Many more expensive window coverings need to be dry cleaned, but many can be washed at home. Check the care instructions before attempting to wash any curtains or draperies. If the instructions allow, consider washing drapes instead of dry cleaning.
Window coverings should be washed at least once a year. Follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding water temperature. When machine washing window coverings, use the gentle cycle. Don’t wash different window coverings together. Colors can run and many materials require different water temperatures and detergent.
When washing drapes instead of dry cleaning, remember that delicate fabrics should be hand washed with a mild detergent such as Woolite. Wash according to label instructions. Using water that is too hot can shrink the fabric. Very cold water makes detergent less effective on stains. Rinse window coverings until you are sure all soap is out. Soap residue attracts dirt to curtains and can make them look dirty quickly.
Drapery cleaning tips include attention to how you dry the window coverings. Most window coverings should not be placed in the dryer. If the label indicates the material can be dried in the dryer, use the lowest setting possible. Check every ten minutes during drying. You want to take the curtains out as soon as they are dry. Over drying can damage or shrink the fabric.
Washing drapes instead of dry cleaning lets you dry your curtains outside in the fresh air. You’ll end up with fresh smelling, clean drapes instead of chemical smelling clean drapes. This is easy to do if you make washing curtains part of your spring cleaning routine. Make sure the line is clean before hanging draperies. Lay small towels over the line before hanging window coverings to prevent dirtying the fabric. The extra care you take with how you clean your window coverings will make them last longer and look newer.