How to Wash Curtains and Drapes

woman removing drapes from a window

Take a closer look at the window coverings in your living room. Dark-colored curtains tend to show dust easily. Even if your drapes look clean, they could be harboring dirt, hair, mold spores, pollen, and other allergens that make you sneeze. Learn how to wash curtains and drapes with these tips here. Then, make this a part of your seasonal cleaning routine to keep your window coverings looking great for years to come.

Best Way to Wash Curtains and Drapes

Cleaning methods depend on the fabric. Before you get started, check the label for cleaning codes and suggestions. If you can’t find a tag, use the following cleaning tips for optimal results.

Garment fabric curtains

Remove the hardware and shake the curtains outside to remove as much dust as possible. Wash two panels at a time in cold water on the delicate cycle. Dry on the lowest heat setting. Remove from the dryer and rehang immediately to prevent wrinkles.

Sheer or lace curtains

It’s best to wash these delicate fabrics by hand or in a mesh bag to prevent snagging. Whatever method you choose, use cold water and mild detergent. If you wash by hand, submerge one panel at a time in a sink or basin and soak in soapy water for 10 minutes. Swirl it around, drain and refill the basin, and rinse until all soap residue is gone.

To restore a crisp feel to sheer or lace curtains, submerge the freshly washed panel in a sink of cold water with one cup of dissolved Epsom salt. After 10 minutes of soaking, drain the sink and gently press the water out of the curtain, but do not rinse. Hang the curtain from a shower rod or laundry line to dry before rehanging.

Dry-clean-only curtains

Velvet or lined curtains often require dry cleaning. If you’re not sure, test the colorfastness by blotting a hidden spot with a wet white washcloth. If the color transfers to the cloth, take the curtains in for dry cleaning.

Perhaps your drapes are old, and you’ve been thinking about replacing them. If so, you can attempt to wash them at home at your own risk. When attempting to wash dry-clean-only curtains, launder one panel at a time in cold water, either by hand or on the gentle cycle. Remove the drape promptly once the cycle completes and hang or lay it flat to dry. To prevent shrinking, never put a dry-clean-only curtain in the dryer.

Non-removable curtains

If you can’t or don’t want to remove your curtains or cornices, one easy trick is to vacuum them with the brush attachment. This also helps removable curtains stay cleaner between washings. Another option is to use a steam-cleaning wand. This method is only safe on machine-washable curtains. Steaming is fast and easy, though it may yield less optimal results compared to washing the drapes.

Get Extra Help with Household Chores

By washing your curtains and drapes occasionally, you’ll enjoy cleaner window coverings and less dust to aggravate your allergies. If you need help tackling this and all your other household chores, call Molly Maid for help! Our professionally trained team can undertake the more tiresome tasks to leave you with more time for the things you love. You can even customize the services you receive. Choose from a single deep-cleaning, occasional cleaning, or routine assistance with household chores to suit your needs best.

To arrange professional house cleaning services near you, please contact your local Molly Maid or call us today for a free estimate.