How to Clean Fabric Shades, Curtains & Drapes

Looking for a breath of fresh air? In a spring cleaning mood? Window treatments are a great place to start—and they’re often dirtier than you’d expect. Fabric window treatments, especially, can fall victim to dust and stains. However, they can also be tricky to clean. Depending on the fabric, detail, and design, some fabric window treatments can require professional cleaning or serious care, while others can be thrown in the wash.

How do you know what’s washable and what needs a professional touch? How easy is it to clean fabric window treatments yourself? Here, we’ll discuss several do-it-yourself cleaning tips for fabric shades, curtains, and drapes.

How to Clean Fabric Shades

Fabric shades can come in a multitude of designs, including cellular shades, roman shades, or pleated shades. In high traffic areas of the home, they can pick up quite a bit of dust, but they’re not machine what’s a homeowner to do? To clean cellular, roman, or pleated shades, follow these instructions.

Dust with a feather duster or lightly vacuum.

To remove dust and grime from your delicate cellular shades, swipe across the fabric in horizontal strokes and make sure to follow the pleats. This will help you gently loosen dust and dirt, yet prevent the fabric from being mangled. 

Blot stains clean with a damp cloth.

Cellular shades and the like aren’t built to withstand a heavy-duty washing machine, so when you experience stains, you’ll have to hand wash them. Simply treat the affected area with a mild detergent and warm water solution and blot dry. For roman shades only, you can press and steam out any wrinkles afterward.

How to Clean Fabric Curtains and Drapes

Of all the fabric window treatments, curtains and drapes are a bit easier to manage than most. First, check the label on your curtains to determine the manufacturer’s recommended care regimen. Curtains that have to be hand-washed can be cleaned the same way you would wash delicates. Otherwise, you should be able to place your curtains on a delicate cycle in the washer. Here’s a step by step of how you should prepare your curtains for washing.

Vacuum the dust off your curtains.

You wouldn’t put a plate in the dishwasher with crumbs, would you? Before throwing your curtains in the wash, you’ll want to vacuum off any excess dust and grime. 

Follow the cleaning instructions on your care tag.

Next, follow any cleaning instructions on your care tag. If the recommendation is to handwash your window treatments, do it. If you have the option to machine wash your curtains or drapes, make sure to read every instruction before proceeding. Depending on the thickness of your curtain fabric, you may also want to only wash one panel at a time to ensure an optimal clean.

Hang curtains to dry, outside if possible.

Instead of using an electric dryer, hang your curtains to dry. If you have a clothesline outside or can hang them over a patio railing, dry your curtains and drapes outside to avoid dripping water inside the home. If you must hang them inside to dry, put them in a room without hardwood floors or cover your hardwood floors with a tarp before you begin.

Lightly iron or steam to remove wrinkles. 

Once your fabric curtains are dry, set your iron to the appropriate fabric setting and iron before hanging. Another option is to hang your drapes first and then steam out any wrinkles with an electric clothes steamer. 

How Budget Blinds Can Help During COVID-19

At Budget Blinds, we’re always taking steps to make the customer experience seamless. Our team is staying safe and staying at home, as requested by Governor Inslee—and we hope you are too. But, even during this challenging time, our team can help you select and style the perfect window treatments for your space...virtually! 

Virtual consultations are available to take the stress off yourself and ensure your window treatment project is done right the first time. Simply call us at 425-263-9138 to set up a virtual consultation with one of our designers. To learn more about Budget Blinds of Snohomish County’s updated policies surrounding coronavirus, follow us on Facebook.

Ready to talk to a representative at Budget Blinds of Snohomish County about the best window treatments for 2020? Contact us today!

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