Curtains tend to absorb smells from around the home, such as cooking aromas and cigarette smoke, which can leave the curtains smelling less than fresh and cause a slight discoloration. Curtain cleaning doesn’t have to be difficult, there are several easy ways to clean your curtains, and different curtain cleaners you can use. Here’s a quick, simple guide to the options available.
Drapes and curtains face a lot of dirt, dust and sun exposure daily, all of which will break down the fibers and dyes in the material.
- Before spot cleaning or washing curtains, check the manufacturer’s care instructions.
- Start with the least invasive or potentially damaging cleaning option first.
- Stretch the curtain flat, then use the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner and lint roller to remove dust, debris or pet hair.
- Some materials — like lined fabric — will be ruined by water, so consult the label before washing or dry cleaning.
Curtains made from cotton, nylon or polyester can most likely be machine-washed without issue. Use the three-step method for proper cleaning:
- Spot treat any stains with a stain remover, gently rubbing it in with an old toothbrush
- Wash curtains in cold water on the delicate cycle, using a mild cold-water detergent intended for delicate fabrics
- Tumble dry on low heat, and then re-hang while still just barely damp
Tip: Press and iron cotton curtains before hanging. Nylon or polyester curtains or sheers will most likely not need ironing.
- Fill a utility sink with enough hot water to fully submerge the curtains
- Add 2 cups of lemon juice and mix well
- Soak the curtains for 1 hour, then squeeze out excess water and hang in bright sunlight to dry
- After they air dry, machine wash and tumble dry on low heat
Choosing Window Treatments
- Dark curtains will show more dust, while light or white curtains may look dingy sooner.
- Add a liner to curtains to help protect against sun damage.
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