A Cleaner World Blog
Caring for Curtains and Drapes
Until recently, the drapes that were in our living room were the ones the prior owner left. They were perfectly fine: simple, beige, tied back with some decorative rope, matched our décor, and I liked the length. I’d had them cleaned several times over the last 10 years, but they were starting to show their age.
My husband didn’t understand the need to regularly clean the drapes stating, “They just hang there.” So, I had to explain to him that drapes are much more than décor; they serve as a filter by guarding against sunlight, heat, dirt, and dust coming through windows. Over time, sunlight causes the fabric to weaken, and the dirt and dust build up, lowering the air quality in a home. Regular cleaning not only helps improve air quality it also helps drapes last longer; I pointed out that I’d been saving him money. He always appreciates that.
Tips to Get More Life Out of Your Drapes or Curtains
- To reduce the chances of sun damage, use window film, sheers, blinds, or shutters along with your drapes.
- To prevent dust and dirt from settling into their fibers, give drapes a gentle shake when you pull them closed at night. Every month to six weeks, vacuum drapes with a handheld vacuum cleaner on the lowest setting with the soft brush attachment.
- Check the care label before washing to see if they can be machine washed or need to be taken to a professional.
- When caring for your household items, whether it is through washing, professional wet cleaning, or dry cleaning, be sure to have all matching pieces done at the same time to keep the appearance consistent.
Tips When in the Market For New Drapes
- Check the fabric composition. For instance, polyester fabrics hold up better when exposed to sunlight.
- Light-colored fabrics reflect sunlight and do not show fading nearly as much as dark-colored fabrics.
- If possible, choose lined drapes. The lining will take the brunt of the sun before the front of the drapes.
- Before purchasing new drapes, check to see if the fabric has been properly pre-shrunk.