Curtains can absorb various smells from around the home, like smoke and cooking aromas. This can make them discoloured and smelling less-than-fresh. Light coloured curtains will show up these stains even more.
Knowing how to clean curtains, and how to wash curtains, can save you plenty of time. Steam cleaning will require special products, and there are several different curtain cleaning methods and products you can choose from. Here’s a quick guide to what’s available.
Option 1: Cleaning Curtains in the Washing Machine
You might be able to simply put your curtains in the washing machine, but it depends what material they’re made from:
- Use your machine’s delicate cycle if it has one; otherwise use the cool wash with a slow spin.
- Add your normal laundry detergent.
- If you’re worried about shrinkage, it’s probably best to hand wash them instead.
When to clean curtains using the washing machine: It’s best to only use this option on lightweight curtains instead of heavy materials which will hold the water. Some materials, like delicate cottons, can shrink in hot water, so make sure you check the label on your curtains before you throw them in the wash.
Option 2: Hand Washing Curtains
Cleaning curtains by hand is often a safer option:
- You can use normal laundry detergent, or a soap that’s made especially for washing delicates. A gentle soap will avoid damage to the material.
- Check your laundry product’s instructions for hand washing. Some of them will require different concentrations.
When to hand wash curtains: It’s a bit more of a chore to hand wash in comparison to putting them into the machine, but it’s the safer option to avoid damage or shrinkage in delicate materials like 100% cotton. Heavy materials can be difficult to hand wash, because it isn’t easy to remove all of the water, which increases the drying time.
Option 3: Steam Cleaning Curtains
A good quality steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment can be a very convenient way to clean your curtains.
- Always start at the top and work your way down.
- Hold it further away from the curtain if it’s getting wet.
- Before you use a steam cleaner, make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, wear appropriate clothing because the steam can potentially burn you.
When to use a steam cleaner on your curtains: If your curtains are made from a heavy fabric, steam cleaning is usually the best option as they can be difficult to take down from the rail.
Check out this step-by-step video guide to learn how to keep your curtains fresh: