Curtains are an important aesthetic in any home. They serve functional and decorative purposes in a living space. Hung on the windows, they serve as a barrier between the outside world and a private home space, giving privacy and security. Not only that, but they also come in different colors and pattern designs all of which contribute to the overall flow and look of the home. Because curtains are generally exposed to the outdoors when windows are open, they are prone to get dirty. Things such as dirt and bacteria can easily get onto the threads and build up. Curtains get dirty, but usually in a gradual manner in which not many people can notice.
The slow build up of dirt that gives the curtain material the unclean look is largely responsible for this. However, when we do finally notice, we realize that cleaning the curtain is the next step to getting it clean. There are many different materials of curtains and each may need different cleaning materials and procedures. However, generally, there are general cleaning methods to clean curtains. Curtain cleaning should take place at least twice in a year to keep it fresh and free of bacteria and looking clean. A clean curtain keeps the whole space in which it exists in tidy conditions. In a home setting, cleaning your curtains may be a viable option because it can be managed. In a commercial setting where there are a large number of curtains to take care of, this may be a job for more than one or a few people. With that said, let us look at some of the ways to clean curtains and get the best results.
· Dusting the curtains
Washing curtains is obviously a lot of work to undertake, especially if the curtains are made out of heavy material. Dusting is generally recommended for curtains that have recently been washed and do not quite need another wash yet, but need dirt removal. Dusting and vacuuming weekly can do wonders in keeping them dirt free and cleaner for longer. Dust with soft material i.e. dusting feathers and soft cloth.
· Dry cleaning
This is recommended for curtains that direct and require dry cleaning only on the label. In this case, ensure that your curtains are removed from the windows safely before taking them to a dry cleaning services. When considering which dry cleaning service to employ, make sure you are well aware of their expertise and services. Because not all dry cleaning services are the same, the most conveniently located dry cleaner might not necessarily have the capabilities to properly clean your curtains. Ask around different dry cleaning establishments about whether or not they specialize in curtain cleaning. It is important to get a reliable dry cleaning service for your curtains especially when they are more expensive because more is at stake.
· Steam cleaning
This is essentially a step up from dusting and vacuuming. This method gets rid of more dust and debris than its counterpart. It is a convenient method because many cleaning equipment required are readily available for private home use. When steam cleaning, keep the following in mind
· Do not steam clean the curtains if the label does indicate it is machine washable
· Clean the folds and hems of the curtains carefully for they generally contain more hidden dirt
· Leave windows closed when curtains are drying. If left open, chances are debris and dirt will accumulate and stick
· Machine washing
This is perhaps the easiest cleaning method of all. It requires little effort—just pop in the washer and wait. Ensure that the label indicates machine washing is ok before going ahead with cleaning it. Depending on the curtain material, machine washing setting may differ. Some tips to get the best machine washing results for your curtains:
· For curtains with delicate material, wash on the delicate cycle. This does not apply for heavy material curtains; this cycle may not deliver effective results.
· For bright colored curtains, you may want to keep the color bright and prevent fading. To do this, use a detergent that protects color
· For curtains with a lot of soil residue, wash with warm water during the cycle
After washing comes the drying of the curtains. Some tips for drying:
· Dry in tumble dry cycle with minimal heat. This means it will take longer for the curtains to dry, but it will protect the material
· Avoid putting curtains fresh off the washing machine on a clothes line to dry. Dry the curtains for at least 15 minutes on a drying machine until damp then hang. This will help in reducing wrinkles.
Curtains go through quite a bit in their lifetime. Being exposed to sunlight worsens the effects of fading of color and washing too much is more bad than good. To take better care of curtains, consider the following gentle cleaning methods to use between washes. This helps prolong the time between washes, which helps keep the fabric in healthier condition.
· For removing more embedded dirt, grime, or pet hairs, use a lint brush. This removes more than dusting and vacuuming
· For small dirt stains, use a damp cloth with soap to remove
· Smell matters! To freshen up the curtains, place them in a tumble dry cycle in a dryer along with a spray of fresh Febreeze air freshner
Additional tips for getting the most out of your curtain cleaning efforts below:
· ALWAYS read the curtain labels before deciding on which method you will use
· Vacuum both sides of the curtain to ensure thorough dirt and debris removal.
· Focus on dusting the folds and hems of the curtain because they contain more dirt and debris than other parts.
· Begin from the top of your curtains as you dust so to allow removed particles to fall to the ground and not on other already cleaned parts
· If using a damp cloth to remove stains, ensure the curtain is thoroughly dirt free to avoid further smearing of dirt stains.
· For curtains with buttons and embellishments, use a soft brush attachment and a low suction setting to avoid damaging the decorations. This is an insight.