How to Clean Curtains? So you took the plunge. You finally figured out how to hang a curtain rod and you put up curtains. These curtains not only match your color scheme but they’re also the correct length.
Way to go, right? Except of course, now you don’t know how to clean the curtain. They seem fancy, so you assume they need to be dry cleaned and not thrown in the wash with your jeans. But do your curtains actually need to be dry cleaned?
Your best bet on finding out if your curtains need dry cleaning is to read the actual label on the curtains themselves. Some will tell you to wash in cold water and hang to dry. Some will tell you to wash in delicate. Or to wash by hand.
And of course, some curtains will tell you they are to be dry cleaned only. It all depends on the type of fabric your curtains are made of.
Depending on the type of fabric your curtains are made of will determine if they need dry cleaning. But what does it actually do for your curtains? Throwing certain types of fabric into the washing machine can cause pilling of the fabric.
It can also cause bleeding of the dyes which can lead to fading, which means eventual replacement. And let’s face it, curtains aren’t cheap, so you may as well take care of them from the get-go.
Dry cleaning solves these problems, as it avoids them altogether. The dry cleaners will clean them correctly. They will protect the fabric and clean the specific fabric accordingly. Your curtains will be returned to you clean and wrinkle free!
There are a couple alternatives to having your curtains dry cleaned. You can put them in the washing machine or have them steam cleaned.
Even if your curtain tag says to dry clean only, you can take a chance and stick them in the washing machine. It may not be particularly recommended, but in a pinch, it can work. If you need to go this route, it is recommended to use a mild detergent.
It is also recommended to run them through on a gentle cycle, as well as by themselves. When moving the curtains to the dryer, it is recommended to not run them for the full cycle. They should either be line dried or removed before they are fully dry.
Allowing them to fully dry and possibly overdry can cause wrinkles. Pulling them out of the dryer before they are completely finished will allow you to iron them easily. Once ironed and free of wrinkles, they can be hung right back up.
Another alternative to dry cleaning is to steam clean the curtains. However, this can only be done on curtains that are for sure machine washable. And even then, you might as well just throw them in the wash.
It will end up being less work for you and you will get better results using the washing machine.
Now that you have a few options on how to clean your curtains, you may be wondering how often this needs to be done. Especially since it was such hard work to put them up in the first place!
But, as with most things, cleaning the curtains needs to happen now and again. After all, unclean curtains can contain dust mites, mold, and mildew.
Curtains that are close to cooking areas or come into contact with pets should be cleaned on a regular basis. Those curtains tend to lock in smells from the cooking or dander from the pets. They can stain and become discolored.
Regular cleaning of these curtains will help keep the curtains looking fresh and new. This means every three to six months for people with allergies or six to twelve months for people without.
At the very minimum, all curtains should be cleaned every two to three years to ensure they are free of health hazards.
In addition to having them professionally dry cleaned or run through the washing machine if able, curtains can also be vacuumed regularly. Use the upholstery tool for your vacuum and go from top to bottom over the full length of the curtains.
This can be done on a weekly basis when you do your regular vacuuming. It will help keep your curtains fresher and last longer in between full cleanings.
In summary, follow the directions on the tags of the curtains. While some can be washed in the washing machine, there are certain fabrics that really are dry clean only. For best results, read the tag!