How To Clean Your Drapes

A very important aspect to keeping your drapes in good condition is the way you clean and dry them. Cleaning instructions are included as a label or on the packaging of all curtains sold. The type of fabric the curtain is made out of will determine the washing and maintenance instructions so it is important to read before you wash. Here are some of the typical cleaning and drying instructions for sheer drapes, blackout drapes, and the liner.


  • Sheer curtains should be washed on a regular basis even when the curtains do not seem particularly dirty. If you wait until they become dirty then you will run the risk of having irremovable stains and discoloration.
  • Because of the fragility of the fabric these drapes are to be washed on a gentle cycle.
  • You should keep adequate space in the washing machine when washing sheer drapes.
  • You should allow them to soak in cold water with mild detergent for about 5 minutes before the wash cycle begins. If they are white or light colored you may opt to use a whitening bleach for colors. 

These curtains come out better when they are lightly dried in a machine on no heat and then left out to hang dry. The hang dry method will give you an opportunity to fix the curtains to hang how they normally would on your window. You can additional use an ironing board to straighten out the hems on the top and the bottom. A handheld steamer can also work as you can dry them whilst they are hanging. A rule of thumb: Always wash your curtains alone without any other articles in the washing machine. Do not keep them in the washing or dryer for a long time after the cycle is completed, since it will wrinkle up even more without removing them right away.


  • Linen curtains can be washed on a warm water cycle than sheer curtains but they should not be washed in hot water.
  • Hot water will wear out the color of most linen fabrics after a few washes.
  • They should also be washed on delicate or hand wash cycle.
  • Colored and patterned linen drapes should not be washed alongside white or ivory because the colors may run into each other in the machine during washing. 

They can be dried on low heat but require a lot of space to dry so you should not put more than 2 curtain panels at a time to dry. The curtains should not be over-dried and check regularly so that they do not become too hot. You can additionally iron linen drapes when they are still damp to remove creases and wrinkles.

Thermal Liners

Blackout thermal liners are sold separately which means they need to be washed on their own.

  • The foam backed liners are better hand washed than being put in the washing machine due to their delicate nature.
  • You can put the liners in your kitchen sink or bathtub for more space in order to wash them. Because the liners are a lighter weight than normal curtains the hand wash option will be easy.
  • You should still use mild laundry detergent in a small quantity.
  • Because you are hand-washing you have the ability to spot clean the liners which means that you are paying more attention to areas that need more cleaning than others; an option that is not available in a washer.
  • The liners should be line dried in an area that doesn’t not get a lot of sunlight but has breeze flowing through.
  • Another option to cleaning blackout liners is to have them vacuumed to remove dust particles.

This might be a better option for more frequent cleaning, especially for those that suffer from airborne allergies like dust. You can vacuum prior to hand-washing as well to ensure that all of the dirt has been removed.

Faux Silk

Faux silk drapes are suggested to be sent out to the cleaners but there is a way that you can hand wash them yourself.

  • Similar to the thermal liners you can wash them in a bathtub.
  • The only additional agent that you should use is adding a drop of vinegar to prevent the curtains from discoloration.
  • It is recommended that you do not wring out these curtains and dry them by using a towel.

Once the majority of the water is removed, they should be hung to dry in a place that is cool. You should not put them in the sun as the material will be damaged.