How To Fix Vertical Blinds That Won’t Rotate

Last Updated on May 5, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

Vertical blinds are one of the most popular types of shades out there and commendable window treatment for your home because they do the work at a relatively affordable price. But like other shades, it can also stop working at some point. One of the most common issues of vertical blinds would be when it stops rotating. 

To fix a vertical blind that would not rotate, you have to check possible obstructions jammed in it or using an oil lubricant to fix the pulley system.

If you are curious about what other things you should know about vertical blinds that would not rotate, this post is for you. 

What are vertical blinds? 

vertical blinds

The vertical blind is the go-to replacement for its more popular counterpart which is horizontal blinds. It is identifiable for its large slats hanging vertically from a headrail. It is operated using a blinds wand or a pulley system. This type of blinds is best suited for large windows and sliding doors. 

Vertical blinds have been making a reputation for its higher light-blocking ability compared to horizontal blinds. They are also more durable and produce less noise when being closed or opened compared to horizontal blinds. 

Why choose vertical blinds?

You might be curious as to why vertical blinds have gained so much popularity in recent years. So, to clear that dust off, here are some of the benefits of installing vertical blinds. 

  • Tilting slats: It gives you more privacy and sun shade especially when your room faces the street directly because you can inconspicuously tilt the slats of vertical blinds. 
  • Comes with a variety of styles: From blackout vertical blinds to moisture resistant ones that you can use in your bathroom, to an array of colors, patterns, and fabrics, vertical blinds have them all. 
  • Flexibility: Because of its vertical pattern, this type of blinds can be used for customized window shapes and sizes
  • Easy to maintain: unlike horizontal blinds, its slats do not trap that much dirt. As such, vertical blinds are more straightforward to clean and maintain. 
  • Affordable: You can buy one panel of vertical blind for $20. These are usually the common vinyl types. It is one of the most cost-efficient window treatments out there. 

Why are my vertical blinds not turning?

When your vertical blinds are not turning, it could be one of the following: 

  • The vertical slats are caught up in reverse. 
  • There are obstructions in the rails (dirt/dust balls, small objects, or small pieces of the slats themselves). 
  • The rod is rusting or has gone out of oil lubricant. 
  • There are holes in the blinds. 
  • Some gears in the carrier’s body are damaged and need replacement. 

How to fix vertical blinds not turning 

So how do you troubleshoot a vertical blind that has stopped rotating? Here are some of the best ways to fix your vertical blinds. 

1. Make the necessary adjustments

This is the first aid to blinds problems and the easy fix to rotation problems of vertical blinds. The thing is, the blinds could be rotating in reverse or they have been flipped backwards. To fix this, you need to manually put the blinds back in their right positions. This can be done with your bare hands. 

2. Spraying WD-40

Sometimes, your vertical blinds are not rotating because the rod in the track system is already rusting or out of lubrication. Inspect the rod and if you find that it is indeed dry and out of oil, you can spray it with WD-40

3. Remove obstructions

Another reason for having vertical blinds that would not rotate is if it jammed. Search for obstructions in the holes connecting the pulley system. You can remove jammed objects with your hand. 

4. Patch up noticeable holes

Holes in the blinds could affect its rotation. If you find holes in your vertical blinds, buy a blinds repair kit or use a heavy-duty adhesive to cover the holes in your blinds. 

How to remove and replace a vertical blind

Although you have fixed the rotation problems of your vertical blinds, you might still need to check the parts individually or replace these parts if need be. Here are the steps in removing and replacing your vertical blind. 

1. Remove the spacer chain

Some vertical blinds come with a spacer chain. If yours have one, start by removing it. Your blinds are attached to this chain through a clip at the tip of the blinds. To remove the chain, twist it and just feed the chain in the opposite direction until you find the blind with the problem. 

2. Unhook problem blind

To do this, raise the blinds upwards via the pulley system. Locate the problem blind and unhook it. You will have to bend the blinds sometimes to make the unhooking easier. 

3. Get the replacement blind

It is now time to hook in the new blinds. Point each problem blind in the same direction as the others and then re-attach them to the spacer chain. 

4. Check rotation

Using the pulley, check if the replacement and re-assembling were done properly. If not, just repeat the steps and make sure that all problem blinds are replaced. 

How much does it cost to replace vertical blinds?

As have been mentioned here previously, vertical blinds are less expensive than horizontal blinds. 

So, if you are buying one for replacement, expect at least $20-50 for vinyl vertical blinds and a range of $100-200 for wood vertical blinds per window. Of course, these ranges vary depending on the size of your window

How to remove and replace a vertical carrier stem

how to replace vertical blind stem

Now that you are done fixing the rotation problem and replacing your blinds, it is time to replace the vertical carrier system. Here are the steps to do it. 

  1. First, open your blinds and then unhook the ones that are directly attached to the carrier system. Depending on the model of your vertical blinds, you might need to detach the spacer chain too. 
  2. Next, grab the carrier’s body using a needle-nose plier. The carrier’s stem is just a small plastic, rectangle shaped and found in the top part of the blind. Clamp it using your pliers.
  3. After that, twist the carrier stem gently. While you put gentle force in the twisting, pull it down until the stem entirely detaches from the carrier’s body. 
  4. Get your replacement stem. You should have matched it beforehand with the stem you are removing. If the stems do not match, there is no way you could attach it to the body. 
  5. If it matches, install the replacement carrier stem by pushing it in the carrier’s body. It should slide in the knob found in the carrier’s body. 
  6. Lastly, push the carrier’s blades back through the new stem. After this, assemble everything together and check your blinds’ rotation.  

How to maintain vertical blinds

To prevent regular replacement and as well as issues on vertical blinds not rotating, you should know how to properly maintain your vertical blinds. Here are some of the maintenance techniques that you can employ take care of your vertical blinds: 

  • Take them out of the headrail: Every 4-6 weeks, you should detach the vertical blinds from the headrail. When you do, clean the headrail with damp cloth or clean its grooves with a silicone-based spray to keep it functioning. 
  • The warm soap and water technique: Just like cloth, you can submerge your vertical blinds in a basin of warm water and soap for a couple of minutes. The mixture should not exceed 30C. Rinse with cool water after and make sure that it is completely dry before assembling them back to prevent mold buildup. 
  • Scrub using sponge: When you are doing this, make sure that your blinds are not soaked directly on water. Water makes them shrink as it rinses away their fire-retardant additive (which keeps them straight and solid). Also, never hang them after washing. Use a flat rack where they can dry. You can also use your hair dryer to do the manual drying. 
  • Vacuum: If you have a handheld vacuum at home along with a soft brush attachment, you can maintain your vertical blinds regularly. You can vacuum it every week to inhibit dust buildup in non-visible areas such as in the headrail and in the carrier. 

Related: What Kind Of Curtains For Traverse Rod?


Fixing a vertical blind that no longer rotates is not a daunting task. The fix could be done in easy steps. Finding the problem could take more time especially if they are not noticeable like small holes in the blinds or a rusting rod. But again, like fixing it, these are two-step tasks. 

Learning how to remove and replace the vertical blinds and the carrier stem could save you valuable time in fixing what needs to be fixed in your blinds. Since it is not a complicated window treatment, we think that we have covered everything that you need to know about how to fix vertical blinds.