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Be honest, when was the last time you thought about cleaning your curtains? There’s something about the fact that you don’t wear them that makes washing seem unnecessary. However, curtains can accumulate a lot more grime than meets the eye, so aside from the visual aspect, if you have an allergy sufferer in the house, it’s best to clean your curtains occasionally. 

Your curtain fabric and style will determine the required cleaning methods. Factors like sunlight exposure, dirt and moisture will affect the cleanliness of your curtains. We’ve put together this handy guide to get you started.


Before any cleaning method, be sure to vacuum or shake your curtains so nothing is sticking to the curtain fibres or obstructing cleaning.

Washing Machine

You can put some curtains in the washing machine, but be sure to check care labels before getting started. Determine the fabric type – in most cases, curtains are made from linen, silk, cotton or other synthetic fabrics – and this will inform the machine heat and spin settings. Also, be sure to remove curtain hooks to prevent these from being ruined.

If your machine has a specific curtain wash, use that, but if not, wash cotton curtains on a delicate cycle at 30° with the spin speed set to 600. Once complete, hang your curtains out. To avoid excess creases, iron when they are still slightly damp.


If your curtains are made of delicate fabrics, handwashing is much safer. Use a gentle soap or cleaning solution in the bath or a large sink, but avoid the material becoming waterlogged. Consult the washing label for advice on water temperature.


Drying is critical to avoid mould or musty odours. Line dry in the sun on a breezy day if possible so your curtains can air but be aware that direct sunlight may affect some colours or fabrics. If the wash label permits, tumble dry on a low setting. If your curtains are made from heavy fabric, they will retain water and take a long time to dry, so they are better off being steam or dry cleaned. 


If your curtains are large and heavy, get them dry cleaned professionally, especially if made from velvet, velour, chenille, tapestry, brocade, wool or silk, or if they are interlined.


There is no one answer to how often to clean your curtains; however, we advise a deep clean at least twice a year, more if your home is prone to dust or odours. To maintain in-between, go over them once a week with the brush attachment of your vacuum to lift surface dust. 

Cleaning your curtains may feel like a chore, but with a bit of know-how, it can be an effortless and straightforward process. If you are unsure how to clean your curtains or need a little more advice, contact an expert at Sarah Wooldridge Design, we’d be most happy to help. 

Contact Us Today

If you’d like more information or help choosing the right curtains for your home, then please don’t hesitate to contact our team today on 01628 624 027 or email us via [email protected]. We’ll be only too happy to help you choose the perfect window dressings for your home. 

Visit our website for more information and inspiration on curtains.

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