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How to clean your curtains

Curtains play a key role in the functionality and style of a home interior and often drapery is a significant design element where thousands of dollars have been spent for a truly professional look.

It makes sense then, with such an important element of the home, that your curtains are cared for appropriately to maintain their look and lifespan.

Over time, curtains can very quickly collect dust, grow mildew and become marked from dirty hands, so it is essential that regular cleaning of your curtains take place.

Removing curtains from their tracks and popping them in the washing machine sounds like the easiest way – but this is not appropriate for some fabrics and there are important steps to follow in order to keep your favourite draperies in top condition.

The following tips apply to most curtains, however some fabrics will have specific cleaning instructions, so you should always follow those first.  It's also important to be aware of the potential for a small amount of shrinkage – depending on your curtain fabric.

Pre Cleaning

Curtains have different care requirements and will have specific care instructions for the fabric.  It’s wise to understand and follow these as they allow for protection of the fabric ensuring it will last as long as possible.

If those instructions indicate you can machine wash, the safest option is to use a cold wash cycle using a mild detergent.  We highly recommend hand washing your curtains as this will protect any delicate fabrics and pleats.  Some curtains may have decorative embellishments that can be damaged by machine washing, even if the fabric itself is machine-washable. If in doubt, always opt to wash them by hand. 

Before cleaning, vacuum your curtains to remove loose dust and debris and carefully take your curtains down removing all hooks and rings.  Ensure you have checked for colour fastness before washing by testing a small area on the back of the hem.   

 

Learn more about colour fastness here

During Cleaning

Due to the amount of fabric you are cleaning, a bathtub can be an ideal location for hand washing as you can wash a vast amount of fabric.  Using a mild detergent and gently wash the fabric without soaking, rubbing or wringing.

Bleach is a no-no and should not be used at any stage of the process. Bleach will generally breakdown the fabric.

After Cleaning

To dry your curtains, best practice is to hang them by their hooks in the shade on a robust line.

At no point should you put your curtains in the dryer, use pegs or hang them over anything, as you will get marks on the fabric.

Once dry (and if the fabric allows), you iron your curtains on the fabric side on a warm setting or simply hang them back in place. The weight of the curtains will help any creases to naturally come out.

In between cleaning, you can use a vacuum cleaner attachment to keep your curtains free of dust.

Cleaning different curtain types

Unlined curtains

Unlined curtains are typically low-maintenance and can be easily washed at home.  Before washing, check the cleaning label or gently hand wash in cold water with a mild detergent.

Lined curtains

More difficult to wash yourself, we recommend dry-cleaning (P30) lined curtains with a dry-cleaner who specialises in curtain fabrics.

If you do wash your lined curtains yourself, be sure to check if the curtain and lining are different materials. When there are different fabrics involved, washing your curtains can cause one side to shrink, making your curtains pucker. Where possible, remove the lining and wash it separately.

Wash in cold water with a mild detergent.

Voile curtains

Voile curtains are often made of lighter fabrics, so they are easier to take down and hand-wash in cold water.

Once dry, you can give voile curtains a warm iron.

Thermal Curtains

Hand-wash thermal backed curtains in cold water, taking care not to let the thermal coating stick to itself.

Don't rub or wring the curtains as you wash them and never apply heat to the backing, as it will melt.

 

View our full lining range here

Learn more about about linings here or how to choose the right lining here

Caring for your curtains will ensure a longer lifespan and healthy happier home all round. Learn more about curtains here. Please read our other articles with topics about how to care and maintain your home furnishings.

How to - Look After Your Upholstery

Increasing the lifespan of your textiles

We all wish for longevity in our home interiors whether that be a beautiful piece of upholstered furniture or a delicate fabric accessory. Cost aside, there is nothing more frustrating than a tough stain or accidental spill on your cherished interior furnishings.

Over the years we have seen various brands of fabric coatings for stain resistance and water repellency and as technology advances, the options are greater than ever before to protect and repel water, oil and other general household stains from fabric.

As a user, it can be confusing as to which product best fits your needs, as well as understanding how to maintain a fabric that contains any special finish.

Today we give you a high-level overview of the common stain and water repellent brands available in the market place.