Drapes and curtains are an integral part of any home decor. They enhance the aesthetics with color, pattern, and texture, while also controlling light and temperature. However, like any other fabric or furnishing, they require periodic cleaning. In this blog, we will delve into the art of cleaning drapes and curtains. Whether they’re made of cotton, silk, or another fabric, read on to discover how to maintain their best appearance.
How Frequently Should You Clean Drapes and Curtains?
It’s ideal to clean drapes and curtains every three to six months, whether by hand, machine, or through a professional dry cleaning service. Realistically, once a year is sufficient for heavier or intricate drapes and curtains.
For weekly maintenance, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to keep drapes dust-free, which also reduces allergies. In case you have pets, use the sticky side of duct tape or a lint brush during vacuuming to remove stubborn pet hair from the fabric.
Preparation Before Cleaning
Prior to washing, perform a colorfastness test on a hidden corner of your drapes or curtains. Even if they appear suitable for machine or handwashing, immerse a small section in a bowl of warm water and detergent. If you observe color bleeding or any other significant changes, consult a professional cleaner.
Tools and Materials You’ll Need
- Large sink
- Washing machine
- Pressing cloth
- Mild handwashing dish detergent
- Mild machine-washing laundry detergent
How to Clean Cotton Drapes and Curtains
Cotton drapes and curtains, especially if unlined, can be hand- or machine-washed.
1. Check for Stains
Cotton window treatments are prone to staining. Examine the curtains for stains and pre-treat any you find before washing.
2. Gentle Machine Wash
Wash the curtains on the delicate cycle with cold water and mild laundry detergent to preserve their quality. Ensure there’s enough space in the machine to prevent wrinkles, and iron them when slightly damp to prevent creases.
3. Low Heat Drying
Tumble dry the curtains on a low-heat setting. Remove them from the dryer when they’re about 95% dry to prevent wrinkles from setting in.
4. Iron When Slightly Damp
Iron cotton window treatments on the slightly damp setting. Always use the cotton setting on the iron, and iron the wrong side of the fabric while using a pressing cloth to prevent scorching. Hang the curtains to air dry completely and eliminate any remaining wrinkles.
How to Clean Silk Drapes and Curtains
Silk curtains and drapes can often be handwashed using mild dishwashing soap and gentle movements. Other delicate fabrics can be treated similarly, with the drying process involving hanging.
Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm to cool water and add mild detergent, creating suds. Gently immerse the silk and work the suds through the fabric.
Rinse the silk in lukewarm to cool water, swishing the fabric to remove soap. Keep rinsing until the water is no longer sudsy. Lay the garment flat on a thick bath towel and gently roll the towel to remove excess water.
3. Air Dry
Hang your silk indoors to dry, ensuring it’s kept away from heat sources.
4. Iron with Caution
If ironing is necessary, do it while the fabric is slightly damp. Use a low or silk setting on the iron, and always iron the wrong side with a pressing cloth to prevent scorching.
Tips for Long-Lasting Clean Drapes and Curtains
During your regular home cleaning routine, don’t forget to dust all parts of the curtains that collect dust, such as valances, curtain rods, and finials. If your vacuum lacks a brush attachment, use a long-handled broom with synthetic fibers to prevent dust accumulation. As you close your curtains each night, give them a gentle shake to remove any dust in the folds.
If you desire spotlessly clean drapes and curtains, consider enlisting the services of a professional specializing in drapery cleaning. They will safely remove, clean, and rehang your draperies. This option is superior to commercial dry cleaners, as it ensures fine draperies are cleaned correctly.
Master Dry Cleaners not only excels in drapery and curtain cleaning but also offers installation services after cleaning. Our experienced staff is well-equipped to follow the best practices, from takedown to cleaning, pressing to reinstallation, and final steaming.
If you have questions about your curtains and drapes or wish to discuss professional cleaning services, contact us today.
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