Spring Cleaning Series: Soft Window Treatments
The soft window treatments that grace windows need the stagnancy of winter removed. Many experts say window treatments should be cleaned once or twice a year, and the spring spruce offers a great opportunity to do so here in Wilmington, NC.
Spring Cleaning Soft Window Treatments Starts With…
Curtain and drape care starts with reading the care label. “Dry clean only” needs to be respected completely while other care designations may leave room for DIY; if unsure, go with the dry cleaning option. Most lined curtains and silk drapes likely require dry cleaning anyway.
Unlined curtains can be cleaned while hanging with a handheld steamer, and heavier fabrics can be vacuumed.
The delicateness of the texture also determines how you care for it, so vacuuming and steaming should be done from about an inch away, keeping the cleaning tool from making contact with the fabric.
Machine washing curtains and drapes call for short, gentle cycles with cool water. The majority of curtains and drapes should be line-dried to avoid possible shrinkage from the dryer. Some curtains and roller shades have an insulation layer, and if the layer contacts itself, it can peel and eventually ruin the curtain.
Sheers and lace curtains are best machine washed in a short, gentle cycle with cold water as well. They can be detailed with light ironing after they are dry. Hang drying laces and sheers prevents permanent wrinkling which can be caused by the heat of a dryer.
A Few More Things to Keep in Mind:
Always dust the rod before re-hanging the curtains.
Fabric shades should be dusted using the dust-brush tool on the vacuum. Set the vacuum on low suction. Stains can be blotted using a sponge dampened with mild dishwashing liquid and room-temperature water. Heavier stains should be treated with a commercial upholstery cleaner; before committing to the stain, test the upholstery cleaner on an inconspicuous part of the curtain. The same can be done for fabric vertical blinds. Close the blinds flat when vacuum dusting. Honeycomb shades should also be cleaned in this manner.
The warmer, fresh spring air is loaded with pollen, so check for air quality and pollen counts here in Wilmington, NC before opening your windows and releasing nature’s revival on your fabrics. Following these basic care points will also count towards easier spring cleaning sessions now and in the future. Include your soft window treatments in the process of bringing your house back to life now that the length of winter has reached its long-awaited end.