As the sun is finally streaming in through our windows, the trees are sprouting blossom and the evenings are lighter for longer, lots of us will be beginning the yearly process of Spring cleaning.
For me there’s nothing more cathartic than a good clean up, sort out and re-organisation of my home ready for the Spring and Summer months.
One part of Spring cleaning which is often overlooked however is curtains!
They’re open in the daytime, in the low light in the evening and closed at night, so we often don’t notice the state of our curtains, or when they might be in need of some TLC.
If you look closely – especially in the Spring sunlight, you’ll notice your curtains may be dusty and dirty – especially if you have pets at home. If this is the case, let me give you some advice for cleaning them safely, without damaging them or needing to pay a huge dry cleaning bill.
HOW TO SPRING-CLEAN YOUR CURTAINS
Firstly, it is a good idea to vacuum your curtains once a month if possible. When vacuuming your curtains place a soft muslin cloth or pop sock over the end of the vacuum cleaner nozzle. Try to ensure you get into all the folds and pleats in the headings and remember to vacuum the back as well, especially if you have pets as they often brush against the backs of curtains when climbing across window sills.
Give the curtains a good shake and then dress them back into their folds; this will prevent staining/marks, dust and pet hair build up, and will help to keep the fabric fresh and in good condition.
At least once per year (Spring time is as good a time as any!) take the curtains down and brush them with a soft brush. You should then hang them outside for a few hours if possible. Some fresh air and a little sunshine will air out and breath new life into your window treatment.
While the curtains are being aired, it’s a good time to give the track a thorough clean. Using a damp cloth clean the whole track, and then use a small spray of silicon to ensure your track will continue to run smoothly for another year. Metal curtain poles will just need a light dusting as most of them have a lacquered finish. Finally, wooden curtain poles can be cleaned with a little wooden spray polish and clean cloth.
Now it is time to re-hang your curtains. Dress the curtains into their folds and leave drawn back for 24 hours if possible. This will ensure they settle back into their desired position.
If you keep up monthly vacuuming followed by a yearly brush and airing, you should keep your curtains looking fabulous for many years.
PROFESSIONAL CURTAIN CLEANING ADVICE
Here at Denton Drapes we do not recommend that you send your curtains to a dry cleaners. However, if you do decide to send them for a heavy-duty clean, there are some precautions you can take to protect your curtains.
Professional ‘dry cleaning’ services actually immerse fabric into a drum of cleaning fluid, and so the process is rarely ‘dry’ – any immersion into liquid like this can be problematic with fabrics and could change their appearance and/or dimensions.
With this in mind, it is recommended that you tack round the edges and hems of your interlined curtains before you send them to be cleaned. This will help to stop the interlining moving/shrinking out of the turnings. It may seem bothersome, but far less so than having to repair damage or replace whole window dressings!
If your curtains have pin hooks these should be removed prior to cleaning, however, if you have hand sewn hooks in your curtains, which obviously cannot be removed, then you should fold down the heading and tack it securely with the hooks on the inside. If you have a tape heading, let out the cords, ensuring there is a firm knot at the end, so that they cannot disappear.
We recommend that you measure your curtains before you take them down and ensure that you write the measurements onto the order form at the cleaning specialists: this will ensure you can prove any shrinkage should the worst happen, and will mean the dry cleaner can check against your measurements.
When you get the curtains back from the cleaners you should re-hang them, draw them closed and keep them closed for 12 hours with some ventilation, this should ensure all remaining solvent evaporates quickly.
Finally, draw them open and dress into folds, tie back with cord/plastic/tie backs and leave to set in folds.
If a spillage or accident should happen (such as red wine) then it really is vital that you clean the stain immediately to prevent the stain spreading and/or setting. If the lining is not stained then you should undo the sides and pin them up out of the way while you deal with the body of the stain using your preferred stain removal technique.
**STAIN REMOVAL TOP TIPS**
– Lipstick can often be removed with a baby wipe or make up remover pad.
– Small blood stains can be removed with saliva. Treat the stain as soon as possible by depositing a little saliva onto a clean cotton cloth and dap at the stain gently.
Good luck with your Spring cleaning and long may your beautiful handmade interlined curtains last!
Penny & The Denton Drapes Team