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Should curtains be washed or dry cleaned?

Curtains are an essential part of any home decor, and they play a significant role in enhancing the overall appeal of a room. As curtains collect dust, dirt, and other pollutants, they eventually start losing their original shine and color, which can negatively impact the ambiance of a space. Therefore, it’s essential to clean curtains regularly to keep them in good condition and prolong their lifespan.

When it comes to cleaning curtains, the two most common options are washing and dry cleaning. Let’s examine both in detail.

Washing curtains:

Washing curtains involves using water and detergent to get rid of the dirt and other pollutants that have accumulated on the fabric. This method is suitable for curtains made of cotton or linen as they can withstand the water’s pressure and temperature. Also, washing curtains is an inexpensive and convenient option as you can do it yourself at home with a washing machine.

However, some negatives to washing curtains include the possibility of shrinking, fading, or damaging the fabric, especially if the fabric is delicate or has a printed pattern. Therefore, if the curtains are made of silk or any other delicate material, it’s better to avoid washing them in a machine.

Dry cleaning curtains:

Dry cleaning is a process that involves using a chemical solvent to remove dirt and other pollutants from fabric rather than water. As dry cleaning is primarily meant for delicate fabrics and fabrics displaying a pattern, it’s a suitable option for curtains that can’t withstand machine washing.

Aside from being safe for delicate fabrics, another advantage of dry cleaning is that it kills germs and bacteria that might be hidden in the fabric. Also, the final outcome is that the curtains can be softer, brighter, and last longer.

However, one major drawback to dry cleaning is the cost aspect. Dry cleaning is a more expensive option than machine washing, and the cost is even higher if the curtains are heavy or extensive. Additionally, dry cleaning curtains can take longer to complete than machine washing, and that can be an inconvenience for homeowners who need to hang them up as soon as possible.


Curtains are a significant investment for homeowners, and it’s essential to keep them clean and well-maintained. When deciding on whether to use washing or dry cleaning, it’s essential to consider the curtain’s material, dimensions, and attachments. Ultimately the right option will depend on balancing the pros and cons of both and their respective cost-benefit ratio.

Whether you decide to machine wash or dry clean, a clean and well-maintained curtain will help prolong its lifespan and make your home look more beautiful.

What is the way to clean curtains?

Cleaning curtains can be an overwhelming task, but it is crucial to maintain their quality and longevity. The cleaning method may vary based on the type of fabric used in the curtains. Here are a few ways to clean curtains:

1. Vacuuming

Start with vacuuming your curtains thoroughly. Attach the soft brush attachment to the vacuum and give your curtains a once-over to remove any hair, dust, or dirt that might have accumulated over time. Vacuuming at least twice a month can help keep the curtains clean and fresh.

2. Hand Washing

Hand washing is one of the best ways to ensure that your curtains get a thorough cleaning without causing any damages to the fabric. Fill a large sink or basin with cool to lukewarm water and add a mild detergent or fabric softener, as per the instructions on the bottle. Submerge the curtains in the water and gently swish them around, making sure to cover all the areas.

Rinse out the curtains with clean water and gently squeeze out the excess water. Hang the curtains to dry, ensuring that they are not exposed to direct sunlight.

3. Machine washing

Before machine washing your curtains, make sure to check the care instructions on the tag or packaging. Unlike hand washing, machine washing may damage delicate fabrics or cause the curtains to shrink. Therefore, it’s recommended to wash the curtains on a gentle cycle using a mild detergent. It’s also essential to remove the curtains from the machine as soon as the cycle is complete to prevent any wrinkling.

4. Dry cleaning

For heavily pleated, ornate, or expensive curtains, it’s best to opt for professional dry cleaning. Always check the care label first to ensure that the curtains are suitable for dry cleaning. Professional cleaners use special solvents to clean the curtains without causing any damage to the fabric.

Dry cleaning can help remove any stubborn stains or dust that are difficult to remove through other methods.

The best way to clean curtains will depend on the type of fabric, and the level of dirt or stains they have accumulated. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prolong the life of your curtains, keeping them fresh and vibrant for years to come.

Can you wash curtains that should be dry cleaned?

While it is generally recommended that curtains that have a “dry clean only” label should be taken to a professional for cleaning, it is possible to wash them at home with a few precautions.

Firstly, it’s important to check the fabric of the curtains as some materials can be severely damaged by water, heat, or certain detergents. If the curtains are made of silk, wool, or a material that is prone to shrinking or fading, it’s best to err on the side of caution and take them to a professional cleaner.

However, if the curtains are made of a more durable material such as cotton or polyester, they can be washed at home if you follow a few steps.

Before washing, remove any hooks or hardware and shake out the curtains to remove any dirt or dust. Then, wash the curtains on a gentle cycle using a mild detergent and cold water. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener, as these can damage the fabric.

After washing, hang the curtains to dry or tumble dry on a low heat setting. Avoid using high heat as this can cause the fabric to shrink or wrinkle. You may want to iron the curtains once they are dry, on a low heat setting and using a pressing cloth to avoid damaging any embellishments or delicate areas.

Keep in mind that washing “dry clean only” curtains at home may still come with some risks, and in some cases, it may be better to take them to a professional cleaner to ensure that they are properly cared for. When in doubt, always consult the label or a professional cleaner before attempting to clean your curtains on your own.

Are you supposed to wash curtains?

Curtains play an essential role in interior design, adding style, and functionality to a room. They provide privacy, regulate light, and add warmth and comfort to any space. However, curtains can accumulate dust, dirt, and airborne particles, depending on their location and how often they are used.

For this reason, experts generally recommend washing curtains once or twice a year or more frequently depending on usage and environment. Washing curtains not only helps to remove dust and dirt but also eliminates odors and stains that may accumulate over time.

There are different ways to wash curtains, depending on their fabric and care instructions. Some fabrics require dry cleaning, while others can be safely machine washed or even hand-washed. It is essential to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid shrinking, discoloration, or damage to the fabric.

Before washing curtains, it is advisable to remove any hooks or hardware and give them a good shake to remove any loose dirt or debris. If possible, it is also a good idea to vacuum the curtains first to remove any dust or dirt. Then, you can either wash them by hand or use a washing machine, depending on the care instructions.

After washing, it is important to dry the curtains using the appropriate method, such as air-drying or tumble-drying, depending on the fabric. Ironing or steaming the curtains can also help to smooth out any wrinkles or creases and restore their original shape and appearance.

Curtains are a vital part of home décor and require regular cleaning to maintain their appearance and functionality. While the frequency and method of washing curtains may vary depending on their fabric and care instructions, giving them a good clean once or twice a year is generally recommended.

Is it good to wash curtains in the washing machine?

Washing curtains in a washing machine can be a good idea as it can effectively remove dirt, dust, and allergens that can accumulate on them over time. Curtains can be a significant source of dust and other allergens in a home, so cleaning them regularly can help to maintain a healthy living environment for everyone.

However, it is important to check the manufacturer’s instructions before washing curtains in a washing machine. Some curtains, especially those made from delicate fabrics, may not be suitable for machine washing, and instead need to be cleaned by hand or dry cleaned.

Additionally, when choosing to wash curtains in a washing machine, it is important to use the right settings to avoid any damage to the curtains. Delicate curtains should be washed on a gentle cycle, using a mild detergent and a low spin speed. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners as they can damage the fabric and cause discoloration.

Another important thing to note is that curtains should be washed separately from other items to avoid any damage from zippers, buttons or other sharp items that can snag the fabric.

Washing curtains in a washing machine can be a good idea, but it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, use appropriate settings and wash them separately to keep them looking their best for longer. Proper care and maintenance can help to extend the lifespan of curtains, saving money and keeping your home looking its best.

How do you clean curtains without taking them to a dry cleaners?

When it comes to cleaning curtains, many people opt to take them to a dry cleaner for a professional cleaning. However, this can be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to clean your curtains at home without the need for a professional. Here are some steps you can follow to clean your curtains effectively:

1. Dust Your Curtains: Begin by dusting your curtains thoroughly to remove any loose dirt, pet hair, or dust that has accumulated. You can use a vacuum cleaner or a soft-bristled brush to do this.

2. Check the Care Label: Before proceeding with any cleaning method, it is important to check the care label on your curtains. This will give you information on what cleaning products and methods are safe to use. It will also tell you whether your curtains are machine-washable or require hand washing.

3. Machine-Washable Curtains: If your curtains are machine-washable, remove the hooks or rings and place them in a laundry bag or pillowcase to avoid snagging. Use a mild detergent and run the washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water. Once done, hang them up to air dry.

4. Hand-Washable Curtains: If your curtains are hand-washable, fill a tub or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge your curtains and gently agitate them for a few minutes. Rinse them thoroughly with clean water and hang them up to air dry.

5. Steam-Cleaning: If you have a handheld steamer, you can use it to clean your curtains effectively. Be sure to check the care label first and follow the steaming directions carefully.

6. Spot-Cleaning: For small stains or spots, you can use a mixture of water and mild detergent to spot-clean your curtains. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and gently blot the stain, working from the outside in. Rinse with clean water and air dry.

Cleaning your curtains at home is a cost-effective and simple way to keep them looking fresh and new. By following these steps, you can easily clean your curtains without having to take them to a dry cleaner.

Will curtains shrink in washing machine?

The answer to whether curtains will shrink in the washing machine is that it depends on several factors, including the fabric content, the washing and drying temperature, and the method of washing. Certain fabrics like cotton or linen are more prone to shrinkage than synthetic blends, while curtains that have been pre-washed or pre-shrunk are less likely to shrink.

If the washing and drying temperatures are too high, they can cause the fibers in the fabric to shrink, resulting in the curtain panels becoming smaller than their original size. Additionally, using a high-speed spin cycle during the wash cycle can also cause the fabric to shrink because of the excessive movement and agitation.

Another factor that contributes to curtain shrinkage is water retention. If the curtains are left in the washing machine for an extended period of time after the cycle is complete, they will absorb excess water which can cause them to shrink as they dry. Hence, it is important to remove the curtains from the machine and lay them flat on a towel or hang them immediately after washing them.

To prevent excessive shrinkage, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions that are often included on the curtains’ tags. Washing curtains on a cold, gentle cycle and line-drying them are the best ways to avoid shrinkage in most cases. Additionally, hand-washing curtains is another option to avoid shrinkage altogether since it provides better control over the washing process.

Curtains may or may not shrink in the washing machine, and it depends on several factors. However, if proper care instructions are followed, including washing them on a cold, gentle cycle and line-drying them, shrinkage can usually be avoided.

Which curtains are machine washable?

When it comes to selecting curtain types that are machine washable, it is essential to look at the fabric composition to determine if it can be washed in a machine without damaging the material.

Some of the most common machine washable curtain materials include cotton, polyester, and linen. These materials are known for being able to withstand machine washing, and varying degrees of heat. However, it is always essential to check the washing instructions on the label or the manufacturer’s website, as some fabrics may require a more delicate washing cycle.

In addition to material composition, the type of curtain construction also plays a vital role in determining whether it is machine washable. For instance, curtains with loose-hanging embellishments like beading, tassels, or embroidery may not be suitable for machine washing, as these additional elements can become tangled, frayed, or damaged during the washing cycle.

Curtains can come in several styles, from blackout curtains to sheer curtains, and it is vital to choose the right type of washing cycle that matches the fabric’s care instruction. For example, blackout curtains may require a more delicate washing procedure than sheer curtains.

Machine washable curtains can make a fantastic addition to any home decor with modern varieties allowing for easy washing and low maintenance. When selecting a machine washable curtain, it is crucial to consider the fabric composition, construction, and washing cycle requirements to ensure it remains in good condition and meets your specific needs.

Will washing curtains get wrinkles out?

Washing curtains can sometimes help get wrinkles out, but this depends on several factors. Firstly, the material of the curtains plays a significant role. Curtains made from materials that are prone to wrinkling, such as silk or linen, may become even more wrinkled after washing. On the other hand, curtains made from synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon, are less likely to wrinkle and may come out of the wash relatively wrinkle-free.

Secondly, the drying method can also impact whether the curtains will come out wrinkle-free. If the curtains are hung up immediately after washing and allowed to air dry, they may dry with fewer wrinkles. However, if the curtains are tossed into the dryer, they may become more wrinkled due to the high heat and movement.

Finally, the way the curtains are hung also plays a role in how wrinkled they appear. If the curtains are simply thrown back up onto the rod without being carefully smoothed out, they will likely still have wrinkles. However, if the curtains are carefully ironed or steamed after washing and hung up neatly, they should come out wrinkle-free.

Washing curtains may be helpful in getting wrinkles out, but it is important to consider the material, drying method, and hanging technique to ensure the best possible outcome.

Does washing curtains remove mold?

Washing curtains can potentially remove mold, but it really depends on the severity of the mold infestation and the materials that the curtains are made of. Mold thrives in damp, humid environments and can grow on a variety of surfaces, including fabrics like curtains.

If you have curtains that are visibly moldy, it is important to take action immediately to prevent the mold from spreading further or causing health problems for you and your family. Before washing your curtains, it is important to give them a thorough inspection and assess the extent of the mold growth.

If the mold growth is relatively small and localized, you may be able to remove it by using a solution of equal parts vinegar and water applied to the affected area with a clean cloth. Alternatively, you can purchase a mold remover spray specifically designed for fabrics and follow the instructions carefully.

Once you have removed the visible mold, you can then proceed to wash your curtains. It is important to follow the care instructions on the label of the curtains carefully, taking care not to use too hot of water or too harsh of detergents, which can damage the fabric. It may be necessary to wash the curtains several times to completely remove the mold and any accompanying odors.

If the mold growth is severe or covers a large portion of the curtains, it may be best to dispose of them and replace them with new ones. Keep in mind that mold can be harmful to your health, so it is important to take precautions when dealing with mold infestations in your home. This may include wearing gloves and a mask, ensuring proper ventilation, and seeking professional help if the mold growth is extensive or persistent.

How often should drapes be dry cleaned?

There is no hard and fast rule for how often drapes should be dry cleaned, as it largely depends on a number of factors including the type of fabric, level of use, and environmental conditions in the space where the drapes are located. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that drapes be dry cleaned every two to three years in order to keep them looking fresh and clean.

One of the main reasons that drapes should be dry cleaned periodically is to remove any accumulated dust and dirt that can build up over time. This is especially important for individuals who suffer from allergies or respiratory issues, as dirty drapes can exacerbate these conditions by releasing dust and other allergens into the air.

Another reason to have drapes dry cleaned is to remove any stains or spots that may have developed. Depending on the fabric and type of stain, it may be difficult to remove these through regular washing at home. However, a professional dry cleaner will be able to identify the best method for removing the stain without damaging the fabric.

The frequency of dry cleaning may also depend on the level of use of the drapes. If they are located in a high-traffic area or are frequently opened and closed, they may accumulate more dust and dirt than drapes in a less-used space. Additionally, if the drapes are located in an area with high levels of humidity or moisture, they may be more prone to mold or mildew growth, which may require more frequent cleaning.

Lastly, it is important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer or the cleaning professional during the dry cleaning process to ensure that the drapes do not become damaged or degraded over time. This may include avoiding certain chemicals or processes, or taking special precautions when handling delicate fabrics or trims.

While there is no set schedule for how often drapes should be dry cleaned, it is important to keep them clean and well-maintained in order to prolong their lifespan and protect the health of those using the space.

How often should you Dryclean curtains?

The frequency in which you should dry clean curtains largely depends on a variety of factors such as the material of the curtains, the location of the curtains, and the amount of traffic they receive. Generally speaking, the majority of curtains should be dry cleaned once every two to three years.

However, there are certain types of curtains that may require more frequent cleaning due to their delicate and sensitive nature. For instance, silk curtains should be cleaned every six months since they are more prone to staining and damage. On the other hand, blackout curtains that are situated in high traffic areas (like living rooms) can accumulate dirt, dust and even pet hair quickly, which makes it necessary to clean them more regularly.

It is important to note that any spills, stains, or marks on the curtains should be addressed immediately to avoid long-term damage. Dry cleaning is the most effective method to remove these stains as traditional washing may damage the fabric and cause it to shrink or lose its texture. Additionally, exposure to sunlight can also harm the material and fade the colors of the curtains.

Therefore, it is crucial to clean the curtains before this happens to maintain their original condition and appearance.

Finally, it is recommended to read the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to determine the appropriate cleaning frequency for your curtains. These instructions can give you guidance on the appropriate methods of cleaning for your specific curtain materials, including what detergents to use and the right temperature settings to use during the cleaning process.

By carefully following these instructions and regularly cleaning your curtains, you can prolong their life and keep them looking fresh and attractive for years to come.

Is it better to wash or dry-clean curtains?

The decision to wash or dry-clean curtains depends on several factors, including the fabric type, level of soiling, and care instructions. Generally, it is safe to wash most curtains that are made of cotton or synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, or acrylic, as they can withstand gentle machine washing.

However, if the curtains are delicate, lined, or contain trims such as silk or lace, dry-cleaning may be the better option.

Dry-cleaning involves using a solvent to clean the curtains, and this method is suitable for curtains that cannot be washed in water. Moreover, some types of stains, such as oil-based stains, are better removed through dry-cleaning than washing. Dry-cleaning is also less likely to cause shrinkage, distortion or damage to the curtains’ fibers, making it a safer option for delicate fabrics.

On the other hand, washing is a more economical and straightforward method of cleaning curtains that can be hand-washed or machine-washed. With washing, you have control over the detergent and the water temperature, and you can customize the cleaning process to suit the soiling level and the fabric type.

Moreover, washing significantly reduces the chances of shrinking or losing the color of the curtains since you can choose a gentle wash cycle and cold water.

The choice between washing or dry-cleaning curtains depends on various considerations, and it is important to adhere to the care instructions to prevent damaging the curtains. In general, it is better to wash curtains made of cotton or synthetic materials, while delicate or lined curtains may require dry-cleaning.

Regardless of the method, it is recommended to clean curtains at least once a year to keep them free from dust, odors, and stains.

Is dry cleaning good for curtains?

Dry cleaning can be an effective cleaning method for curtains, especially those made of delicate or specialized fabrics that cannot be laundered in traditional washing machines. Dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent in a specialized machine to clean and remove stains from fabrics. This method is beneficial because it does not use water, which can damage or shrink certain fabrics, and it can be used to clean heavily soiled curtains without harming the fabric.

However, it is also important to note that some curtains may not be suitable for dry cleaning. Curtains that are made of materials that are too delicate or prone to fraying may be damaged during the dry cleaning process, and curtains with ornate trim or embellishments may need to be cleaned by hand to prevent damage.

Additionally, some dry cleaning solvents can leave a residue or odors on fabrics, which may require additional treatments to remove.

The decision to use dry cleaning for curtains will depend on the fabric, level of soiling and the specific needs of the curtains. Before selecting a cleaning method, it is recommended to consult with a professional cleaner to ensure the best care for your curtains.

Can you machine wash dry-clean only drapes?

While it is generally not recommended to machine wash dry-clean only drapes, there are some instances where it may be possible. It is important to understand why the drapes are labeled as dry-clean only in the first place. Often, fabrics that are dry-clean only are delicate, prone to shrinkage or damage, or have special finishes or embellishments that may not hold up well in a washing machine.

That being said, certain types of drapes may be able to withstand a gentle cycle in the washing machine, as long as certain precautions are taken. First and foremost, be sure to read the care instructions on the drapes carefully before attempting to wash them. If the care label specifies dry-cleaning, it may be best to err on the side of caution and take them to a professional cleaner.

However, if the label allows for hand washing or a gentle cycle, proceed with caution.

Before washing, inspect the drapes for any stains or spots and spot clean them if necessary. Remove any hardware or accessories, such as hooks or tiebacks, and be sure to close any zippers or buttons. Use a mild detergent and cold water, and put the drapes in a pillowcase or laundry bag to protect them during the cycle.

Use a gentle or delicate cycle, and avoid using fabric softeners or bleach.

After the cycle is complete, remove the drapes from the washing machine and gently shake them out to remove any wrinkles. Hang them to dry immediately, preferably outside in the sun, or use a fabric steamer to smooth out any remaining wrinkles. Do not put the drapes in a dryer, as this can cause damage or shrinkage.

It’s important to note that washing dry-clean only drapes is still a somewhat risky proposition, so it’s important to consider the fabric and the care label carefully before attempting to do so. If you’re unsure or hesitant, it may be best to take them to a professional cleaner to ensure that they are properly cleaned and maintained.


  1. Can You Wash Curtains in the Washing Machine? – Clean Bees
  2. How Often Should You (Dry) Clean Your Curtains?
  3. 5 steps to cleaner curtains – Good Housekeeping
  4. How to Wash and Care for Curtains Three Different Ways
  5. Should Curtain Be Dry Cleaned Or Laundry Cleaned?