Curtains add a finishing touch to a room using color, pattern and texture to accentuate a decorative theme. Curtains also modulate light, heat and sound and provide privacy. Over time, window treatments become laden with contaminants, including dust, animal dander, hair and pollen. They can also develop mold and fade.\nTo keep your curtains in good condition, examine them frequently for dust, wear and fading. Vacuum and spot-clean them during regular household cleaning to keep them fresh. Deep cleaning curtains at least once a year refreshes the fabric and removes pollutants. Here, we describe how to wash every kind of curtain to help you keep your window dressings clean. You will be amazed at how good they look after treatment.\nTable of Contents\n\nWhat To Remember Before Washing Curtains\nHow To Wash Every Type of Curtain\nRubber-backed Curtains, Blackout and Thermal Curtains\nSheer Curtains and Lace Curtains\nGarment Fabric Curtains\nVelvet Curtains\nDry-Clean-Only Curtains\nHow To Clean Curtains Without Washing\nRegular Cleaning for Curtains\nDrying Techniques\nWhen Should You Wash Your Curtains?\nTips for Cleaning Curtains the Easy Way\n\n\n \n\nWhat To Remember Before Washing Curtains\n\nCurtains are made of many types of materials. Formal draperies are made of heavy fabrics, such as raw silk, brocade, wool, velvet and linen, and are usually lined. Sheers are made from translucent fabrics, including polyester, cotton, voile and net. Blackout, thermal and soundproof curtains have backings or embedded layers of rubber, foam or acrylic. Casual curtains are made from lightweight materials, such as printed and solid cottons, linen and synthetic fabrics.\nEach fabric responds differently to water, detergent and heat. Colors may run, some fabrics shrink, and some break down. Before you wash your curtains, always read the manufacturer's label for fabric content and laundering instructions.\nThere are several ways to clean curtains, including:\n\nDry-cleaning.\nSteam cleaning.\nVacuuming, dusting and brushing.\nMachine-washing.\nHand-washing.\nSpot-cleaning or blotting.\n\nCurtains made from heavy material, that have a pronounced pile or are lined are usually dry-cleaned.\n No matter which method you choose, take these steps before laundering:\n\nRemove all hooks, pins and weights.\nLoosen tapes to keep fabric from bunching up.\nShake, vacuum or brush curtains to remove contaminants.\nMeasure your curtains before cleaning so that you can restore them to the same size.\n\n\nHow To Wash Every Type of Curtain\n\nIf your curtains are washable, follow the manufacturer's instructions. For machine laundering, use the delicate cycle, cold water and a mild detergent. Do not overload. The panels need room to rotate freely during the wash cycle.\nIf your curtains are hand-washable, wash them in the bathtub, a large tub or a large sink in cool water with mild soap. You can also hang them on a clothesline and wet and rinse the fabric with a hose.\nUse this method to find out whether your curtains are washable:\n\nDip a section of the back of the hem into cool water.\nAdd detergent, gently rub, and let sit for a minute.\nRinse thoroughly with cool water.\nGently squeeze or blot to remove excess water.\nLet the material air-dry.\n\nCompare the test patch to the rest of the curtain. Is there a color change? Does the material pucker? If the patch has not changed in color, size or texture, the curtain should be washable. \nAlthough your curtains may be washable, some materials require special handling to get the best results. Below, we detail how to wash every kind of curtain, including blackout curtains, sheer curtains and special fabrics.\n\n1. Rubber-Backed Curtains and Woven, Triple-Weave Fabrics\n\nRubber-backed curtains block sunlight, add a thermal barrier and muffle sound. Triple-weave curtains are made of three interwoven layers that provide the same benefits as rubber-backed panels. They may be called blackout curtains, thermal curtains or soundproof curtains because of these features. Washing these curtains requires extra care to ensure that the backing and layers are not damaged during the process.\nDeconovo's blackout and thermal curtains are washable. They come with detailed washing instructions so that you can wash your curtains with confidence and get the best results.\nFollow these steps for hand- and machine-washing:\n\nInspect curtains for dust. Shake or vacuum to remove contaminants.\nEvaluate the condition of rubber-backed curtains. If the backing is peeling or damaged, do not machine-wash. If damage is minimal, hand-washing is recommended. However, if curtains are extensively damaged, spot-cleaning is recommended.\nEnsure that triple-weave curtains are in good condition. Look for faded areas, excess soil or damage. If damage or fading is present, hand-washing is preferable.\nIf curtains have grommets, hand-wash to prevent damage to grommets and the washing machine.\nSpot-treat areas of heavy soil.\nUse a mild detergent.\nWash in cool water. If machine-washing, use the delicate cycle.\nIf hand-washing, gently agitate to infuse detergent and water through the fabric.\nRinse thoroughly.\nAfter washing, do not wring or twist. Instead, squeeze the fabric to remove moisture. You can also place the curtains on towels and roll them up, gently applying pressure as you roll.\nDo not put rubber-backed fabrics in the dryer. Follow the manufacturer's directions to dry triple-weave fabrics.\n\n\n 2. Sheer and Lace Curtains\n\nSheer curtains made of polyester, cotton, nylon or voile usually can be machine-washed. If the fabric is washable, fragile sheers can be placed in a mesh bag and washed in the machine or hand-washed. Because of the open weave, sheers attract more dust than other fabrics and may need more frequent washing. To restore the brilliance of your sheers, follow these steps:\n\nShake or vacuum to remove dust and other debris.\nPre-treat heavily soiled areas.\nTo machine-wash, soak panels in the machine for 10 minutes in cool water with a mild detergent. Drain the water, and wash on delicate.\nIf hand-washing, soak for a few minutes, drain, and wash panels separately. Gently squeeze or roll panels in towels to remove water.\n\nSheers and lace curtains with appliqué, embroidery or other embellishments may not do well in the washing machine. If decorations are a different color from the panels, test to make sure colors will not run. Dry-cleaning may be the best option for panels with decorative trim.\n\n3. Garment Fabric Curtains\n\nGarment fabrics are lightweight, decorative and usually machine-washable. Fabrics include cotton, wool, ramie, rayon, polyester and other synthetics. These fabrics come in a variety of colors, patterns and prints, including checks, calicos, florals and stripes. Their lighter weight makes them suitable for café curtains, sheers or curtains for kids' rooms, kitchens and bathrooms.\nTest garment fabrics for colorfastness and shrinkage as outlined above. Spot-treat heavily soiled areas before washing. Use cool or warm water and mild detergent. If curtains are damaged or fragile, hand-washing is safer.\n\n4. Velvet Curtains\n\nThe thick fabric, sheen and deep pile give velvet its luxurious look. Velvet may be made of polyester, cotton or a blend. Velvet curtains are often lined to add body and protect the fabric from sunlight. Lined curtains should always be dry-cleaned. If your velvet curtains are not lined, check the manufacturer's laundering recommendations. Some velvet, such as polyester, can be machine-washed. If in doubt, vacuuming, steam cleaning and brushing are safe ways to clean velvet.\nTo machine-wash velvet curtains, test the fabric for colorfastness and shrinkage. If the fabric is stable, use cool water, wash on the gentle cycle and remove as soon as the cycle ends. Curtains can be laid flat, spread over two clotheslines or tumble-dried on air. Washing and drying will revive the pile and restore the texture that gives velvet curtains their gorgeous appearance.\n\n5. Dry-Clean-Only Curtains\n\nCurtains made of heavy material, fragile fabrics or unusual textures are usually dry-cleaned. Lined curtains should be dry-cleaned because the fabric of the lining and panels may perform differently. If the manufacturer recommends dry-cleaning, it is safest to follow these recommendations.\n\nHow To Clean Curtains Without Washing\n\nThere are alternatives to washing and dry-cleaning that work well, including spot-cleaning, steam cleaning and home dry-cleaning. Dusting and vacuuming will remove many pollutants that settle on cloth.\n\nIf your curtains are difficult to remove from the rod, close them to eliminate folds and pleats. If they are easy to remove, lay them flat. Dust each side with a feather duster, lint roller, soft brush or lightly moistened chamois cloth.\nThey can also be vacuumed either on or off the rod.\nBlot heavily soiled areas with a damp cloth. Spot-treat stains using a mild soap, vinegar or commercial stain remover. Be sure to test a hidden area first.\n\n\nRegular Cleaning for Curtains\n\nThe weave, texture and colors of fabrics show dirt and wear differently. Inspect your curtains during weekly and monthly housecleaning sessions to evaluate their condition. If you notice stains, dust, mold or odors, refresh your curtains with one of these methods.\n1. Spot-Clean With Detergent\nSpot-cleaning is a simple way to remove stains and contaminants while the curtains are still on the rod. This method works well with heavy or textured fabrics and most dry-clean-only materials.\n\nTest a hidden area first to verify colorfastness.\nTo spot-clean, dip a soft cloth into cool water mixed with laundry soap.\nApply soapy water onto the spot. Gently rub with a moist, clean, lint-free cloth, working from the center outward.\nFor tough stains, let the soapy solution sit a few minutes.\nDip a clean cloth in plain water, and blot to remove the stain and soap.\nBlot to dry.\n\n2. Deep Cleaning with Soap and Water\nDeep cleaning removes contaminants and odors, prolongs the life of curtain material, refreshes colors and restores the texture and hand of the panels. Cottons, synthetics and blends are usually washable. As always, test a small patch before washing to verify fabric stability.\nTo deep clean with soap and water, follow these steps:\n\nSubmerge the panel in soapy water in a tub or washing machine.\nSoak if heavily soiled.\nDrain. Refill the tub with fresh, cool water.\nIf hand-washing, gently agitate to release embedded soil. If machine-washing, wash on the delicate cycle.\nRinse until water runs clear.\nHang or lie flat to dry.\n\n3. Steam Cleaning\nIf your draperies are difficult to remove from the rod, steam cleaning removes contaminants and revives tired-looking fabrics. As with all cleaning methods, test a sample patch first.\n\nClose the curtains. Smooth out creases and folds. Work the front first.\nHold the steamer approximately 6 inches from the curtain to avoid saturating the fabric.\nWork from top to bottom using the warmest steam setting the fabric will tolerate.\nRe-treat areas that are still soiled. Repeat the process on the back.\nLet the curtains air-dry on the rod.\n\n\nDrying Techniques\n\nSome curtains, such as those made of cotton and cotton blends, can be dried in a dryer. Rubber-backed and triple-weave curtains should be air-dried.\n\nIf using a dryer, set on low heat or air. Remove panels while damp to avoid wrinkling.\nTo air-dry, spread curtains over two lines or on several hangers. You can also lay them flat on clean towels. If drying inside, use fans or open windows to increase air circulation. If drying outside, avoid direct sunlight to prevent colors from fading.\nIron on the back, gently pulling seams to restore shape and prevent puckering.\nTo line-dry rubber-backed curtains, make sure backings do not touch each other to prevent sticking. Iron rubber-backed curtains on the front using a steam iron and press cloth. Never allow the iron to touch the backing.\n\n\nWhen Should You Wash Your Curtains?\nCurtains should be laundered at least once each year. If you live in an area with a lot of traffic, pollen or dust, they may need to be washed more often. If yours look dingy or have lost their crispness, wash them as needed to revive them.\nDeconovo's easy-care fabrics make washing curtains easy. The resilient fabric of our indoor-outdoor sheer curtains needs washing only two or three times a year. Our back tab sheers are machine-washable and air-dry quickly.\n\nTips for Cleaning Curtains the Easy Way\nIncluding curtains in your regular cleaning schedule reduces the need for laundering and prolongs the fabric's life. Here are simple ways to keep your curtains looking good:\n\nAlways test a patch before washing curtains the first time.\nVacuum and dust weekly.\nIf the curtains have an odor, hang them outdoors for a few hours. Alternatively, sprinkle with baking soda, wait 30 minutes, and vacuum.\nSpritz white vinegar or a mixture of vinegar and water to remove odors.\nWhen you wash your curtains, also clean curtain rods, grommets, hooks and accessories.\n\nThese simple tips on how to wash every kind of curtain will help you keep your window dressings in tip-top shape and enhance the beauty of your windows.\nBrowse our online catalog to see our extensive offerings of easy-care, attractive curtains, including blackout and thermal curtains, sheers, valances, café styles for kitchens and curtains for playrooms. Our staff can help you select sizes, styles and colors suitable for your windows and doors.\nTo keep up to date with current decorating trends, sales and new products, subscribe to our newsletter. Take a look at our affiliate program for opportunities to join our network of associates and earn commissions.