Curtain cleaning and maintenance advice

Curtain cleaning and maintenance advice
Curtain cleaning advice from Xtraclean

Depending on what you read and certain guidelines from manufacturers, some say that you should clean your curtains every six months, but here at Xtraclean, our professional cleaning experts advise that you should leave them alone. Curtains can be extremely tricky to clean. The range of fabric types, finishes, and decorative touches mean that unless you know what your'e doing, it can be extremely difficult to recreate the shape and length once cleaned and the danger of ‘shrinkage’ is highly likely.

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Check the instructions

If you absolutely have to clean your curtains, make sure that you check the manufacturers instructions to find out how you should clean them. Don’t just assume that your curtains are machine washable as this could seriously damage the material, leaving them unusable.

It’s always a good idea to save the original packaging that your curtains arrived in or to check the best way to clean your curtains with the manufacturer when your purchase them if you plan on cleaning them yourself.

Dry Cleaning

Most curtains are ‘dry-clean only’, but there is still the danger that they could shrink during the cleaning process. Due to the nature of dry cleaning curtains, dry cleaners have what they class an acceptable level of ‘shrinkage’. This is usually between 3-4% of the material being cleaned, so don’t be shocked if they are returned to you slightly smaller than before. Always check with your dry cleaner before committing to the process to avoid upset. Dry cleaning can also cause the finish on your curtains to be removed, so they may not look the same or sit as well once you hang them back up. This can be caused by the nature of the material and during this process is would be unavoidable.


Some fabrics shrink at a different rate. So naturally if the lining of your curtains is a different material to the rest, it might be advisable to clean each layer separately and then re-sew the layers back together. Shrinking is a major issue when it comes to cleaning curtains as the fabric is often never the same again once it has been cleaned and you should be aware and open to this before committing to such a process.

Machine washable

In the unlikely event that your curtains are machine washable, we recommend that you carefully follow the manufacturers instructions and leave to air dry where possible. It is advised that you leave a small amount of moisture in them when you iron them as you will achieve better results on slightly damp curtains. Again we advise that you keep in mind that you follow the instructions on heat temperature and be aware that the finish may alter following both procedures.

Basic Cleaning

Remember to loosen the gathers if your curtains are pleated at the top before you wash them as huge amounts of dust can accumulate in these areas and can clump if not opened carefully. It’s also worth checking your curtains for stains and other signs of wear, such as mildew, which is often found on curtains that sit on a damp window sill or patio doors where this process can occur.


Although you may think that your curtains need washing thoroughly, we recommend using your vacuum cleaner to remove any surface dust or dirt. This will brighten the curtains and remove any dirt that has built up over time. If you have attachments for your vacuum, use a small nozzle or a soft brush to gently clean the curtains whilst they are hanging. Pay special attention to the top as this is where dust tends to gather. If you feel that your curtains need cleaning, we advise that you contact Xtraclean here, who will be able to clean your curtains professionally. For more information on our curtain cleaning process, click here.

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