With winter over, spring cleaning is on the horizon. One important task to add to your task list is drapery cleaning. While you may think that your drapes remain untouched in your windows, they collect dirt, dust, and odors. Over time, airborne pollutants can cause your window treatments to appear dull and dingy. Follow these simple home maintenance tips to get your drapes cleaned fast so you can enjoy the start of spring.
Remove the bulk of loose dirt and dust with a soft brush vacuum attachment. Begin by sweeping the brush across the top of the valance or curtain rod. It’s easiest to vacuum curtains while they’re still hanging. Vacuum from the top of the fabric downwards until all of the fabric has been cleaned.
Once excess dirt and dust have been removed, wash your curtains to remove any soil, set-in stains, and odors. The first cleaning option is putting the drapes into the washing machine using a delicate cycle or slow spin. If your drapes are delicate, hand washing them may be a safer option. Use a gentle soap to avoid damage. If neither of these is a suitable option for you, consider steam cleaning your curtains while they hang.
Check your drapes for stains that didn’t come out during the washing process. Stubborn stains may require a spot treatment. For fabrics other than silk, wool, or acetate, blot with a clean, wet sponge followed by a dab of rubbing alcohol. Alternate dabbing between the sponge and alcohol until the stain is gone. For stains on silk, wool, or acetate, follow the same procedure but use white vinegar instead of rubbing alcohol.
Lighter fabrics can be dried in the dryer if made from a material that won’t shrink. If you’re worried about your drapes shrinking while washing or drying, have them professionally dry cleaned. Curtains with Swags, stitched-in pleats, or delicate ornamentation should always be dry cleaned. Steam clean thick or heavy drapery fabrics to speed up the drying process.
Some fabrics are more prone to wrinkles than others. If your drapes appear wrinkled or creased after drying, iron them to smooth the fabric. Be sure to check the tag for temperature settings to prevent damage. If you’re not sure, use a cool iron and iron on the reverse side of the drapes.
Certain fabrics such as wool, velvet, and various synthetic fabrics tend to attract lint. Use a lint roller to remove residue from the curtains on a regular basis. This fast and simple tip will help keep your drapes looking clean and tidy. You can also roll heavy curtains that cannot easily be taken down.
From cigarette smoke to cooking odors, unpleasant smells may cling to your curtains. If you can’t take down your curtains or if washing your drapes doesn’t remove all the odors, try a fabric freshener spray. Available in a wide range of scents, deodorizing sprays work instantly to give your fabrics a clean, pleasant scent.
Come spring, focus your efforts on your home’s draperies. Ideally, drapes should be deep cleaned at least twice a year to keep them looking fresh and vibrant.