Curtains play a crucial role in enhancing the aesthetics of any room, but over time, they can accumulate dust, dirt, and even pet hair, making them look dull and unattractive. Being close to windows with condensation can also mean they are prone to mould, particularly in homes with single-glazed windows.
Proper curtain maintenance is essential to keep your living spaces fresh and inviting and ultimately make you feeling much happier within your home.
Our guide will give you an idea on the best way to clean your curtains dependent on the style and fabric you have, ensuring they look their best and last for years to come.
To prevent heavy buildup of dust and dirt, start by giving your curtains a light shake or a gentle vacuuming with a soft brush attachment, starting from the top and working your way down to the bottom. Using a handheld hoover will make this step easier. This step helps remove loose particles that can contribute to the overall cleanliness of your curtains.
If you're able to regularly dust down your curtains, this will prevent dust, dirt, pet hair and other allergens accumulating in the fabric. We recommend doing this every month. The good news is that you don't need to deconstruct your curtains in order to do this, making them easy to maintain!
Check The Care Label
Before diving into the cleaning process, always check the care label on your curtains. Manufacturers and fabric designers often provide specific instructions for cleaning and maintenance. Make sure to follow these guidelines to avoid damaging your curtains.
How To Steam Clean Your Curtains
Steam cleaning your curtains is an effective way to remove stubborn stains, dust, and allergens while maintaining the fabric's integrity.
To steam clean your curtains, start by ensuring that your steamer is filled with clean, distilled water to prevent mineral deposits. The good news is that you can do this step without taking down your curtains!
Begin at the top of the curtain and work your way down, holding the steamer head a few inches away from the fabric to avoid direct contact. Use a sweeping, overlapping motion to evenly distribute the steam and cover the entire surface. Pay special attention to any stained or soiled areas, as the steam will help loosen dirt and grime. Once you've treated the entire curtain, let it air dry completely before rehanging, and enjoy your refreshed, clean curtains.
For velvet curtains, like the gorgeous Temperley x Romo Velvets range, only steam from the lining side to avoid damaging the fabric. Ensure your curtains do not become wet.
How To Spot Clean Your Curtains
If your curtains require a little more than a gentle steam and refresh or have become soiled with a few stains, spot cleaning may be the way forward before embarking on a full on wash!
Firstly begin by just using water on a clean cloth and dab to see if this lifts the stain to avoid using anything unnecessary on your fabric. Avoid scrubbing the fabric as this may cause damage.
If this doesn't lift the stain, then, try using white vinegar diluted with water. This will also be effective at removing any mould as the vinegar will help kill the spores. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge in the solution. Test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn't damage the fabric. If all is well, gently blot the stained area, working from the outside in, and avoid oversaturating.
Rinse by blotting with a clean, damp cloth, and finally, blot dry with a dry, clean cloth. For delicate fabrics like silk or lace, consult the manufacturer or fabric designer or seek professional advice to ensure you're using the right cleaning method and avoid causing any damage to the material. When in doubt, it's always safer to seek professional cleaning for delicate curtains.
Can I Hand Wash My Curtains?
As a general piece of advice and to err on the side of caution, we wouldn't recommend attempting to hand wash your curtains unless you have done this before and the outcome didn't damage your curtains.
If you are determined to hand wash your curtains, we would recommend using lukewarm water and a mild detergent and always spot check your curtains before to ensure no damage is done to the fabric.
Can I Put My Curtains In The Washing Machine?
Always check the label or with the curtain fabric supplier or manufacturer for instructions on whether machine washing your curtains is suitable.
We, personally, wouldn't recommend due to running the risk of damaging your fabric, shrinkage of your fabric and also damage to any mechanisms when dismantling or rehanging.
Can I Dry Clean My Curtains?
We would always recommend seeking professional cleaning advice from a reputable dry cleaners when looking to clean your curtains. This means that machine washing, even on gentle or cool settings, is not suitable for many fabrics. Similarly, it is not advisable to hand wash these curtains using warm water and a mild detergent.
To determine which fabrics and linings necessitate professional dry cleaning, look for the 'P sensitive' symbol on the sewn-in care label. Before you take down your curtains, it's a good idea to check with your local dry cleaning service. Also, be aware that the fabric may shrink by up to 3% during the first dry clean.
The Best Way To Clean Your Curtains
Overall, we would recommend regular vacuuming and dusting of your curtains to ensure dirt and dust doesn't build up and to keep them looking their best. Tackle any stains with water and, if really soiled, use diluted white vinegar to help lift.
Steam cleaning is also a great way to clean your curtains without the hassle of having to take them down, but ensure you check the care label first for the most appropriate way to do this for your fabric.