How to Wash Your Curtains Using a Washing Machine
Curtains bring an instant upgrade to any interior style. They work as a finishing touch that completes the overall look of the space. They also help in creating a unique room ambiance with their colours, patterns, textures, and ability to influence the flow of light into the area.
While they give the room a unique feel, they are also effective dirt magnets. While it’s easy to prioritise the floor and furniture pieces in your home when cleaning the place, the curtains should not be overlooked as they can also contribute to your discomfort when left uncleaned. Although it’s challenging to clean big and bulky drapes by hand, we have some reliable tips to help you get through this chore without much hassle.
Here’s how you can clean and maintain the quality of your curtains using different cleaning methods.
How Often Should You Wash Your Curtains?
Generally, the curtains can be washed every 3-6 months, depending on their location. If your curtains are exposed to dust and many outside elements, we highly recommend washing them more often. Maintain a weekly dust removal and a regular room cleaning schedule to preserve the quality of your curtains for a longer period.
Cleaning Curtains Using a Washing Machine
Thankfully, many curtains are machine washable, which makes the process easier. However, we highly recommend checking the curtain care label before using a washing machine since some curtains require professional dry cleaning.
Unlined curtains, cotton, nylon, polyester, and other non-delicate pieces can be machine washed. Here’s how you can self-clean your curtains using a washing machine:
What You Need:
- Mild detergent
- Cold water
- White paper towel
- Mesh bag
Test Your Curtain Fabric
Before throwing your curtains into the washing machine, make sure to spot test the fabric to make sure that it is colorfast. To do this, get some water and mild detergent and test them on a conspicuous area. Blot the treated part with a clean white paper towel or cloth and see if the colour of the curtain is transferred. If there is none, your curtain is safe to wash without having to worry about colour bleeding.
If some pigments are transferred to the white fabric during your test, you can still wash your curtains in a washing machine, given that you use a gentle cycle. Do not wash your curtains with other fabrics to prevent the colours from mixing.
Remove Hardware from Your Curtains
Remove any curtain attachments to prevent damage caused by the metals once the washing machine is already operating.
Use a Mesh Bag for Delicate Items
If your curtains are machine washable but are made from more delicate materials, it is helpful to put the fabrics inside a mesh bag before throwing them into the washing machine. This may decrease the pressure and risk of shrinking, fraying, and other damage that the machine cycle may cause.
Use a Gentle Detergent when Cleaning Your Curtains
Whether your curtains are colorfast or not, choose gentle detergents to preserve the quality of the fabric. In the end, you don’t want your curtains to shrink, stretch or lose their original colours. In addition, use cold water to prevent stains from bonding to your curtains. This can also prevent shrinking of the fabric.
Select a Gentle Cycle
The most effective way to clean your curtains while preserving their quality is to choose a gentle cycle when washing the curtain fabrics. A gentle cycle is already efficient in tackling dust and curtain stains without putting too much pressure on the fabric.
Dry Your Curtains
Drying your curtains can be challenging since they become heavy when absorbing water. As a simple fix, put your curtains in a dryer to help them dry faster. Make sure to check the care label to see if your curtain is dryer-safe and keep the temperature below 30 degrees Celsius to protect the fabric's quality and colour. Remember to not over dry the fabrics, as this can cause wrinkles.
You may hang and air dry your curtains afterwards to give them ample air circulation. Make sure that your curtains are thoroughly dried before ironing them and putting them back on your windows.
Use a Flat Iron if Necessary
Use a flat iron to restore the elegant look of your curtains.
Other Ways to Wash Curtains
Handwashing is an efficient way to clean the curtains, especially if there are stubborn stains that should be spot cleaned. Like machine washing, it’s vital to spot test the fabric before applying detergents or cleaning agents to it. After spot cleaning, pour the detergent into the basin and gently rub the curtains to remove the dirt. Loosen up stubborn dirt by letting the fabric sit on the basin with gentle detergent before rubbing the fabric. Do not use harsh chemicals or bleach as these can affect the colour of your curtains. Rinse the curtains with clean water until the detergent suds disappear. You may use some fabric conditioner to freshen up the curtains. Finally, squeeze the excess water and hang the curtains to dry.
If your curtain cleaning instruction recommends your fabric be dry cleaned, take your curtains to a professional dry cleaner. This is applicable to very delicate materials like satin and heavier curtains that are more challenging to wash.
Take Care of Your Curtains
Whether you are conducting a general home cleaning or refreshing your interior design, don’t forget about your curtains. As they make your home elegant, they also need some TLC. Cleaning your curtains using a washing machine is the easiest solution. If done right, you’ll surely enjoy a fresher and more pleasant ambiance with your stylish window treatments.