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How to wash curtains at home

Don't give your soft furnishings their final curtain call - keep drapes fresh with our guide on how to wash curtains.


a window with white curtains in a yellow wall

Key steps to washing curtains:

Wondering how to clean curtains while they're still hanging? Follow these steps:

  1. Use a mix of Skip mild detergent and warm water to spot clean marks.

  2. Use Day 2 to freshen up the fabric.

  3. Steam the curtains to keep them looking their best for as long as possible. 

When tidying your home, it’s not often you think about cleaning curtains - and that's a mistake. To keep your home smelling fresh and help your curtains last longer it’s important you know how to properly take care of them. Let's learn how to wash curtains.

After cleaning curtains, go over them with a steamer to add shine, remove creases, and make sure they’re always looking their best!

How to wash curtains made from velvet

Velvet curtain cleaning doesn't have to be daunting - just follow these 3 steps:

  1. Get rid of any loose dirt and dust with a soft-bristled brush. Only brush in the direction of the velvet.

  2. Mix a mild detergent, such as Skip, with warm water and apply it to a cloth to dab at any marks on your curtains. Be careful not to soak the fabric or scrub too hard.

  3. Leave the curtains hanging in a cool, dry place with plenty of ventilation to dry. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process if needed.

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To give the velvet a shinier finish, you can go over the curtains with a steamer when they're dry.

How to wash curtains made from linen, cotton, or polyester

Washing linen and cotton curtains is fairly simple too, again it takes just 3 steps:

  1. Brush off any loose dirt or dust with a soft-bristled brush.

  2. Apply a gentle stain remover to any marks before washing the curtains. For washing machine, use a cold wash and a delicate cycle - just as you would when washing net curtains. For hand washing, make sure your curtains are treated as gently as possible and always use a mild detergent like Skip

  3. Once washed, tumble dry on a low heat or air dry naturally and hang them back up as soon as they're dried.

Always check the care label of your curtains before washing them to check if they're safe to use in a washing machine or tumble dryer. You can steam curtains once they're washed to help remove creases too.

Washing curtains at home: FAQs

Got a few more questions about how to wash curtains at home? See if our FAQs cover them:

Can you wash curtains while they're hanging? 

Only if they're not very dirty. You can treat small stains and marks by dabbing at the affected area with a stain remover, "rinsing" by dabbing with a damp cloth, and leaving to dry. You can also try using Day 2 to freshen the fabric.

How do you wash curtains with rings?

The best option is to hand wash or steam clean them so you can work around the rings - or eyelets. Want to know how to wash curtains with rings in the washing machine? Simply tie the eyelets together and cover them with a cotton bag before selecting a gentle wash cycle.

Cleaning curtains is a simple way to keep your rooms looking smarter and smelling fresh so remember to add it to your to-do list the next time you’re doing a spring clean. If you think yours might be past the point of cleaning, why not make your own instead of buying replacements?

Originally published