How to Wash Curtains

Cleaning your curtains may not be something you’re familiar with but regularly cleaning your curtains can help to maintain the fabric and help them look good and last for longer. Here are some top tips for keeping your curtains clean, removing mould and looking fresh whatever their age.

Browse our range of  luxury made to measure curtains

How to clean curtains

You must only dry clean curtains because the main fabric, lining, and interlining all shrink different amounts and you would ruin the curtains.

Washing machines can ruin your curtains because the wet process of the washing machine cycle will cause shrinkage: the main fabric, lining, and interlining all shrink different amounts, and the curtains as a result would be rucked and spoilt.

How to clean curtains at home

We would always recommend a good dry cleaner for curtains, and you may want to find a “green” dry cleaner (e.g. Johnsons) because they will use fewer chemicals which will be better for the environment and help prevent your curtains from becoming damaged.

If you have dust marks on your curtains you can usually vacuum these marks off using the vacuum cleaner.

pink curtains in a bright dining room

How to clean curtains without taking them down

The easiest way to clean your curtains without taking them down is to simply vacuum them, as often as you can. Use your vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt, dust and even pet hair.

Vacuum them using the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner that is designed for furniture and upholstery. Doing this regularly will help keep them free from dust or pet hair that might accumulate over time.

Keep the curtains hanging: start by closing your curtains fully, then gently brush the attachment over the front of the curtains.

You’ll get the best results by moving from the top to the bottom, paying special attention to the edges. Repeat on the linings or reverse side of your curtains.

Don’t forget the bottom edges of your curtains where they meet the windowsill or floor, which collect dust.

TIP: when using your vacuum cleaner, set it for reduced suction so you don’t draw the fabric into the nozzle. You might want to place a stiff piece of plastic screen between the nozzle and the fabric to prevent that from happening or secure an old nylon stocking over the nozzle with a rubber band.

Alternatively, there is a company called ‘Service Master’ who will come to your home and clean your curtains whilst hanging and in situ. This is dependent on your location, so we would advise calling them in advance.

How to get mould out of curtains

To get rid of mould from a pair of curtains, you can try dry cleaning – dry-cleaning can be effective at killing mold; mould is an unpleasant substance that can give your fabric a disgusting look and a dank smell.

How to remove mould from curtains without washing them

Trying dry cleaning or brushing the curtain fabric with a stiff-bristled brush is the first step to removing some mould and mildew. This helps get rid of stubborn spots. You can also vacuum them instead of brushing, but you’ll need to throw out the vacuum bag afterward since it will likely be contaminated by mould and mildew spores.

Removing mould early, as soon as you spot it, can help prevent it from building up and stop it from taking over the fabric of your curtains.

How to prevent mould building up again

Adequate ventilation in your room is key to helping prevent mould building up on curtains; use a dehumidifier, or open trickle vents in your windows to help circulate air flow around your curtains.

Using a dehumidifier at regular intervals can help keep humidity low and prevent moisture being absorbed into the fabric of your curtains.

Silica gel put near your curtains and blinds can also help to keep them dry.

Also, keeping your house well-ventilated by opening windows from time to time and allowing fresh air to circulate. Weather-strip windows to keep out cold air and reduce condensation.

How to wash blackout curtains

Blackout curtains are the same as other types of curtains, they are made of different types of fabric in layers.

So, because the main fabric, blackout lining, and interlining all shrink different amounts, washing your curtain in a washing machine would ruin the curtain. The wet process of the washing machine causes shrinkage.

For a light clean, try brushing off loose dirt with a soft brush and running the vacuum cleaner over your curtains

For a deep clean of your Blackout and Thermal coated curtains and linings, we recommend dry cleaning in line with the ‘F’ symbol indicated on the care label.

Here are some of our favourite easy cleaning curtains

How to steam clean curtains

Traditional irons will not be adequate for the job, trying to iron your curtains on an ironing board is likely to lead to disappointment. You can mark the fabric and over wet some areas if using a steam iron, which could lead to staining and shrinkage.

You will need a steam iron or better yet, a clothes steamer that generates the steam needed to remove the creases from your curtains as they hang. You can get some that are hand-held and inexpensive. Too much steam can cause shrinkage so steam cleaning needs to be done carefully.

How to clean velvet curtains

You can freshen up velvet draperies without washing or dry-cleaning them; just brush them from time to time with a chamois cloth dipped in hot water and wrung out thoroughly.

Time for New Curtains?

If, even after a deep clean, your curtains remain discoloured, dirty or ingrained with mould then it might be time to consider replacing them.

Choose luxury curtain fabric from our collection and you can benefit from the advantages that new high quality made to measure curtains offer.

Handmade to the best quality and delivered to your door within 8 weeks .

Take a look through our favourite fabrics for curtains order online.

Looking for more cleaning advice and tips? Here’s how to restore roller blinds to their best with a good clean.