How to Know the Proper Way Curtains Should Be Cleaned

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How to Know the Proper Way Curtains Should Be Cleaned

If you have noticed dust collecting on curtains, the first course of action for cleaning them is to carefully read the care instructions to determine if your draperies or curtains can be washed or should be professionally cleaned.

Cleaning Curtains Do’s and Don’ts:

Professionally Cleaned

Even though curtain fabric is washable, the seams and linings can shrink when washed. You will want to have drapes and curtains with swags, stitched-in creases, or other elaborate ornamentation professionally cleaned because they might not withstand washing.

Special Fabrics

Velvet drapes can be freshened up without dry cleaning or washing them. From time to time, brush them with a chamois cloth that has been dipped in hot water and thoroughly wrung out.
Silk curtains that can be hand-washed should be placed in cold or lukewarm water. Mild liquid dish detergent can be used. Gently swish the curtains, do not wring or twist.

Damage from the Sun

Constant sunlight exposure can make sturdy fabrics fragile. Machine-washed draperies and curtains should be washed on the gentle cycle with lukewarm or cold water, and mild detergent. It is best to dry them on a clothesline or in a dryer on a ‘delicate’ or ‘no heat’ setting.


Sheer curtains should be washed on a regular basis, even if they do not appear dirty. If the dirt is noticeable, the sheers are probably permanently discolored. The fragile fabric should be cleaned gently.
Do not fill the washing machine more than halfway. Let the sheers soak in cold water for five minutes. A whitening agent along with mild detergent can be used. Drain the water by turning the dial to ‘rinse.’

Then, on a gentle was setting, run the machine for only two or three minutes. Add a couple of terry towels with the sheers when they are placed in the dryer. Run the dryer on ‘no heat’ for another two or three minutes.
They should still be slightly damp. Rehang the sheers and pull them back into shape. If needed, set up the ironing board near the window and while the draperies or curtains are hanging, iron the hems.

Routine Care

Dust drapes and curtains regularly with the soft-brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner. To prevent drawing the fabric into the vacuum nozzle, use a reduced suction setting. A piece of screen placed between the material and nozzle can also prevent the fabric suction. An old nylon stocking secured over the nose by a rubber band also works.

You can use a long-handled broom that has synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers collect dust better than natural fibers. Drapes and curtains that can be rehung relatively easy should be aired outdoors on a clothesline or placed in a dryer set to ‘delicate’ or ‘no heat’ occasionally.

Costly Mistake

If you believe your curtains are too dirty or old and should be replaced, you may want to rethink that expensive option. Having curtains and drapes professionally cleaned costs only a fraction of the cost of new window treatments. Many times, professionals can make curtains and drapes look good as new.


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