- Curtains not only serve as privacy screens but can also be used decoratively. To stay beautifully radiant, they should be cared for and washed regularly.
- Curtain fabrics are usually very sensitive and must therefore always be handled carefully. Most types can be washed in the washing machine without any problems. Use special curtain detergent for white curtains. Some home remedies can also be used to get rid of greying and yellowing.
- Sensitive fabrics in particular can suffer from normal machine washing. In these cases, it is best to book curtain cleaning services.
Gleaming white curtains decorate every window and every room. After a while, however, you will get an unsightly grey veil from dust and dirt. Then at the latest, it is time to give the curtains a fresh shine again. But how do you wash curtains properly? And what means can be used for this?
In our guide, you will find out everything about how to get your curtains white again and how often this cleaning is necessary. We will show you important differences and explain how you can get the curtains dry again after washing. Finally, we will give you information about what professional cleaning costs and when it makes sense.
Table of Contents
Curtains Require Regular Maintenance
After cleaning, the curtains smell like new.
Privacy protection plays an important role, especially with large windows. Modern roller blinds or curtains can even protect against heat and have an insulating effect. However, curtains are not only of practical use. They are extremely decorative and can add elegance or coziness to the room.
Unfortunately, textiles almost magically attract dust and dirt. After a while, a white curtain inevitably shows a grey haze or yellowing. And unpleasant smells also tend to settle in the fibres. It is therefore extremely important that you regularly care for and wash your curtains.
It is usually sufficient to clean your curtains of dust and dirt about twice a year. Of course, it also depends on the room in which the curtain is hanging and how strong the odour is. Curtains in the kitchen must of course be cleaned much more often than curtains in the bedroom.
In smoker’s apartments, the smell of nicotine settles in the fabric after a very short time. Here it makes sense to thoroughly clean the curtains at least four times a year.
1.Differentiation of the Terms Curtains and Drapes
In normal parlance, the terms curtain and transparent curtain are used synonymously in most cases. That’s why we will use it in this guide.
Interior decoration professionals, on the other hand, clearly distinguish the terms from one another. And this distinction is made through the type of material. While curtains mostly consist of heavy, opaque fabrics, drapes are characterized by light, transparent fabrics.
Curtains or drapes can consist of many different materials. Curtains made of cotton, linen, polyester, microfiber or jacquard are particularly popular. The material and type of curtain should always be matched to the use. You should therefore use dark, solid fabrics to darken a room and light, transparent fabrics to take away as little light as possible from the room. It also depends on how much privacy protection you need.
2. Different types of Curtains
How a curtain should be cleaned depends largely on its type.
In the following table, we present the most common types of curtains. You will also receive information on how easy it is to care for the individual species.
1. Prepare Curtains for Cleaning
Plastic rolls or hooks can remain in the curtains when washing.
Before you can wash the curtains, you need to prepare them accordingly. The first task is to take the curtain off the window. How this works depends on the type of attachment.
If the curtain is hanging on a rod, all you have to do is remove the loops or loosen the clips from the rings. In some cases, it is necessary to loosen the rod a little from the brackets.
Sliding curtains, on the other hand, are often attached to the panel trolleys using Velcro strips. Loosening is correspondingly easy here. Plastic parts such as rolls, hooks or rollers can be washed with them without any problems. However, in this case, you should use laundry nets for protection.
Be sure to remove all metal parts from the fabric. These can damage the machine during washing or destroy the fabric.
When you have removed the curtains, it is important that you first shake out or knock out the coarse dirt. This will help you avoid putting all of the dust into the washing machine.
2. Always Wash Curtains Gently
You can use the bathtub for large curtains.
A few years ago it was very tedious and time-consuming to wash curtains. Almost all fabrics can now be easily washed in the washing machine. Of course, some fabrics are more sensitive than others. Therefore, you must of course always look at the manufacturer’s information and adapt the type of laundry to the material.
Many curtains can easily withstand machine washing. To preserve the structure and the colours, however, you should choose a gentle program with a low temperature if possible. The spin speed should be a maximum of 800 revolutions.
Normally, a normal mild detergent is sufficient. However, if the curtains are white and have a grey haze, you should use a special curtain detergent. This contains optical brighteners and bleaches that make the white shine again.
Of course, you can also wash your curtains by hand in a bowl or tub. This type of cleaning is gentle on the fabric but can have the disadvantage that not all stains can be removed. However, hand washing is a great way to clean delicate fabrics that are not machine washable. A bathtub is particularly suitable for large curtains and long soaking times.
Instead of or in addition to detergent, you can also use some household remedies to clean your curtains. With the help of these means you can, for example, remove stains or remove grey haze by bleaching. In contrast to chemical agents, they are very environmentally friendly and gentle on tissue.
Below is a brief overview of home remedies you can use to wash your curtains.
- Baking Powder / Baking Soda:
These agents help white curtains lose their grey haze. For machine washing, add a sachet of baking soda or baking soda to the normal detergent. If you wash the curtains by hand, dissolve a sachet of baking soda in warm water. Let the fabric soak for about two hours.
Salt is a good detergent when it comes to yellowing cigarette smoke. Do this with warm water. Then add about 120 grams of salt per litre of water. It is best to soak the curtains in the saltwater overnight. You can then wash the fabric by hand or in the washing machine as usual.
You can remove stubborn discolouration from coloured fabrics with vinegar. To do this, let your curtains soak overnight in a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Then rinse well.
Sounds strange, but is very effective against a grey haze. The phosphoric acid ensures that grey curtains turn bright white again. To do this, put half a glass of cola in a bathtub with warm water. You can also put the cola in the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine and start a normal wash cycle.
You can also use blue ink when you want to wash your curtains. This agent mainly helps against yellowing. To do this, put a few drops of ink in the washing machine instead of a fabric softener. You can of course also use ink when washing by hand.
Curtains must be Hung up to Dry
Not only washing but also the correct drying of curtains play an important role. You should never put curtains in the dryer. This can cause the fabric to shrink or warp.
It is best to hang your curtains in their original place after washing. There you can straighten the fabric and bring it back into shape if necessary. If the fabric is still very wet and dripping, you can let it dry briefly on the clothesline beforehand. To prevent mould growth, you must ventilate the room regularly during the drying period.
Tip: It is best to choose a warm summer day for washing the curtains. This allows the fabric to dry quickly.
Because it is hung up when it is wet, it is very rare for the fabric to have creases. If this is the case, most fabrics can be ironed at a low temperature. The fabric can still be a little damp.
Pleated blinds, however, are an exception. These have to dry closed for about 12 hours after washing. However, open the pleated blind about every three hours for about 15 minutes to prevent it from sticking together.
See a Curtain Laundry Service
With sensitive and complex fabrics, it is worth having a professional cleaning carried out.
If you have difficult fabrics or very expensive curtains, you can of course also have them professionally cleaned. Otherwise, it can quickly happen that sensitive material is damaged and can no longer be saved. Whether panel curtains, Roman blinds orlando or pleated blinds – in a curtain laundry the specialist staff specializes in every type of curtain and fabric.
Some laundries also offer an all-around service. This means that the employees come to your home, remove the curtains and take them to clean. The curtains are then hung back in their original place. This saves you not only washing but also the annoying hanging and hanging.
How much it costs to have curtains washed depends on several factors.
- Curtain type
- Fabric type
- Size of the curtain
- Desired service