What Care And Maintenance Is Needed For Curtains and Blinds?
Not surprisingly, your curtains and blinds need regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them in great shape. But - don't worry - this doesn't have to be a difficult process. There are lots of simple tricks to help your curtains and blinds look their best, as well as a range of products and services to help with maintenance over time.
Let's start with some simple tips to help keep your curtains tidy and extend their lifespan.
Caring For Curtains
Including curtains in your normal cleaning routine will help you keep on top of things with minimal cost or effort.
While you're vacuuming the rest of your home, freshen up your drapes too. You can use a soft brush attachment to get rid of everyday dust and dirt, and ensure your curtains look good longer between the more heavy-duty cleans.
Make sure you get to those hard-to-reach spots at the top of the curtains by using a long, extendable handle. If your curtains are a delicate or made from a lightweight fabric, gently shaking them will also help keep any dust at bay.
Just like other furniture and clothing, curtains absorb smells from around your home, especially food aromas or smoke. These can make your curtains smell a bit 'off' and may create stains over time if they are left to build up (especially for light-coloured drapes).
When the weather forecast allows for it, take your curtains off the rail and hang them outdoors. This helps reduce the impact of those wandering aromas. If that's not an option, open the windows and let the fresher air circulate.
Keeping your home smelling great also helps keep your curtains crisp. If airing isn't doing the job, you can always purchase a spray deodoriser to give your drapery a regular once-over. Take care you don't use chemicals that might harm your curtain fabric (check those labels and ask for help if you need it).
WASHING AND DRYING
As well as routine touch-ups, your curtains need a thorough clean every few months. The type of drapery will determine the washing technique you need to use, so always check the labels on fabrics before washing or dry-cleaning for any special care instructions.
Most lightweight curtains can be cleaned in your washing machine. Ensure you remove all hooks and any other curtain hardware before putting them in the machine. Typically, they should be washed on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Don't wash anything else with your curtains - you might overload your machine or have colour-bleed.
If your curtains are made with delicate fabric or materials, you should ideally wash them by hand to prevent shrinking and tearing. You may be able to wash them inside an old pillowcase to stop them from getting damaged but it's best to scrub by hand if you can.
Heavy fabric curtains should be machine-washed or dry-cleaned, depending on individual fabric recommendations. Curtains with linings can usually be machine-washed. The heavier the fabric, the longer it will take to dry. It may be easier to have them dry-cleaned to save the hassle.
You can hang your curtains on a clothesline or run them through a dryer. If you use the machine, make sure you dry them using a setting with minimal heat that is suitable for delicate material. Too much heat is a sure-fire way to ruining some fabrics and backings.
Don't forget to wash and wipe your curtain rods, rings and hooks too. They can get dirty too, and you don't want to mess up your new clean drapes.
If your curtain material is expensive, rare or unusual, it's best to consult a professional about maintenance - at least the first time you attempt to clean them.
Caring For Blinds
Like curtains, indoor blinds work hard everyday and, every now and then, they need some TLC. It's a small price to pay to keep your home stylish and hygienic.
How you clean your blinds is determined by their construction or material, rather than the actual style of blind. For example, a fabric vertical blind would be cleaned in much the same way as a fabric horizontal blind.
Give these a routine dust or vacuum using an upholstery attachment, just like your curtains, to keep grime to a minimum. You can spot-clean individual stains or patches with a dry sponge (also known as a rubber sponge) with mild detergent and warm water. If your blinds get badly stained or the buildup becomes too much, pay a visit to the dry-cleaner.
Keep timber blinds spick-and-span using a duster or a wipe. Avoid using water on timber blinds because the wood will absorb the water and may decay or develop a moldy smell. Again, a dry sponge does a good job with dust and residue but a clean rag or sock can also be just as effective. When you're wiping, always go from top to bottom, so any residue falling off gets picked up as you work your way down.
Aluminum blinds can also be wiped down with wet cloth and soapy water. But, with this material, you can also soak your blinds in the bath or sink if that's easier for you. Add dishwashing detergent to the mix and your blinds will come clean in no time. Just make sure to dry them properly before rehanging.
If your blinds are hanging in an area with lots of moisture - like a kitchen or bathroom - they may collect extra grime or grease, and need a more vigorous wipe and polish.
If equipment on your blinds isn't working properly - for example, the cords you use to raise and lower the blind aren't doing their job anymore - your blinds might need a more thorough check-up from a professional.
Still not sure what to do with your window furnishings?