Draperies improve the appearance of all rooms but may require some special cleaning. You open and close them daily and don't realize how much your hands touch them. To keep them looking fresh, you need to analyze the stains on the fabric, signs of color changes, and the valances, as well as the boards above the draperies.
Tools for Cleaning
You will need a step stool, a hand-held vacuum, a soft brush or lint roller, a washer, and dryer. You will also need a clean cloth or sponge, and a foam upholstery cleaner or sudsy water.
Valances on Boards
Valances that are mounted are difficult to clean, and can become expensive if you try to send them out to be cleaned. Try the do-it-yourself route using a step stool and a hand-held vacuum. Try placing a knee-high over the nozzle if the material tries to go into the hose. You can easily remove the dust from the top of the board. Hold the fabric tightly to cover all surfaces. You can use a steam iron or garment steamer by holding either tool several inches from the fabric.
Check the label on the sheers, but most are washable and can be dried because they are made from polyester, cotton, or nylon. Wash them on a short, gentle cycle and dry them using low heat until they are dry to the touch. Rehang them immediately to avoid wrinkles.
Options for Washing Curtains
Hand washing curtains can be accomplished by using special detergent for delicate fabrics or regular laundry detergent. However, it is advisable to use a gentle soap product to avoid damaging the curtain's material. Hand washing reduces the risk of shrinkage, especially with cotton. Larger items are more difficult to hand wash because it will take more time for the curtains to dry thoroughly.
You can use the delicate cycle on your washing machine with a cold wash and a slow spin cycle. There is more risk of shrinkage if you choose to use the washer. You can use regular detergent if you choose to do so.
Steam cleaning is an option if you have a quality unit with an upholstery attachment. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and wear protective clothing because you can be burned by the steam. You should start at the top of the curtain and continue to the bottom. You may need to hold the steamer further away from the curtain if the surface seems wet. This is a superb choice if the curtains are heavy since you will not need to remove them from the curtain rod.
Keeping your curtains clean will keep your family healthy because you can remove all of the dust and elements that have landed on them. Follow these guidelines and you will have a beautiful set of curtains for many years to come.
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