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Aurella claret curtains lunaire faux wood blinds in living room

How to clean curtains

Emily Booth one of the writers at Hillarys

by Emily Booth

In-home Advice Expert

Published: 06/01/2021

🕒 Reading Time: 3 minutes


7 Steps for How to Clean Curtains

There’s no set time on how often you should clean your gorgeous curtains.  Many lined curtains are not suitable for washing but follow the ideas here to keep your curtains looking great for longer and the best ways of cleaning them.


  1. Start by cleaning the surrounding areas regularly

    The bottom edges of your curtains are the first to show the dirt as they rest on the windowsill or floor, which collect dust.

    By regularly dusting and vacuum cleaning your sills and floor coverings, you’ll help keep your curtains and curtain linings free from dust and dirt.

  2. Next, vacuum clean your curtains

    Dust will accumulate over time, but there is an easy solution.  All lined curtains can be cleaned by using your vacuum cleaner. 

    1. Use the small brush attachment that is designed for furniture and upholstery.
    2. Start by closing your curtains fully, then gently brush the attachment over the front of the curtains.
    3. You’ll get the best results by moving from the top to the bottom, paying special attention to the edges. Repeat the same process on the linings or reverse side of your curtains.  
  3. Can you use a steamer on curtains?

    Steaming is one of the best ways to get wrinkles out of curtains, handheld fabric steamers can be purchased on the high street or online.

    1. First, close your curtains and clean with your vacuum cleaner.
    2. Wait until your steamer has reached the correct heat and move it over your curtains.
    3. Start at the top and work in large sweeping movements to the bottom of the curtains.
    4. While your curtain is still slightly damp, you can finish off the look by smoothing out any creases and creating neat folds in line with how the curtain hangs.
  4. Can you wash curtains?

    There are different options for washing your curtains.

    1. Some fabrics such as like velvet, brocade, wool, or silk, are not suitable for a wet machine wash as the fabric is likely to shrink.
    2. Find out if your Hillarys curtains are suitable for washing or dry cleaning by checking the fabric sample on the website. This will tell you whether your curtains are vacuum clean only or if they can be dry cleaned or washed.
    3. Dry cleaning can be costly, but you’ll know that your curtains won’t run the risk of shrinking.
    4. If your curtains are not suitable for dry cleaning, follow the instructions above for cleaning with your vacuum cleaner and finish off with steam.
    5. If your curtains are suitable for washing, follow the instructions below.
  5. How to wash curtains

    If your curtains are suitable for washing, follow these tips:

    1. Take down your curtains and remove hooks and weights.
    2. Loosen the curtain header if it’s been tightened.
    3. Rinse through with cold water.
    4. If the manufacturer’s instructions permit, place in the washing machine and follow the cycle guidelines.
    5. If washing by hand, prepare a large bowl of warm water, dissolve the powder, and swirl your curtains in the water. Rinse well, squeeze out the excess water and hang to dry.
    6. Iron the curtains when they are still slightly damp, as this will make it easier to remove creases.
  6. How to remove mould from curtains

    If your room suffers from condensation on the windows, this could result in the build-up of mould on your curtain lining.  Mould is very difficult to remove effectively without discolouring fabric, so take preventative measures to keep mould at bay.

    1. Keep your room warm and well ventilated at all times.
    2. Simple measures such as opening a window can help reduce the spread of mould.
    3. For rooms particularly prone to dampness, invest in a dehumidifier.
    4. Replace single-glazed windows with double glazing to reduce draughts and retain heat.

  7. How to remove stubborn stains from curtains

    If you’ve tried vacuuming and you still have a dirty mark on your curtains, what else can you do?

    1. Rub the affected area gently with a clean cloth soaked in warm water.
    2. Avoid the use of detergents or stain removers as this may affect the colour of your fabric.

We hope you have found this guide to cleaning your curtains helpful. See our other ‘How to… cleaning guides’ for more top tips.


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