When you first got your new curtains, they were perfect. Crisp in feel and look, hanging perfectly without a stain in sight. Over time, they began to look tired – small stains creeping in here and there, hand marks where you grabbed them to close and open them, and they no longer draped in quite the same way.
Luckily, all curtains can (and should) be refreshed with a good clean every now and then. Exactly how you go about cleaning your curtains is different in each case, so we created a guide with the assistance of the Woodyatt Curtains experts to help you out.
Can you clean them yourself?
Before you bundle them up and throw them in the washing machine, it’s important to figure out if it’s even appropriate to clean them yourself in the first place. Curtains are generally made from cotton, silk, linen or synthetic fibers.
If the curtains are linen or silk, it’s likely not appropriate for you to clean them yourself – take them to get them done professionally, perhaps at a dry cleaner. If you’ve got cotton or synthetic curtains, which are more durable, then you can clean them at home more easily.
Remove any hard fittings
Now you know whether you can wash your curtains yourself, before putting them in the washing machine, make sure that you remove any hard fixings that could potentially damage both the machine and the curtains.
There will likely be removable hooks on the curtains – they might be fiddly to remove, but they will come off. Be careful not to break them, especially if they’re plastic – wiggle them out but be sure not to snap them. If you do snap them, it’s not the end of the world, you can just buy some new ones at a number of stores.
Temperature and spin
Next, you can carefully load them into the machine, making sure that you don’t overload it. If the curtains are big, you may have to do them one at a time – overloading can be bad for the washing machine and can result in less effectively cleaned items.
For most cotton and synthetic curtains, you should set the temperature to 30C. Put the machine on a delicate cycle, with a low spin setting of 600. Ironing cotton curtains is ok, but be careful not to overdo it, and be extra careful with synthetic ones. Hanging them back on the rail can be a good way of finishing off the drying process, but be careful – if they’re wet and heavy, they might pull down the rail!
While it’s not advisable to wash linen and silk at home, it is possible. If you’re set on doing it yourself, make sure that the washing machine is set to delicate, and for silk, skip the spin cycle completely. For both, set the temperature to 30C, and be careful when drying them, as linen especially can easily wrinkle.
It’s a good idea to clean your curtains before they get too dirty, to keep them fresh and avoid any deep stains. To avoid getting them dirty in the first place, try to avoid touching them with dirty hands, and give them a light dusting every now and then.