In many homes, cleaning window treatments is typically at the bottom of a housekeeping list of chores. Whether your treatments are blinds, drapes, or sheer curtains, cleaning your them doesn't have to be a chore that you dread. Use these ideas to learn how to clean blinds, curtains and drapes.
- Periodic Cleaning-As with any chore, the more time you let go by, the more work you'll have to do. One way to make that job easier is to clean more often. Make cleaning your window coverings part of your weekly chore list. Use the hose addition of your vacuum. Place a pair of old pantyhose over the end of the hose, or attach the brush attachment to the vacuum hose. Take a minute or two to sweep over the outside and the inside of the window treatments before moving on to the other chores on your list. This method will work well for blinds, drapes, and sheer curtains, and you'll find that you need to do less deep cleaning if you follow this practice.
- Cleaning Blinds-No matter what type of blinds you use in your home, it is always a good idea to vacuum them on a regular basis. This will remove most of the surface dust and dirt and make your deep cleaning easier. Plastic blinds can be cleaned with an all-purpose cleaner that is sprayed on a cleaning cloth or sponge and then used to wipe down each slat individually. Wood blinds can be wiped with a cleaner suited for wood surfaces. Use water sparingly, however, as you don't want to damage the wood. For fabric blinds, dry cleaning is really the best method to remove tough dirt and grime stains.
- Cleaning Drapes and Curtains-Fabric window treatments such as drapes or lined curtains will typically need to be dry cleaned unless otherwise stated on the care and handling instructions. Older lined curtains may need to be replaced instead of cleaned if the lining has started to rot. Unlined curtains can be washed in a washing machine on gentle cycle, and most of these can be dried in the dryer on low heat or cool settings. Be sure you remove the curtains before they are completely dry to prevent them from shrinking. You should be able to hang them back up as soon as you remove them from the dryer.
- Cleaning Sheer Curtains-Sheer curtains can seem very fragile, and some consumers are hesitant to do any deep cleaning. You can always choose to take sheer window treatments to the dry cleaner, but this really isn't necessary in most cases. Instead, try treating them yourself. You'll need to fill your washing machine with warm water and add a water conditioner if your water is from a well. Place no more than half a load of curtains into the filled washer, and distribute evenly in the washing machine tub. You should let the curtains soak for about five to ten minutes before setting the machine on the gentle cycle. For very delicate or older sheers, place the curtains in a mesh laundry bag. The final rinse should be set on cold, and most people prefer adding a fabric softener to the final rinse as well. Most sheer curtains can be cool air dried in the dryer. A couple of small hand towels thrown in the drier with the sheer curtains will help the drying process and eliminate most of the wrinkles. Pull curtains out of the dryer before completely dry, and hang them back on the windows.