10 DIY Tips to Clean Your Curtains Effectively

Whether we like to admit it or not, our curtains pick up dust as well as odours and often impact the vibe even if we don’t know it. Certainly, just as curtains can freshen up a living room, dirty window dressings can bring your mood down. Needless to say, curtains also attract allergens, dirt, and sometimes even mould. We’ve thus collected a list of the best tips to help you clean your curtains quickly and easily.

Tip I - Read the Label

First things first, we must note you have to be careful when handling your curtains. You don’t want to act on any of the tips listed below before checking out the label for what you can and mustn’t do when cleaning them.

Some materials are more sensitive than others so you may end up damaging them before even getting started. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions as well as common sense with the materials your curtains are made of.

Tip II - Air Your Curtains on the Regular

It’s a simple yet effective way to keep your curtains fresh and free of dust. Airing your curtains on a weekly or even daily basis can help keep required maintenance to a minimum, which can save you time and money. 

Allow your curtains to “breathe” on the regular and do so by taking down the rod, removing the curtain, and hanging them outside if possible. Again, heavier materials will need this more often than some others.

Tip III - Shake, Shake, Shake

While you are at it, you can employ another very straightforward way to dislodge mainly the dust but also other allergens and hairs. You should obviously do this more often in spring and generally, if you have pets.

It’s simple to do it, as you get outside, hold the curtain by the rings, and shake it. If your curtains are long or heavy, you may need a helping hand so that’s a thing to consider as well.

Tip IV - Vacuum Your Curtains

Yes, you can vacuum your curtains anytime you vacuum floors but there is a thing or two to consider. Firstly, we suggest going for strong suction and adjustable power if you’re choosing a vacuum cleaner that can do it all. 

Use a nozzle, a specialised attachment for curtains, or the softest brush that comes with your vacuum. Lastly, you may want to put a nylon stocking over it to prevent your curtain from being pulled in. Lay the curtain on a flat surface if your curtains are made of gentle material or you have trouble reaching up.

Tip V - Clean Any Stains Immediately

It’s very important to clean any stains as soon as you see them. You want to prevent it from embedding in the fabric and that’s why we always take a closer look at our curtains when cleaning the house. 

Toddlers will hardly go easy on your curtains so parents might want to have these inspections as often as possible. When cleaning stains, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and try the least aggressive methods first.

Tip VI - Use a Lint Roller

Pet owners will know how hard it is to deal with pet hair and lint rollers are a lifesaver for both clothes and your curtains! Treating your curtains with a lint roller might be a good idea every now and again even if you have no pets, though.

Simply roll it down your curtains and edges to see results immediately. Make sure you go gentle and don’t pull down too hard as you might damage the fabric or leave sticky residue on it.

Tip VII - Make Use of the Dryer

You can put your curtains in a dryer with a damp towel to get rid of dust or pet hair too, except for dry-clean-only materials and polyester. You should find all of it on your towel and your curtains will be as good as new. 

Don’t go overboard with the weight and do one or two curtains at a time. Make sure you use a no-heat program, which may be called Delicate or Air-fluff too. Set it to about 20 minutes if you can and let it air for a bit afterward.

Tip VIII - Hand Washing

If your curtain allows it, you can further refresh it by hand washing in tepid water. Again, be gentle regardless of how tough the material feels when dry because you only want to refresh its appearance and odour this way. 

Simply fill a sink with water, add a bit of laundry detergent, and stir. Submerge your curtains and stir lightly again, then rinse in clean water. Gently squeeze to finish and hang them outside to dry.

Tip IX - Machine Washing

You will need to use a gentle program when machine washing your curtains too, preferably with cold water. Simply put your curtains in, add detergent, and let it tumble for a bit. Note that materials like silk and velvet cannot be washed in a machine.

You should remove rings and any other hardware before putting your curtain in.  Make sure to choose a short, delicate program and add a towel or two to avoid wrinkling, where some recommend even stopping the program before done. 

Tip X - Ironing vs Pressing vs Steaming

After washing your curtains, you can either press or iron them depending on what the material allows. Make sure to check the label and adjust the iron properly, put your curtain on a panel, and straighten wrinkles with quick and soft touches.

Many curtains that are too bulky to machine or hand wash can be steam cleaned while hanging. You fill your steamer with water, attach an appropriate nozzle and drape tool, and lightly brush your curtain from top to bottom.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your curtains is not a demanding DIY task and you don’t need to do it too often either, especially if you maintain them correctly. Still, these simple-to-follow tips can prove handy as a checklist and we hope we’ve laid it out to help you refresh your rooms with ease.