Venetian blinds will give you excellent light control for any room in your home. The modern type of venetian blind is more effective and maneuverable than the old wide-slatted blind.

It's made, in most instances, of thin aluminum slats and has a long plastic bar that enables you to adjust the slats to give you any amount of outdoor light you wish. The slats must be adjusted so the surfaces are absolutely flat and level before the blind is raised or lowered. Failure to do this can ruin the mechanism.

Now for the bad news. Venetian blinds are a pain in the neck to keep clean. Constant dusting with a brush made just for that purpose is helpful. However, the blinds must have an occasional thorough cleaning. Traditional cleansing with soap and water leaves spots. What to do?

"Commercial glass cleaner will give you much better results than soap and water," said Gary Swift of Glover Shade Co. The alcohol evaporates, there are no suds to contend with and you will have no water spots remaining." He also gave us a great economy tip. "Buy windshield washer solution rather than commercial glass cleaners. It's less expensive and more effective. Supermarkets and drugstores often have special sales on this automotive product. It contains more alcohol than the regular variety. You will have to purchase it in the gallon size, but it's well worth it for the savings."

Swift, who has cleaned "thousands of blinds," reported that the windshield washer solution will even clean venetian blinds that have been subjected to hairspray. "The hairspray floats through the air, and blinds (particularly those in the bathroom) are often coated with it. The hairspray, which is a form of lacquer, seals the dirt on the surface of the slats." He suggested using the windshield washer solution for other reflective surfaces, such as windows, mirrors and some laminated plastic. (Always test before using.)