The curtains are an oft-neglected aspect of the house when cleaning is undertaken. While some may beat them to get rid of dust, it is comparatively rare that people will go to the effort of washing them properly. After all, it’s not like they get covered in dirt on a regular basis.
This means that if they do end up getting dirty for whatever reason, many people don’t know where to start when it comes to giving them a good wash. With this article we aim to provide a few tips that can be used should you find yourself in this situation.
Some curtains can be machine washed, though you need to be careful at all times as shrinkage can be an issue depending on the fabric.
Generally speaking, machine washing is most suitable for lighter curtains, as thicker ones will retain moisture and may experience issues after the wash. Furthermore, you need to be careful with the type of fabric used for the curtains, as those made from light cotton or similarly delicate fabrics are liable to shrink if they are put in the wash.
If you do elect to machine wash then your regular fabric softeners and powders should be fine, but be sure to set the washing machine to the most delicate spin cycle available to maintain the integrity of the curtains. A cool wash with a slow spin cycle should be fine in many case.
If you are unsure if the fabric used for your curtains can be machine washed then it is best not to risk it.
Washing By Hand
Washing by hand is often the cleaning method of choice simply because it reduces the risk of fabric shrinkage. This means that it is perfect for more delicate fabrics that would definitely not stand up to the rigours of the washing machine.
Bear in mind that most materials come with instructions for washing by hand and that it is important to follow them to get the best possible results. Failure to do so could lead to issues with the wash.
In most cases your regular detergent should be fine to use, however, some fabrics do require specific soaps. In most cases a gentle soap should more than do the job.
Again, you should avoid hand washing heavy curtains as the material will be a nightmare to dry out and will also be quite difficult to wash due to its unwieldy nature.
For those with heavy curtains, using a steam cleaner is the method of choice when it comes to washing the curtains. They don’t soak the product in the same way as traditional washing, but they are just as effective.
Always run the cleaner slowly from the top to the bottom of the curtain to cover the whole thing and be sure to move away slightly if you notice the curtain getting particularly wet.
Take the relevant safety precautions too. Steam cleaners have the capacity to burn your skin if misused so make sure you read the instructions and protect yourself at all times.