. This will make sure your outdoor blinds retain their shape and remain taut. Keep in mind that your blinds may begin to lose their shape if you keep them too tight when in the extended position. All you have to do to make sure this doesn\u2019t happen is slightly loosen the tension. The only time when it\u2019s necessary to keep your blinds rolled up is during high winds. This is because extreme weather can cause extensive damage to your retractable outdoor blinds and potentially your home. Our warranty doesn\u2019t cover wind damage, and you\u2019ll probably find that most other suppliers don\u2019t cover it either. An important habit to get into is making sure that your blinds are completely free of moisture before rolling them up. If moisture is caught in the rolled up material, the sun could filter through and heat it up, possibly causing irreparable damage. This could also end up voiding the warranty, so make sure you thoroughly dry your blinds before rolling them up. Do I wind them up, or keep them rolled down? Get the most out of your blinds Outdoor roller blinds are an investment, so you\u2019ll probably want to make sure they live a long life. The best way to do this is by regularly checking your blinds for foreign matter. This includes dirt, bird droppings and tree sap. If any of these are left in contact with the blind for long periods of time, they can cause damage to the material. Cleaning your patio blinds on a regular basis with a soft cloth will ensure they remain free of foreign material. Our recommended cleaning process is as follows: 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. A good rule for this is 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 before rolling up. You can also hose your shade blinds with fresh cold water. This will keep them looking clean and crisp, ensuring your guests will admire them every time they visit. One thing to keep in mind is that you have to be careful which detergent you use. When choosing your detergent, look for as natural a product as possible. Avoid non-diluted detergents, cleaning fluids, soap, insecticides and garden sprays. If you don\u2019t regularly clean your blinds it will result in damage to the material and potentially even a shorter lifespan. What are the benefits of outdoor blinds? Aussies just love spending time outside, but it can be difficult when we\u2019re faced with the harsh summer sun. Luckily, cafe blinds, patio or outdoor roller blinds from Australia Outdoor Living are perfect for blocking the sun and providing your outdoor entertaining area with some much-needed shade. Shading you from the sun isn\u2019t the only thing these versatile outdoor blinds are capable of. They also block out the wind and rain and insulate you from the cold winter weather. Cafe blinds, patio or outdoor roller blinds perfect for protecting you and your guests year-round! They also protect your outdoor furniture, preventing expensive weather damage to your belongings. Caf\u00e9 blinds from Australian Outdoor Living don\u2019t just offer protection from the weather; they also allow you to experience your view as well! Since they\u2019re transparent, they won\u2019t do as good a job of blocking out the sun as our shade blinds, but they\u2019ll still offer you protection from those harmful UV rays. They\u2019ll also insulate your outdoor area, making sure the warmth stays in and the cold stays out. If you choose to purchase our shade blinds you\u2019ll be sacrificing aspects of your view \u2013 but you\u2019ll have guaranteed privacy from those nosy neighbours! It\u2019s important to mention that shade blinds won\u2019t completely block your view. You\u2019ll still be able to see outside, it\u2019s just that people won\u2019t be able to see in. Shade blinds are also better at blocking out the sun, giving your outdoor area the atmosphere you\u2019ve always dreamed of. Our favourite thing about retractable outdoor blinds from Australian Outdoor Living is the huge range of colours! You can choose from a whopping 18 colours, so you\u2019re guaranteed to find a set of blinds that suits the aesthetic of your home. How to make sure your blinds last as long as possible. How do I operate my outdoor blinds? Australian Outdoor Living offers the choice of three different operation systems for our outdoor patio blinds: the Classic series, and the new SmartTrack series. The Classic series is the traditional method of operation, utilising a crank rod that when turned, raises and lowers the blinds to your desired height. Hooks can be installed at pre-determined heights on your outdoor structure to give you the ability to control the tautness of your blind. Simply connect the blind to the hook, and raise it until you achieve the desired level of tautness. All blinds in our range can be installed with the Classic or SmartTrack operation systems. Alternatively, our range of SmartTrack outdoor blinds is the latest in blinds innovation. Choose from a selection of three ways to operate your blinds: SmartTrack Signature, SmartTrack Power or SmartTrack Connect. The Connect range comes with Smart Home features that allow you to operate your outdoor blinds with voice control. 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.