Asked on Jan 17, 2016

What causes and how to get rid of Strange marks on blinds?

Sonia Burrows
by Sonia Burrows

Hi. We winter in Phoenix and ever year when we come down, I have these strange marks on our kitchen blinds. The place is locked up during the summer and the AC is turned off. I've tried vinegar, bleach and TSP, but nothing seems to remove them. I don't know what is causing them strange orangey brown marks, but the don't want to come off. Anyone have any idea what would cause this and how to get rid of them?

  25 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 17, 2016
    It most likely caused from to much moisture in the air. Try this remove the blinds and completely dust than mix 1/2 cup ammonia to 1 qt. warm water sponge on and then rinse off. Not sure if this will work but worth a try. You can also try Mr. Clean magic eraser but again I am not sure.
  • Nur3199750 Nur3199750 on Jan 17, 2016
    Is there anything touching them such as curtains, or parts of the window ? Do they appear only on the side facing the sun?
  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on Jan 17, 2016
    nurnt, no nothing touching. I close them and the marks appear on what faces the inside of the kitchen. Janet, already tried the ammonia and water.
    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 17, 2016
      @Sonia Burrows Im sorry at a loss, maybe soak them in the tub with baking soda ans white vinegar.
  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on Jan 17, 2016
    Here's a better picture.
    comment photo
  • ...Have you checked for dead insects, Sonia ? As disgusting as this could be from insects and other unwanted visitors, who will still take up residence in an empty fact, they like it being empty....they colonize and have run of the place. I had a friend who had this problem...and we cleaned the blinds with Lysol Mold and Mildew remover that also contains bleach. She then placed those devices inside her home that drives pests away...during times when she would be gone.
  • Nur3199750 Nur3199750 on Jan 17, 2016
    If mold and mildew remover doesn't work ------- Are they wood or vinyl ? If they are vinyl, try a bit of nail polish remover on an inconspicuous mark.
    • Elaine Em Elaine Em on May 20, 2019

      i get black marks on mine because there are no screens on my windows (also live downtown) and i have to use nail polish remover on some of them because they won't come off with soap or mr. clean. i wasn't sure i should be using it but it's all that works.

  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on Jan 17, 2016
    Shelby, my first thought when they wouldn't come clean was insects but, thank God, I haven't found any in the last seven years when we arrive. I place tons of dried bay leaves around and that seems to help. nurnt, haven't tried nail polish remover but I will in the next few minutes. The blinds are vinyl.
    • @Sonia Burrows ...thats good , it was just a thought. Also, believe it or not, ...lighter fluid ( in the can with a little spout) used for refilling certain lighters, works on grease and other troublesome area. JUST make sure your not near any flames, and test on inconspicuous area, as Nurnt stated. Theres a new product out " Invincible"...I havent tried it as yet, so I cannot say if might work on your application of it.
  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on Jan 17, 2016
    Well the heavy duty acetone removed a couple of the lighter spots. On the darker ones, unfortunately, they are more prominent now that the surrounding area is cleaner. It's almost like whatever this stuff is got baked into the finish.
  • Sue Sue on Jan 17, 2016
    Have you tried a section with Oil of Cloves wiped over them. This is the way I killed the Mildew Spore in an old bathroom with a black roof. Might work not sure just a suggestion.
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Jan 17, 2016
    I too have noticed that if there is a lot of humidity in the air, it clings to any dust particle, and makes it run. Also gas heating, yellows white plastic-y surfaces. My kitchen melamine cabinets were a prime example of this. I just occasionally soak my blinds in the tub with hot water and Resolve or Oxy Clean. Also if you often cook with oil or smoke, that can affect them as well, no matter how clean your home is unfortunately.
  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on Jan 17, 2016
    B. Enne, the problem seems to occur during the summer when we're not here. We return in Nov/Dec and I see more spot than when we left in April. I'll try the Oxy Clean because I have it on hand. Sue, don't have any oil of cloves, so if the Oxy Clean doesn't work I'll have to try and hunt some down.
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jan 17, 2016
    Judging by the color and the shape of the marks, I'd say they are spider "poop." Sorry to be so blunt, but that's what it looks like and even though you say you don't see any insects, I have a feeling little spidies are enjoying the comfort of your home when you aren't there. I'd check with a local exterminator.
    • @Swan Road Designs .. Thats what I was thinking, when I posted my earlier comment...about ' insects"...theres an array of them that will leave their deposits on it was my first thought.
  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on Jan 17, 2016
    OMG, I hate spiders. I would have thought though that I'd find spider-webs or dead spiders at least.....but haven't. I think I'm going to ask our next door neighbour that checks our place while we're gone to do a good checking on the kitchen during the summer.
  • Susan Rutter Susan Rutter on Jan 18, 2016
    I have this on my blinds also. It's the humidity. I use magic eraser to remove the spots. Comes off easily.
  • LD LD on Jan 18, 2016
    Does sound as those are probably from bugs that have died on them, I would recommend that you keep some level of a.c. during the summer months, in order to keep from getting cracks in you your drywall plus not making it a place for bugs to want to live when your not there. You also should look into putting down an application of bug deterrent around the outside of the foundation. Here's a link for cleaning blinds: (
  • Rosie Rosie on Jan 18, 2016
    Could it be from cockroaches? We spray around our house twice a year to keep them out and use a professional liquid.
  • Debra Debra on Jan 18, 2016
    Or stick bugs
  • Barb Berthelet Barb Berthelet on Jan 18, 2016
    I just used BOUNCE (the ones in a box) to wipe and clean my blinds and baseboards....cleans and leaves a wonderful scent throughout the house! WHAT SAY YOU????? Barb from Surrey Canada
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Jan 18, 2016
    I'm thinking flies - try the magic erasers they are pretty amazing!
    • Paula Paula on Jan 23, 2016
      @Duval.26 I think it is from flies too. We get odd marks on our blinds too, magic eraser takes off the marks.
  • Dale Dale on Jan 18, 2016
    I use a mixture of Epsom salt and fabric softener mixed in water and soak my mini blinds. They get really white , strings and all. Plus they smell awesome for quite a well.
  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on Jan 18, 2016
    Lots of things I can try and hopefully one of them works.
  • E E on Oct 20, 2020

    Ik this is an old discussion, but CLR Bath + Kitchen??? That stuff's amazing yet also more environmentally safe!

  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on Oct 20, 2020

    Thanks E. I've tried the magic eraser, epsom salts/fabric softener, etc, but none of them worked. I'll give CLR a go.

  • Dee Dee on Dec 24, 2021

    It is either moisture or bugs. You really should keep the AC on to prevent moisture. Bugs love the hot and humid and they are probably crawling all over the blinds.

  • Amir Hyman Amir Hyman on Jan 03, 2023

    There are several possible causes of strange marks on blinds, including:

    1. Dust and dirt: Dust and dirt can accumulate on blinds over time, leaving marks or streaks on the slats.
    2. Moisture: If the blinds are exposed to moisture, such as from humidity or condensation, they may develop marks or stains.
    3. Sunlight: If the blinds are placed in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, they may fade or develop marks.
    4. Insects: Insects can leave marks on blinds if they crawl or fly across them.

    To get rid of strange marks on blinds, you can try the following:

    1. Dust and clean the blinds: Use a dust cloth or a duster to remove dust and dirt from the blinds. You can also use a damp cloth or a cleaning solution specifically designed for blinds to remove marks or stains.
    2. Check for moisture: If the marks are caused by moisture, try to reduce the humidity in the room or use a dehumidifier. If the marks are caused by condensation, try to improve the ventilation in the room.
    3. Protect the blinds from sunlight: If the marks are caused by sunlight, consider moving the blinds to a location where they are not exposed to direct sunlight or use a window treatment that provides UV protection.
    4. Remove insects: If the marks are caused by insects, try using a vacuum or a bug spray to remove them from the blinds.

    If the marks do not come off after trying these steps, you may need to replace the blinds.