Curtain-Cleaning Tips

One simple way to freshen up the look and feel of your home is by cleaning your curtains. For best results, clean the window coverings on a regular basis, and give them a deep cleaning a few times a year, such as during spring and fall. You can also hire a professional cleaning service to do the dirty work for you. 

There are many different types of curtain styles and fabrics, so you'll have to pay close attention to care labels so that you don't damage the material. You may be able to wash the curtains in your washing machine, but in some cases, you or the cleaning service will need to hand-wash or even dry-clean them. 

While all window coverings, no matter what room they're hanging in, are susceptible to dust buildup, some need to be dusted, and spot- and deep-cleaned more often. Curtains in a family room or kitchen, for example, are more prone to dirt, food stains, and fingerprints due to being in a high-traffic location. 

No matter what style of curtains you have, such as single or double panels, window scarves, valances, blackout, sheer or opaque, they'll benefit from regular care and maintenance. The following are some tips for cleaning your window coverings:

1. Regular Maintenance 

Even if you hire a curtain-cleaning service to do the bi-annual work, you can keep your window coverings looking fresh and clean with a little regular maintenance. For instance, you can run a duster over the fabric on a weekly basis to remove any dirt and debris before it has a chance to build up. 

For a deeper cleaning, equip your vacuum with its soft-brush attachment and run it over the curtains. Gently work from top to bottom, and be sure to get both sides. You can either vacuum the curtains while they're still hanging, or take them down and place them on a table to do a more thorough job. 

If a curtain gets a food, drink, or dirty-fingerprint stain, you can spot-clean it using a mixture of warm water and a mild dish-washing detergent. 

2. Deep-Cleaning 

In order to deep-clean the curtains, either you or the cleaning professionals will need to take them down. It's typically safe to wash some curtain fabrics, such as cotton or a polyester blend, in your washing machine on the gentle cycle using either cool or warm water and a mild detergent. 

Some delicate fabrics, such as lace or satin, require either hand-washing or dry-cleaning, and should be air-dried. A curtain-cleaning service may also opt to steam-clean the window coverings using their specialized equipment.