Can Curtains be Washed in Washing Machine? (Explained)

Curtains are among the most important pieces of home decor.

They add a touch of elegance to your home and provide privacy.

Furthermore, it also blocks the dust from outside and lets just enough light into the room to make you feel comfortable.

With that said, no matter how low maintenance your curtains are, over time they tend to get dirty and need to be cleaned regularly just like any other fabrics.

Curtains can be washed in a washing machine as long as the care label recommends it. Not all curtains are made of the same material, therefore they may require different washing methods depending on the fabric type. Having said that, in most cases, curtains are washer friendly.

In this article, we will explain how to clean curtains effectively using various methods.

How Often should you wash Curtains?

Overtime curtains can accumulate dust on either side and they need to be washed with utmost care like any other clothing.

It’s best to wash your curtain once every two weeks or depending on the severity of the dirt and stain.

If you are located in an area where there is limited dust and dirt then you can always extend the washing period to once a month or once every two months.

What are the common types of curtains?

Curtains are available in a variety of fabric materials, from lightweight cotton to heavy velvet fabric.

The type of fabric you choose will depend on your needs and your budget.

common types of curtains

Here are some common curtain fabric types.

Cotton

It is a popular choice for curtains because it’s lightweight and is considered a breathable fabric.

It also has a natural resistance to dust and wrinkles, making it easy to care for.

cotton curtains

Linen

Linen is a strong and durable fabric that gets softer with each wash. It’s perfect for rooms that are exposed to direct sunlight, as it has excellent light-blocking properties.

Silk

This material type falls under a luxurious category that adds a touch of glamour to any room.

It’s also very effective at blocking out light and noise, making it ideal for bedrooms and home offices.

Velvet

Velvet is a rich and luxurious fabric that makes a bold statement in any room.

These fabric types are among the expensive choices and need additional care.

Curtain Washing Process

Let us move towards the different cleaning methods involved to wash your curtains effectively.

There are two methods used to wash curtains.

  • Hand Wash
  • Machine Wash
  • Dry Cleaning (It’s best it get it done through an expert)

Let’s take a quick look at all the 3 methods to wash curtains starting with pre-requisites.

Pre-Requisites for Washing Curtains

Washing curtains can be a challenge, especially because of the size.

They are relatively long and heavy as compared to other laundry items, therefore it’s difficult to get an even wash.

In order to address this issue, you can follow the pre-requisites before giving the curtains a final wash.

Let’s take a look at the pre-requisites to clean curtains.

Read Care Label

Before you proceed with the washing process, the first thing to look upon is the care label on the curtains.

A care label contains the fabric material details and specific washing instructions.

Most care labels suggest hand washing or dry cleaning and some can be machine washed.

With that said, a few may allow both machine-wash as well as hand-wash.

Let us begin with the pre-treating process before you wash them.

Pre-Treat the Stains and Dirt

If your curtains are too dirty or have stains on them, then make sure to pre-treat them before washing.

pre-treat curtains

So, before washing your curtains, as a Pre-Treating step, remove any hardware and shake the curtain to remove any dust.

Next, spot-clean the stains and dirt using a gentle stain remover, or you can mix some detergent in a bowl of water and use that solution to pre-treat the curtain.

Follow the below steps to pre-treat your curtains effectively.

Step 1: Fill a bucket with warm water and add a detergent to the water. Mix the water and the detergent thoroughly.

Step 2: Apply mild soap and a few drops of detergent solution to the affected portion.

Step 3: Scrub them using a sponge for a minute or so and let the solution settle for another 5 minutes.

Step 4: Dip the affected portion in the bucket and leave it for 15 minutes. Now rub the stained area with a sponge to remove the stain as much as you can.

How To Wash Curtains using Hands?

Washing curtains by hand are tedious and time-consuming, but it also prevents the material from shrinking.

If possible, try to hand wash the curtains, since it gives complete control over the washing process.

Here are the steps to hand wash curtains with care.

Step 1: Fill a large bucket with water and add a cup of mild soap that is suitable for delicate fabrics. (Make sure the bucket accommodates the curtain with ample room).

Step 2: Place the curtain in the bucket and let it submerge with the solution.

Step 3: Start by agitating the curtain around the bucket in circular and reverse motions for around a few minutes.

Step 4: Let it settle in the bucket for around 20 minutes and then, gently swish and swirl the fabric to remove any soap residue. 

Step 5: Rinse the curtain well, and then hang it up to dry. To prevent snagging, you may use an old towel to blot up any excess water.

Quick Tip: If your curtains are made from silk, you should avoid hand-washing them, since they are delicate. Instead, dry cleaning them is a good option. Just check the care label if the curtains are made of silk.

How to keep the curtains clean for longer without a wash?

Keep curtains clean for long time

You can keep your curtains clean for longer without washing them by simply following a few useful tips listed below.

Spot Clean while Hanging

You can spot-clean the curtains while they are hanging around in your room or near the windows.

Use Vaccum Cleaner

vacuum cleaner to clean curtain

During the cleaning process, you can use a lint roller or a vacuum cleaner. Using them will remove dust and other particles. Just use the lowest suction setting and keep it at least an inch away from the curtain. 

While they are still hanging, you should vacuum the floor near the curtains. This will pick up any fallen dust or dander. 

Use Talcum Powder

Use talcum powder to soak up the moisture.

You can use this trick for a few hours, then use a baby wipe to remove the stain.

Use Hair Dryer

You can also use a hairdryer by setting it to cold and a feather duster to blow the dust from delicate fabrics. 

use hair dryer

Use Lint Roller

For Light and other delicate fabrics, you can use a lint roller or a hairdryer. Keep in mind that most dust tends to accumulate in the bottom half of the window.

How To Wash Curtains In A Washing Machine?

Below are the steps with some useful tips to wash your Curtains using a washing machine.

Front loaders are the best options to wash curtains, especially curtains with delicate fabrics.

Step 1: Put the curtains in your washer

Add the pre-treated curtain to your washing machine and fill the tub until it’s submerged.

Alternatively, you may place your curtain in a large mesh bag before washing.

Note – Overloading your washer can ruin them completely, so you should only wash in a washing machine if it is able to accommodate the size of your curtain.

Step 2: Add Mild Detergent

Make use of a mild detergent suitable for delicate fabrics and set the washer to cold water wash.

It’s important to note that, if the fabric dyes are too delicate to be cleaned with a washing machine, use a color catcher dye trapping sheet to prevent them from bleeding.)

Also, remember not to wash other items in the machine, as this can cause a stain.

Additionally, do not use bleach or other harsh chemicals that may change the color of the fabric. They may also leave stains on the curtains. 

Instead, use liquid laundry products that do not contain any dyes.

This way, you won’t have to worry about your curtains turning blue or some other color when you’re done washing.

Step 3: Select the correct wash cycle

If the Curtains are made of light material then use a gentle cycle along with cold water wash settings. And set the soil level as normal.

Next, hit the start button to run the wash cycle.

Step 4: Remove the curtains post wash

After the wash cycle is completed remove the curtain from the washtub immediately, to prevent wrinkling. 

Step 5: Dry the Curtain

Dry them flat and avoid using a clothes dryer to dry them, as this can cause shrinkage.

Simply hang them on a clothesline to dry, you don’t need any special equipment or prep work to dry your curtains

Note – Most people prefer to use a hair dryer to dry the curtains but they can shrink or damage delicate fabrics. And if you are using a steam cleaner, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to keep your curtains dry.

Also Read: How To Wash Curtain With Hooks? (Comprehensive Guide)

Curtain caring tips while washing

  • If you’re washing silk curtains, use a lukewarm solution of Epsom salt. This will restore their crisp feel. For delicate fabrics, you can also use a pressing cloth. 
  • For synthetic curtains, most will withstand the standard washing and drying cycle. Some, however, require professional cleaning or hand washing. 
  • For silk or velvet curtains, separate the curtains into two piles, based on color. 
  • If you’re washing multiple curtains, select the gentle cycle and use a mild detergent.
  • Never use bleach to clean silk or velvet fabrics, as this will ruin the fabric.

Final Thoughts

Without regular cleaning, your curtains can literally become dust magnets and attract allergens.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that you clean your curtains at least every three to six months.

Moreover, regular cleaning will help maintain the beauty and quality of your curtains.

The right washing process will not only prolong the lifespan of your curtain but also keep the curtains from looking dirty and untidy.

Once the curtains are cleaned in the washing machine, they should be rinsed thoroughly and left to dry naturally. 

If the curtains are heavy, they may take a long time to dry. To avoid this, you can also steam them for better results.

Lastly, vacuuming the curtains should be a regular part of your cleaning routine.