It’s time to fix those windows and make them gleam and glow. You don’t realise how much dust and dirt curtains collect until years later, when one day you open the curtains and a cloud of dust circles the air. Curtains are very often neglected when it comes to maintenance, but if you know how to look after them, care for them and most importantly keep them clean, they will last you a lifetime.
First thing to know though is how often you should be cleaning your curtains. Ideally, it’s best to wash them once every three months. By doing this, it will keep them looking good and smelling clean, in addition to extending the life of the curtains.
Depending on the material of the curtains, you may be able to simply throw them in the washing machine at home. Of course, dry cleaning is also a quick and easy option and recommended for specific materials but when you can DIY it, why not give it a go! Most materials can be washed at home on a delicate cycle, however if your curtains are lined, made of silk, linen or other sensitive fabrics, or include beading or embroidery, do opt for a professional dry clean.
Washing Machine Curtains
Cleaning your curtains in the washing machine at home is by far the easiest and least expensive method of cleaning curtains. Here’s how to wash your curtains at home using your washing machine.
- Of course ensure they do not state ‘Dry clean only’.
- Use the delicate cycle! Even is the fabric is thick, always stick to the delicate wash for curtains.
- Wash on a low (cool) temperature, cold water will keep shrinking and colour fading to a minimum.
- Normal detergent is okay to use, but it’s worth investing in a special detergent designed to prevent colour fade if your curtains are dark or colourful.
- Always check the labels before laundering!
Steam Cleaning Curtains
Ideal for very heavy materials or curtains that are difficult to take down from the rail, steam cleaning is a great method for cleaning most fabrics. If you’re planning steam cleaning, then invest in a good quality steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment for convenience. Follow these tips to get curtains that are steaming clean.
- If your curtains are machine washable, then steam cleaning is also fine, but note that tossing them in the washing machines will clean them more thoroughly.
- Start from the top and work your way down the curtain.
- The curtain shouldn’t be wet from steaming. If this is the case then you’re holding the steamer too close.
- It’s best to steam clean with the windows shut, so they can dry properly without dirty air particles. Be careful when using a steam cleaner – steam is HOT! Always take care and read the manufacturer’s instructions before you begin.
Hand Wash Curtains
If you’re worried about using the washing machine, hand wash! This is definitely the safer option and best for more delicate fabrics or those with intricate detailing. Here are some tips on hand washing curtains.
- Use either regular laundry detergent or soap specifically designed for hand washing delicates. A gentle soap will avoid damage to the material
- Be sure to wear protective rubber gloves if you have sensitive or damaged skin, detergent, even mild detergent can be harsh on skin.
- It’s best not to hand was heavy materials, as the chore can become an extremely strenuous one, being difficult to wring out the water, plus it will prolong the drying time.
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