Curtains are an elegant and beautiful addition to the interior of our homes but are often unheeded. Yes it is true, they look so wonderful when you first put them up but you maybe don’t realize how much dust and dirt could they collect. Curtains, drapes and textile blinds are often overlooked when it comes time for cleaning. The complexity of their treatment often refuse people to take this step. But once you know how, it will be very easy to clean them. There are two basic steps about how to clean your curtains – general dusting and washing them.
Dusting the curtains
Keeping your curtains clean is an important part of controlling the dust in your home. When you keep your windows open, the curtains are acting like a filter between the outside and inside air. That is one of the reasons they are retaining so much dust. But no matter how dirty could your curtains get, it would be very hard to wash them and clean them every week. Doing this could also wrack your drapes. That is way there is an easy way to get a lot of the dirt off by dusting or vacuum them, like a part of your weekly house cleaning. There are a few tips to remember when you taking the dust off:
- Using a vacuum with a soft brush start removing the dust when the curtains are dry only. You can also use a brush attachment or upholstery tool from a regular vacuum cleaner. It is easier to clean your curtains when they are hanging.
- Start vacuuming the curtains from the top to the bottom, this way the dust will fall onto parts you haven’t dusted yet.
- Most of the dust accumulates in the areas like hems and folds, by using the vacuum service tools you can easy reach those spots.
- Remember that the sides facing the windows are collecting dust and debris as well, that is why it is good to vacuum both sides of your curtains.
Top tip: Clean curtains with a vacuum cleaner at least once every two weeks to remove accumulated dust and animal hair if you have pets. This small task will take you no more than 10 minutes, but will contribute for a fresh look of the fabric and will help to postpone the main cleaning a few weeks. Use the lowest suction setting of your vacuum to avoid damaging the curtains.
However when the time comes to laundering your curtains, there are 3 different approaches that can be applied depending on the type of the fabric.
Hand washing for delicate curtains
The hand washing is a big chore than using the washing machine, but sometimes it is the safer option. Especially when the curtains are made of delicate fabrics like a shifon, silk and lace. The same applies to the curtains of 100% cotton. Use a special soap for hand washing or a regular laundry detergent and cool water. If it is necessary it is good to soak the curtains at first to remove the stains. Remember always to follow the instructions on your chosen clean product.
Machine washing for light fabrics
If your curtains are made of cotton, soft cloth, linen or synthetic fabric, the easiest and least expensive way to clean them is simply to put them in the washing machine. You do not need to buy any special detergents, but it is good to wash your curtains on a delicate cycle if your washing machine has it. Otherwise run a short washing program with lower degrees and slow spin. This way you’ll avoid bleaching and shrinking of the fabric. Remember that some fabrics need special attention, that is why you always have to check the labels on your curtains before putting them in the laundry.
Steam cleaning for heavy curtains
Now widespread and inexpensive are the handheld steam cleaners. And it is easy to be purchased for home use. Few of us choose heavier fabrics like velvet for home. But if you still need to clean this type of curtains never use the washing machine! The heavy fabrics absorb too much water, it’s hard to get them dry and it’s possible to get them untidy in the washing machine. Use handheld steam cleaner, cleaning from top to the bottom. Do not hold the appliance too close, because the curtains could get wet. It is enough to keep the steam of 8-12 inches of the curtain. Be careful because the steam could burn you, so be sure that you wearing protective clothing and always follow the manufacturer directions.
There are several different options for drying the curtains. But each of them hide their shortcomings, which need to be prepared and informed. The easiest way to get your curtains dry is to put them in the dryer. But the tumbling motion can cause wrinkles that even a hot iron can’t remove, also fade color or shrinking the material. But if you anyway decide to run them in the dryer, use a gentle circle with a low temperature. Do not dry your curtains to much longer in the dryer. Take them out when they are slightly damp and hang them back on the rails. This will help you to avoid wrinkles and ironing. Remember not to hang wet curtains on the rails, because they can trickle on your carpet or flooring. The best method to get your curtains dry is to leave them hanging outside. But be sure that you will put them in shade, because the sun could bleach them.
Keeping the curtains nice and fresh is not a difficult task, if you include their dusting and vacuuming in your weekly duties. To slow the absorption of odors in the fabric, always give to your curtains fresh air. Following these tips you will ensure a pleasant and fresh look of your curtains and keep them like new last longer.