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We have several long heavy curtains in our living room and bedrooms. They’re so dusty and have never been washed. Is our only option dry cleaning?


Posted anonymously, 21st December 2020


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  • I like the idea of hanging them on the line and hosing them down. It is usually just dust on them, then let the sun dry them and spray with Febreeze so they smell fresh


  • Have you tried vacuuming them? That should get the worst of the dust out.


  • Is steam cleaning an option? One that you can do with a hand held like machine


  • Would depend on the fabric plastic backed for sun-blocked sometimes these are a nightmare if you wash in your washing machine. A friend had put hers in the washing machine and all the plastic backing came off and clogged her washing machine so bad the repair man said the drum had to come out took three hours for him to thoroughly clean and repair. Might be best to take to a laundry mat and have them wash them or call a company to take them and clean them. Otherwise one by one vacuum off the dust, rinse and wash in the bath tub and drip dry on the clothes-line.


  • On a hot day, wash In the bath tub with a bit of washing liquid, then rinse them out, ring them out then hang them up on the clothes line. Or alternative, hang then on the line outside and squirt them down with a hose haha just make sure you do it on a super warm to hot day so they dry properly


  • some these days say dry clean only or wash on gentle wash with a mild detergent and hang under shade, so remember to look at the tab on the curtain first before you wash.


  • I’d vacuum them them first to remove the majority of the dust, then put them in the bathtub with a mild detergent and tepid water. Hang immediately, in the shade, and let drip dry.


  • We have washed curtains on gentle wash for years and years and a gentle wash with a gentle washing powder does the job. Ensure the curtains get washed and hung on the line on a warm day for complete drying. We have never had any issues with the block out coming away/perishing.


  • I have washed large curtains over the years and as mentioned it’s about the rubber coating on the back. Some wash better than others and the main thing is as soon as you wash them, hang them up as the last thing you want is the coating to stick together. Cold wash please.


  • If they don’t fit in the washing machine or are delicate, you could wash them by hand in the bathtub and then hang immediately. Or just vacuum them while they’re hanging, or hang on the washing line and hose them down.


  • I would actually need to know the answer too. I need to wash large sofa cover. I was thinking to take it to the public washing machine place since there are big ones.


  • Totally depends on the material – if it is backed with plastic I would be wary of washing in case the coating comes off – try wetting a small section to see if it stays intact. Some heavy curtains can be washed gently in a large machine or in a laundromat machine, just make sure you hang out straight away so the backing is facing outwards (so it won’t stick together and pull off). Curtains that cannot be washed may be able to be freshened by using a steamer or an upholstery cleaner like a Bissell spot cleaner. You could also ask a drycleaner for a cost estimate and their opinion after showing them a portion of the curtain?


  • When they’re long and heavy it’s the question if they fit in the washing machine, but when they fit then most washing machine have a special program for curtains (mine does). Otherwise it depands on the material (they often have a label with washing instructions). When they’re made of the thicker material with back coating you could alternatively lay them out and sponge them off.


  • Oh I would like to know too, the unit we are currently living in at my step dad’s has heavy curtains too.


  • I wash our heavy curtains with a gentle wash.


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