It wasn't on my list of things to do before we hit the road in the next week or so, but I have always wanted to clean the blind on the windows behind the galley in my CS Adventurous. Three and a half years of two or three meals a day is a lot of built-up cooking grease and residue, and you have little choice but to look at it with white blinds. I have attempted to wipe the individual blades a few times, but they are easily bent and if they're in place you really can't hose them down like you need to to get them really clean.
I had watched the guy at the factory installing the stainless steel back splash and blinds, so I had a rough idea how they go together. There's a piece of trim across the top about two inches high that hides the top of the blinds, and trim down each side that acts like guide rails to get the blind to follow the slanted side wall and not swing wildly while driving. A peek with a flashlight behind the top trim showed me that it was held in by six Robertson head screws going straight up into the cabinet above, and I could see the cabinet staples holding the side trim on. A little careful work with a putty knife and my trusty Roadtrek screwdriver, and they were off.
Now comes the puzzle – how do you get the blind out? It was surprisingly well fastened in there, with no obvious release mechanism. There were two brackets holding the top of the blind, but no visible fasteners. Poking around, I eventually realized the tab sticking out was a lever, which when pulled out toward you releases the blind. I flip the levers over, and the whole blind comes right out.
My preferred cleaning method for practically everything is putting it on a deck or concrete surface and scrubbing the dickens out of it with a scrubber or brush. These blinds were delicate, so I would have to be careful. Laid flat, the individual blades overlapped a bit, but by pushing each one up and down I could expose the entire surface. A spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner, a pot scrubber square, and a garden hose were my method of attack. If you bend one of the individual blades, you can straighten it more or less back to its original position – rolling the blade lengthwise helps.
I hung the finished blind up to drip dry for a few minutes, blotted it with a clean towel, and was ready to reinstall it. It popped right back in, I flipped the two levers on each top bracket, and it was secure. When you reinstall the side trim, look for the ghost of the bottom position – on mine, the clear silicone caulk ended right where it goes at the bottom. Push the top as far forward as you can against the box at the top of the blinds – if you don't you will run into clearance problems with the timer for the instant hot water on the right side. I clipped off the staples and replaced them with small finishing nails, since I don't have a fancy cabinetry stapler.
Reinstall the top piece back into the same holes in the top cabinet that the screws went into, and you're done. I found that a power driver is way easier than the trusty Roadtrek screwdriver, which is a bit stubby for this job. Sharon was very pleased to see the results of this little project, because she's a stickler for cleanliness. Our Roadtrek is three and a half years old, but there's no reason it has to look old.
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