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Try these top 5 curtain deep cleaning tips during lockdown

Even in the most careful households, where sticky little hands and bounding paws are kept well away from the fabric, curtains often end up looking dirtier than you’d like.

Indeed, it is irritating, but it is also par for the course with these thick fabrics, which seem to hoover up surrounding airborne debris like it’s nothing.

So, what should you do? Well, you’ll want to show them off with a quick and easy deep clean – and that’s where we come in.

For our expert cleaning tips on how to wash curtains at home, continue reading, below. Your living room will feel fresher in no time.

1.  Steam clean

Fabric steamer cleaning curtains while hanging

This curtain cleaning method is best for: heavy-duty fabrics

Be honest; how many times have you tasked yourself with cleaning your curtains, only to be put off by the hassle of removing them from the rail?

We know the feeling. That’s why we recommend a fabric steam cleaner for when you need to clean curtains without taking them down. All you need to do is attach the upholstery attachment to your steam cleaner and then, starting from the top of the curtain, slowly make your way down the fabric (going from top to bottom means you can vacuum up any fallen debris from the fabric as you go).

Be careful though; the steam can burn, so always read the manufacturers' instructions before trying out this curtain cleaning method.

TOP TIP: Curtains are easiest to handle when they are pulled tight. Hold the bottom of your curtain to get a smoother, sturdier surface – this should make it safer to move across.

TOP TIP: If the fabric is getting wet as you clean the curtains, hold the steamer further away from the target area. Heavy-duty materials, like our Chelsea Velvet fabric, will take much longer to dry out, so bear this in mind.

2.  Wash with soap

This curtain cleaning method is best for: delicate fabrics

Yes, hand-washing curtains requires a good amount of elbow grease. However, it is also kind to fabrics, so you’ll want to know this method if you have delicate curtains.

You’ll usually find out how to clean your curtains from their cleaning label or product description. For instance, our delicate Bridgewater curtains are labelled ‘hand wash only’; this is because their linen/cotton mix could shrink in the washing machine (and if this happens, you’ll struggle to fit it back on your curtain’s pole or track).

To hand-wash curtains yourself, all you need to do is prepare a large bowl of warm water, squirt in some washing-up liquid and then either place your curtains in the water or find a clean spot to pour your solution over the curtains. Once they’ve had a good old soak, squeeze out any excess water and hang them up to dry. Job done!

3.  Clean in the washing machine

 Machine washing curtains

This curtain cleaning method is best for: lightweight fabrics

It might not be immediately obvious, but not all curtain fabrics are suited to a cycle.

Heavy-duty and durable materials, such as velvet, are difficult to dry, while delicate fabrics can shrink in a hot wash. If in doubt, always refer back to the curtain’s care label (they’re similar to the care labels on your clothes).

These considerations aside, machine washing your curtains is the most effective and efficient way to get them looking good as new. For the best results, set up a cool wash with a slow spin (or a delicate cycle, if available), using normal laundry detergent.

4.  Send to the dry cleaners

This curtain cleaning method is best for: natural fabrics

We know you would rather learn how to clean curtains yourself but, sometimes, the job is best left to the professionals.

In fact, certain fabrics, such as our polyester/cotton Cabaret curtains, must be dry cleaned to avoid shrinking. After all, you don’t want to order spectacular made-to-measure curtains, only for the washing machine to ruin their precise dimensions.

5.  Regular maintenance

Woman showing how to clean curtains without taking them down

This curtain cleaning method is best for: all fabrics

Sure, each of these curtain cleaning methods brighten up window displays – but are you really prepared to deep clean them on a regular basis?

Us neither. That’s why we recommend incorporating a brisk curtain clean into your weekly cleaning routine. We’re not talking about anything too extensive; just vacuum any dust and debris, open windows to avoid condensation and mould, and regularly spray fabric freshener to remove any built-up odours.

Tried our top curtain deep cleaning methods and still can’t get rid of stubborn stains? It might be time to consider stylish replacements for your lounge. Head over to the Plumbs website to browse our extensive collection of curtain fabrics and find your favourites today.

Sophie Page
Sophie Page

Sophie is a great granddaughter of the founders of the business - so fabrics and furniture are almost part of her DNA! Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is The Repair Shop. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.

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UK-wide service
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