When it comes time to thoroughly clean your curtains and drapes each year, the first thing you need to do is decide whether to wash or dry clean them.
Ideally, you should have made sure of this when purchasing the curtains. Alternatively, you can browse the care label on the curtain or curtains to see what they contain.
If you know you can wash your curtains and drapes, the next decision is whether to wash them by hand or in the washing machine.
Many of these fabrics are delicate and can be damaged by washing on the delicate cycle, so read the care label carefully before beginning this process.
In general, curtains are dusty, but not too "dirty" and light stains can be easily removed by hand washing. Use lukewarm or cold water to avoid shrinkage and a mild, enzyme-free detergent like most delicates.
If possible, vacuum most of the dust before you start washing the curtain or drape in the washing machine or by hand to avoid redepositing dust all over the fabric.
Dry-Clean Only or Polyester Curtains
The care instructions for formal or lined curtains may indicate they must be Dry Cleaned Only. Polyester curtains usually say this, too. If they’re expensive or you’re concerned about ruining them, by all means, take them to a trusted dry cleaner. You should always take silk curtains or drapery to the dry-cleaner, too, since it is not washable.
Maintenance to keep your curtains fresh
Follow these steps to keep your curtains in good condition until your next wash.
Shake the curtains well to remove dust before cleaning the room. Wait 10 -15 minutes for the dust to settle before dusting the furniture and vacuuming the floor.
Check the curtains and clean them with a damp sponge and mild detergent.
Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clean curtains and drapes from top to bottom. Do not use upholstery attachments as the teeth may catch on the fabric and damage the curtain.