Ways To Clean Curtains And Drapes

Find out different ways that you can clean your curtains and draperies.

Cleaning your curtains and draperies is a mandatory part of domestic chores as the buildup of dirt can set the ground for a number of germs and allergens such as dust mites or oven moths and getting rid of moths can be a tiresome challenge. Poor maintenance and care can lead to pest infestations and getti eventually damage the fabric. When you set your flat or house schedule, you should bear in mind, that the lowest bar for hygiene is at 6 months in between each treatment.

However, professional steam cleaning can be a costly expense, especially if you’re among the conscientious home owners who take care of draperies once every two or three months. That’s why it’s well worth to consider the purchase of high-quality cleaner and clean yourself.

Bear in mind that some fabrics might require more delicate techniques like dry cleaning or encapsulation, which as methods are similar but to have slight differences. If your curtains have a shinier touch, then it could be cotton and silk. If that is the case than dust will be easier to shake off and come out via regular vacuum cleaning.

A handy tip: Always work you way top to bottom and do the inside of folds first while leaving the outside edges last.

Cleaning different types of fabrics

Most of the common fabrics such as cotton, linen and most of the synthetics are rather simple to clean.

  1. First you should gently vacuum clean using the upholstery extension if present.
  2. Carefully take them of the rail while being careful not to shake the draperies too much.
  3. Poor a gentle cleaner and wash with cold water on the hand-wash cycle.
  4. Hand wash if your washer does not have a lighter mode.
  5. Avoid dryers and hang in a well-vented spot.

If you underestimate the strength of your dryer, you might agitate or at worst, tear and damage the fabric beyond repair. Besides the risk of ripping it apart, high temperature might cause shrinkage and warping which will damage your curtains.

Bear in mind that leaving the fabric for too long in the Sun is also something to beware. You do not want to bring outdoor allergens into your home, and items that have been left on a clothesline to dry for too long often take on an unpleasant smell, especially if you live in a city with pollutants from cars, etc. Although ionic air purifiers can work wonders, taking investing the extra dash of effort does count.

When ironing draperies, be very careful

Prior to ironing, make sure to check if your draperies do not have a lining made out of synthetic fibres, susceptible to heat. As risk comes with ironing blankets, If you fail to spot the risk in time, you might not only damage your curtains but the iron as well. If you haven’t seen melted fabrics such as nylon or synthetic fibres over a ironing surface, trust us. You don’t want to deal with that.

A handy idea: When ironing, bettor off start at a lower temperature then slowly build up to what’s recommended on the label. If you’re unsure, try the bottom corner for a second or two and if you sense that there’s something wrong - stop.

Dry cleaning the curtains

If you’re unwilling or unable to hire professional-grade gear or tradesman on a regular basis you can always buy the gear to do it yourself. It’s not necessary to start your own dry cleaning business but this way you will be able to dry clean your draperies at the comfort of your own home whenever you want to without having to dismantle the rail or take the curtain down.

The Rotovac brand makes this type equipment, with the specilised attachment for curtain cleaning. If you use this method, it is also highly-advisable to test it in an unobtrusive area, as the heat from this process can occasionally cause streaking of the fabric.

There is another method you can use using a common clothes steamer. First of all, vacuum clean and shake the curtains or draperies to remove as much dust as you can. Then go over the fabric with your steamer.

As with the above method, do a test spot first. The advantage of this method is that the heat from the clothes steamer will kill any dust mites present in the curtain fabric, helping you and your family to relieve allergies.

It is always a good feeling to save money by cleaning your own window draperies. Commercial professional steam or dry cleaning can be quite costly. Just remember the physicians' creed, and "first do no harm." Be gentle with your curtains, and you are sure to be pleased with the outcome.

What alternative are there to washing the curtains?

Curtains withstand more than the average person would guess. Although gentle and pleasant for us, constant exposure to light has a rather dramatic effect on fibres, which eventually leads their demise and eventually they will fade and fall apart. According to common advise, the longer you avoid washing your daperies the better. A clever tip is to always have you curtains in the same position so both sides face the same direction at all times.

How can you prolong the period between washing the draperies?

  • Try using a lint roller to gather as much as dirt and grime as possible
  • Vacuum clean to gather the rest
  • A piece of damp cloth can also gather some of the stickier particles away

In conclusion, we will advise you to stay away from fabric softeners for the can have a negative effect and leave unpleasant stains.

© High Speed Ventures 2011