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How to wash curtains correctly

wash curtains correctly

Curtains don’t get dirty as quickly as garments, but regular laundry is still needed. Dust accumulates on the fabric over time, and greying occurs. Cigarette smoke, fat splashes and dirty fingers do the rest. But you need to wash curtains correctly to avoid damaging them.

How often should curtains be washed?

Curtain linen is best washed about once every six months or once a quarter, and it depends on how much the substances are polluted.

If a curtain hangs in the kitchen near the stove, then fat and sauce splashes may accumulate there and the fabric belongs more often in the laundry. Even in smoking households, more frequent curtain washing can’t hurt – even if young children are present. If you wash curtains correctly it makes the rooms healthier for the children.

Freshly washed curtains emanate a pleasant scent that fills the whole room. If you love this clean smell as a feel-good factor, you can wash your curtains more often at will.

Wash curtains correctly

Not all curtain fabrics are the same, but they have one thing in common: they should be treated gently so that the fabric does not run in and the luminosity of the colours is maintained. After all, the curtain strongly influences the character of our living spaces.

Washing preparations

Prepare your curtains carefully for the laundry. Always remember the following points so that fabric and accessories can withstand the treatment well.

  • Remove the coarsest dirt: First shake the curtains vigorously to remove the dust so that it does not get into the washing machine.
  • Remove all metal parts: rings or needles made of metal have nothing to look for in the laundry, they may rust.
  • Put plastic parts in the laundry bag: You can also wash plastic curtain accessories, but you should remove the parts from the curtain so that the fabric does not get tangled up and possibly even pull threads.
  • Treat stains: Soak all the stains in the curtains before washing with gall soap to make them easier to wash out.
  • Observe the care instructions on the labels: Take the signs on the label to see if your curtain is suitable for machine washing and what degree number it tolerates.

Machine wash for curtains

If your curtain is suitable for machine washing, you have it relatively easy.

  • For most curtains, the washing machine is well-chosen, for example the “wool” setting. In this way, the textile structure is particularly spared.
  • If possible, do not hurl your curtains: many curtain fabrics are sensitive to this rough treatment. Hang the fabric better drip wet.
  • Fill the washing drum only up to half, possibly even one third, so that as little crease as possible arises and the best possible washing result comes out.
  • A large curtain that does not fit into the washing machine can also be handled by hand in the bathtub. Do not try to squeeze the fabric into the drum!

Do curtains belong in the dryer?

After washing the curtains, the fabric still needs to dry. If you own a dryer, you are probably tempted to dry this laundry with the device as well.

In the dryer, your curtains could enter – for your information, follow the care instructions! Dryer-suitable curtains are likely to get crease wrinkles – when hung, they dry more smoothly!

Hanging for drying

Hang the curtains wet again in their ancestral place and possibly weigh them with clothespins so that they hang down as smoothly as possible. If the fabric dries in this way, you can probably save yourself ironing.

Hand washing for sensitive fabrics

For particularly sensitive fabrics or very large curtains, hand washing is always recommended. Use the bathtub for this purpose. If you don’t have a bathtub, get as large a laundry barrel as possible to wash your curtains by hand.

  • Rinse the curtain first with clear water at 30 degrees.
  • Then make a washing liquor with fine or curtain detergent.
  • Allow the fabric to work longer.
  • Pull the curtain back and forth through the lye.
  • Rinse everything thoroughly with clear water.
  • Just gently press out the curtains after washing.
  • Dry the fabric briefly on a leash if it is still too wet.
  • Hang curtains wet back to their place.

Practical tips for washing curtains

Some practical tips and tricks make the curtain care even better. Especially the old home remedies prove themselves again and again!

White refresh

Baking powder brings back the original white of a grayed-out substance without having to use harmful chemicals. Two packets of baking powder are enough for hand washing – one packet for washing in the machine.

Nicotine discoloration can also be dissolved with baking powder: Soak your curtains in warm water, which you have previously mixed with baking powder.

Another way to wash the curtains in white again is salt water: one night in warm salt water – and then into the machine or in the hand wash!

Colorful colors shine again!

Fruit vinegar makes coloured fabrics shine again. However, you should test your curtain for colour fastness with little vinegar in a hidden place beforehand!

Add a few splashes of fruit vinegar to your hand wash – or pour a little of the vinegar into the sink as soon as the last rinse in the washing machine is due.


Remove your curtains from the machine immediately after washing so that no unnecessary creases occur.

Find more tips in our Cleaning section and Home section.

Author: Genevieve Dumas is a food, fashion and beauty stylist from New York, who has worked for a range of major magazines.

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