How to Clean Your Curtains and Windows

With the warmer months upon us, it’s the perfect time to refresh our homes and let the sunlight in. The brighter days and longer evenings inspire a sense of renewal and energy, making it an ideal moment for some thorough cleaning. Your windows and window treatments are a fantastic way to start!

Get those windows open and let that crisp fresh air breeze through your house to sweep away the dust and cobwebs.

In this guide, we’ll cover the best ways to clean your windows and curtains – offering practical tips and tricks to achieve sparkling results.

How to Clean Your Windows

1. Supplies: What to Use?

Gather your cleaning supplies such as: window cleaning solution, bucket, water, microfiber cloths or sponges, and a squeegee to give you that streak-free finish.

TOP TIP! Pick a cloudy day or cooler parts of the day to prevent the cleaner from drying too quickly and leaving streaks.

2. Remove Dust, Debris, and Cobwebs

Start by brushing or vacuuming your window frames and sills, banishing those cobwebs and built-up dust.

3. Carefully Spray on Your Cleaning Solution

Make sure to push away your curtains or roll up your blinds before you start spraying. You can purchase many different window cleaning solutions, or if you have some white vinegar in the cupboard, you can mix up your own homemade mixture.

4. Wipe the Solution Using a Microfiber Cloth or Sponge

Remove any dirt or grime. Corners or the bottom of the window usually collect the most dust. Then, use a squeegee to wipe away the dirt. Start at the top and work your way down as the water will drip. Wipe the blade between each time and make sure not to accidentally flick water onto your carpet.

5. Finally, Wipe Away Any Excess Water

Use a clean and dry microfiber cloth for a streak-free, gleaming finish.

You’ll be left with bright, sparkling windows you’ll be glad to show off to your friends!

How to Clean Your Curtains

Before you start on any cleaning, always check the label in case your curtain fabric needs special care. Some curtains may need washing in cold water or may be dry-cleaned only.

How to Wash Curtains Without Taking Them Down

Depending on how much dirt has accumulated on your curtains, or how heavy the fabric is, you may wish to clean your curtains without taking them down to wash. You can do one or a combination of the following:

1. With a Vacuum Cleaner:

For this method, use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any loose dirt or dust. Doing this regularly can mean you don’t need to do a big clean, and you can give them a quick spruce up when you need. Always fully close your curtains and work top to bottom, paying special attention to the edges or where the curtains fold.

TOP TIP: Use your vacuum on a low suction to stop the fabric from getting sucked into the nozzle which could damage the fabric.

If the fabric is super lightweight (like sheer or voile), you may find it better to secure an old nylon stocking or pair of tights over the end with an elastic band – it’ll pick up bits of dust without taking the whole curtain with it! For super-delicate fabrics like silk, a feather duster might be your best bet for cleaning.

2. With a Steamer:

Using a steamer on your curtains is far superior to an iron (which can leave marks on the fabric). It helps to remove creases and loosens dirt and dust from the fabric. Usually, they are hand-held, so can be used easily while your curtains are hanging up. Again, work from top to bottom and open your curtains fully before you start. Take some time to work out the best distance to hold the steamer so the fabric doesn’t get wet.

3. Removing Mould:

Depending on the fabric, using a bristled brush with a mould-cleaning agent is a quick and easy way to remove areas of mould and mildew. Always gently rinse with water afterwards to remove any chemicals, and use a towel to extract any water. You can let your curtains air dry afterwards, allowing as much space between the curtains as possible for ventilation. Removing mould as early as you spot it can stop the mould from spreading.

TOP TIP: Ventilate your room as often as possible to help mould from building up. Some people use dehumidifiers to help keep humidity low and prevent moisture from being trapped into the fabric of your curtains. It’s also worth spot testing a less-visible place on your curtain first, to check how the mould cleaning agent reacts with your fabric before you commit to the whole curtain.

How to Wash Curtains in the Machine

Always consider how easy it will be to wash your curtains in the machine before taking them down. Heavy-duty fabrics (like velvet) are difficult to dry, and delicate fabrics can shrink in the wash – so always refer to the care label.

  • First, take down your curtains and remove the hooks or any other hardware.
  • Give your curtains a good shake outside (or a quick vacuum) to remove as much dust as possible.
  • Wash the curtain panels in cold water with an appropriate detergent on a delicate cycle.
  • Dry on the lowest heat setting or leave them to dry on a laundry line.
  • Get your curtains hung back up as soon as they’re dry to prevent wrinkles. You could use a steamer to iron out any crinkles.

TOP TIP: For lace or sheer curtains, try washing in a mesh bag to avoid snagging.

How to Handwash Your Curtains

If your curtains are in need of a deep clean that can’t be achieved whilst they’re hanging, and they can’t be put in the machine – try a hand wash in a sink basin or bath!

  • Submerge one panel at a time in a basin of soapy lukewarm or cold water, and swirl them around, delicately brushing any areas with stains or marks.
  • Keep draining and refilling the basin until all the dust and soap has gone.
  • Press the water (do not squeeze) out of the curtain and hang the curtains on a laundry line before rehanging.

And that’s it! If you’re not sure, or don’t feel confident with the best method of cleaning, consult a professional or send your curtains to the dry cleaners.

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