Curtain Care Guide: How to Clean Your Curtains

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It’s every homeowners’ dirty little secret. How often do you really clean your curtains?

After you hang them, curtains are one of those household items you forget. They’re just sitting there — why do you need to clean them?

Why You Should Clean Your Curtains

Curtains hide a lot of dust and grime in their folds. When left to their own devices, curtains slowly accumulate dust and debris, especially if they’re skipped during your weekly cleaning routine.

Think about it. Every time you open and close your curtains or brush up against them as you walk by, it sends debris swirling around the room.

Curtains also absorb smells from around the house, especially in high-traffic areas like the kitchen or living room. Without proper care, curtains will smell stale and discolor over time.

Regularly cleaning your curtains keeps dust and debris to a minimum and extends the lifespan of your curtains. It can also help alleviate indoor allergies. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Curtains?

Luckily, curtains don’t require a ton of work to maintain.

Taking a few moments each week to spot clean and performing an annual deep cleaning will ensure your curtains last for years to come.

To start, let’s tackle how often you should be cleaning your curtains.

Curtain Cleaning Schedule

    • Weekly: Each week, before you vacuum or dust, shake out your curtains first to make sure you get any lingering particles or dust.
    • Monthly: Use the dust brush attachment on your vacuum to clean your curtains while they’re hanging up.
    • Yearly: Curtains require a deep, thorough cleaning once a year. Take them down from the curtain rods and remove any hardware. Shake them outside and wash them according to the fabric instructions.

how to clean drapes

How to Clean Your Curtains

How you clean your curtains depends on the type, style and fabric of the curtains. Certain types of curtains can be machine-washed while drapery or lace curtains require delicate care.

Here’s how to clean your curtains.

First, always read the cleaning instructions.

This is a curtain care guide, not hard-and-fast rules. Always refer to the cleaning instructions that come with your curtains or drapes.

Certain fabrics may wrinkle, discolor or get damaged in the washing cycle. Others should only be spot cleaned or taken to the dry cleaners. When in doubt, shake them out and spot or hand wash them.

If you don’t have access to care instructions, here’s how to clean each type of curtain.

Standard Fabric Curtains

Store-bought, unlined fabric curtains typically can be cleaned in the washing machine.

Only clean one or two curtain panels at a time, depending on the thickness of the fabric — you don’t want to overload your washer. You can also use a steamer to steam-clean your curtains (keep in mind washing will yield better results).

If you’re steam cleaning, make sure to do a spot test first on an inconspicuous corner to double-check the steam doesn’t damage the fabric. Let the area dry completely to ensure it doesn’t damage or wrinkle the curtains.

Once washed, hang curtains outside to dry if possible. If you need to hang them inside, make sure to keep a plastic garbage bag or a towel underneath to catch the dripping water.

If you do throw your curtains in the washer and dryer, remove them from the dryer promptly so they don’t wrinkle.

Sheer or Lace Curtains

Sheer, lace or delicate curtains should be hand washed. Fill the soap or bathtub with warm water. Add a few drops of detergent. Massage the curtains in the suds. If stains have set in, leave it to soak for an hour and hang them outside to dry.

If you do wash sheer curtains in the washer, always use the delicate cycle.

Kwik-Tip: Wash sheer and light curtains more frequently than other curtains. Even if they don’t appear grimy, by the time dirt appears, they can be permanently discolored.

Heavy Fabrics and Drapes

Drapes, lined curtains or any heavy fabrics such as brocade and velvet curtains are typically dry clean only.

Hang Curtains in Seconds With Kwik-Hang

You’ve invested a lot of time and care into selecting and maintaining your curtains. Hanging curtains shouldn’t be a struggle, too.

Kwik-Hang curtain rod brackets solve curtain-hanging problems for good. The no-drill curtain rod brackets can support up to 20 lbs of fabric, making them the perfect solution for everything from your lightest curtain to heaviest drape. Plus, with a patented bracket design, you can install them in minutes — no drilling required.

Try Kwik-Hang today.

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