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How to clean curtains

Find out the easiest and fastest way to clean your curtains

Emily Booth one of the writers at Hillarys

by Emily Booth

In-home Advice Expert

Published: 06/01/2021

Updated: 16/03/2023

With the right care and maintenance you can keep your curtains looking as good as the day they was fitted. All our curtains are dry clean only, but there are other ways to keep your curtains looking great for longer. We’ve got some simple methods for regular cleaning plus expert advice on effective stain removal.


Our handy guide covers how to:

- Clean your curtains regularly with a vacuum to avoid dust build up

- Use a hand-held steam to neaten creases and wrinkles

- Keep your room well ventilated to avoid mould build up

- Remove stubborn stains with a damp cloth

1. Clean with a vacuum

The easiest way to clean your curtains is to vacuum them. Doing this regularly will help keep them free from dust that might accumulate over time.

All lined curtains can be cleaned by using your vacuum cleaner. Make sure you use the small brush attachment that is designed for furniture and upholstery.

Start by closing your curtains fully, then gently brush the attachment over the front of the curtains.

You’ll get the best results by moving from the top to the bottom, paying special attention to the edges. Repeat on the linings or reverse side of your curtains.  

Don’t forget the bottom edges of your curtains where they meet the windowsill or floor, which collect dust.

2. Use a steamer

If your curtains get creased or wrinkled, the best way to neaten them up is to lightly steam them using a hand-held steamer. Here's how:

Wait until your steamer has reached the correct heat and move it over your curtains. 

Start at the top and work in large sweeping movements to the bottom of the curtains. For velvet fabrics, only steam from the lining side.

Avoid getting water or steam on the face of the fabric as this may cause permanent damage. 

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.

3. Keep mould at bay

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.

Keep your room warm and well ventilated at all times.

Simple measures such as opening a window can help reduce the spread of mould.

For rooms particularly prone to dampness, invest in a dehumidifier.

Replace single-glazed windows with double glazing to reduce draughts and retain heat.

5. Remove stubborn stains

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

Rub the affected area gently with a clean cloth soaked in warm water.

Avoid the use of detergents or stain removers as this may affect the colour of your fabric.

5. Dry cleaning

If your curtains require a deeper clean, please note that all our curtain fabrics are dry clean only.

It’s easy to know what fabrics and linings require professional dry cleaning. Look for the P sensitive symbol sewn into the care label.

It’s good practice to check with your local dry cleaning company before taking your blinds down, and  remember there may be up to 3% shrinkage of the fabric during your products first dry clean.