Curtain cleaning advice and tips

Curtain cleaning advice and tips
Benefits of curtain cleaning

Curtains are not an obvious part of your home that needs regular cleaning. We all vacuum our carpets and hard floors, perhaps we mop or steam clean our wood and tiled floors but let’s face it, how many of us pay any attention to our curtains? They just hang there. So how dirty could they really get?

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Let's consider the makeup of your curtains for a moment. They will almost certainly be made from a fabric material and, as such, attract dust and absorb odours that naturally occur in your home. With this in mind, here are a few reasons why you should have your curtains regularly cleaned:

  • If you are a smoker, you will notice that your curtains become stained over time and it stands to reason that they will retain the scent of stale smoke. The same can also be said of other household odours. Animals, cooking smells and general day to day activities can all leave an odour.
  • Stains are an everyday occurrence in households up and down the country. Whether it be from the elements outside, pets, children or mishaps, detritus can be absorbed into your curtain fabrics as easily as your carpet. Depending on your curtain colour, stains can be very noticeable indeed and often go overlooked.
  • Condensation and mould. Many people, particularly if they live in older properties will experience problems with condensation and damp around windows. This can leave your curtains stained and cause a lingering musty smell. Modern double and triple glazing along with central heating all add to the problem of creating the perfect breeding ground for all manners of nasties.
  • Allergies. If you suffer from allergies, then regularly cleaning your curtains along with your carpets could really help alieve your ailments. Curtains trap allergens such as dust, pollen, mould spores and pet dander so keeping them clean is incredibly important in order to minimise the damage your home is having on your health and wellbeing.

Here at Xtraclean we recommend that you should clean your curtains every three months to keep them looking and smelling at their best. Follow our guidelines below on how best to get your curtains looking ship shape and smelling fresh again in no time and to avoid damaging them beyond repair.

dry cleaning

If your curtains are made of linen, silk or other sensitive fabrics, you will need to have these dry cleaned. We would not recommend that you try to clean these types of curtains yourself. The sensitivity of these delicate fabrics makes them unsuitable for conventional washing and they may shrink or be damaged by detergents. If your curtains have unique details such as beading, embroidery or other items that could be pulled or snagged, we suggest having them professionally cleaned to avoid damage. Curtains are expensive, it is better to get them cleaned professionally than risk damaging them.

Washing machine

Some lightweight and relatively inexpensive curtains can be washed in the washing machine. We highly recommend that you check the label first to ensure your curtains are washing machine safe or to see if there are any special instructions. The use of a washing machine on curtain fabrics can cause the fabrics to shrink, reshape or be damaged beyond repair. Keep in mind that heavy curtains will retain too much water so are unsuitable for the washing machine.

Hand washing

You may want to try and hand wash your curtains. If so, we recommend that you use a detergent that is designed for delicates to avoid any potential damage to the material. Handwashing is best for curtains that are 100% cotton to avoid any shrinkage. Be careful when squeezing out the water. Try not to twist the curtains too tight as you may inadvertently stretch the material and in doing so damage their appearance. Remember that curtains are often large areas of fabric and its very easy to damage the shape of these.

Steam cleaning

Steam cleaning is easy and convenient. If you have access to a steam cleaning unit, we suggest using an upholstery attachment and steam your curtains from the top down. We would always recommend before using a steam cleaner that you make sure your curtains are suitable for this method of cleaning. Keep your own safety in mind and remember that steam burns, so always wear protective equipment. If you have very heavy curtains that cannot be washed then steam cleaning is ideal. The act of steam cleaning avoids the absorption of too much water and allows your curtains to dry quickly.

Tumble dryer

We recommend that you avoid using the tumble dryer. The heat may cause your curtains to shrink and the dryer will cause creases that can be difficult to remove. Treat your curtains like your laundry, wait until there is a dry and warm day and hang them outside. This will have the added benefit of leaving them smelling clean and fresh and avoid any damp musty smells that can occur with tumble drying.


Once your curtains are dry, whatever method you have chosen, iron them using the most gentle setting you have but be careful on any areas of detail. They should now be looking as good as they did when you first bought them and are ready to be hung back up.


Vacuum your curtains with the soft brush attachment every week as part of your regular house cleaning regime. This will help you keep on top of the problem of dust and smells and keep them looking their best for longer.

Whether you choose to hand wash, or machine wash your curtains there are specialist curtain detergents available both online and in your local supermarket that claim to be perfect for the job. Remember, always check the manufacturers' guidelines on how to maintain and care for your curtains before you attempt any cleaning process to avoid damaging the fabrics.

By following these simple steps, you will be able to keep your curtains in tip-top condition and leave them looking beautiful from both inside and out. If you are looking for a professional deep clean of your curtains or drapes, why not contact us today to see how we can help you bring new life back into your fabrics.

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