Dirty window treatments can make the entire room look dingy and unattractive. Sometimes cleaning drapes is as simple as removing them from the rod and tossing into the washing machine. However, not all drapes can be cleaned safely this way. You can clean drapes like a professional if you follow a few tips from the cleaning experts at ServiceMaster Clean®.
Know Your Drapery Material
Some materials can be laundered in the washing machine, some may be need to be dry cleaned, while others may need professional care to remove spots and stains. In general, cotton, polyester blends and similar textiles can be laundered in your home washing machine. Always check the drape's care instructions, usually located on a tag along the inside of the drapery. The care instructions also will indicate how the material should be dried, which is typically using the lowest dryer setting or by hanging them out to air dry. Drapery material such as silk, velvet, brocade, taffeta and chenille should be dry-cleaned. Drapes with a lining, insulated drapes and some sheers should also be dry-cleaned.
How to Clean Drapes
No matter how clean you keep your home, drapes in any shape, style or material collect dust and grime simply hanging there. There are some easy at-home cleaning methods you can use to refresh draperies without having to haul them to the dry-cleaners.
For board-mounted valances, a vacuum cleaner is the best tool to refresh the drapery material. Use a sturdy stool to help place you closer to the valances and the upholstery tool for your vacuum cleaner. Start at the top of the valance on one side and vacuum from top to bottom. Then work your way across the entire valance. Use one hand to vacuum and the other to hold and/or smooth the material as the suction removes dust, dirt and grime. Depending on the valance material, you may be able to use a hand-held garment steamer for a deeper clean. Check the care instructions before steaming. Always make sure if you're standing on a stool that it's steady and safe.
Most sheers are nylon, cotton, polyester or a blend of one or more of these materials. Nylon, cotton and polyester sheers typically are machine washable as well as dryable on a low heat. When tumble drying sheers (or any drapes/curtains) always remove immediately after the dryer cycle finishes to reduce wrinkling. If you remove right after the sheers have dried and hang promptly, wrinkles should be minimized and no iron touch-ups are necessary.
For dark colored drapes that are machine washable, add about 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the wash cycle to help prevent the colors from bleeding or fading.
To steam clean drapes while they are still hanging, start at the top of the drapery and slowly and gently work your way down the material with the steamer. Never press into the material. Follow all the instructions on the fabric steamer and only use this method if recommended by the drapes’ care instructions.
When it's time for Spring cleaning or other large cleaning projects, look to our professional home teams at
. Let us know how we can help, from upholstery cleaning to flooring, we're there for you. We tackle the chores you don't want to do, giving you the clean you expect with the service you deserve.
The ServiceMaster Clean residential cleaning team offers tips and care advice for cleaning drapes, sheers and other window treatment materials.