Autumn Cleaning – Day 23

2Day 23 Whole House – CurtainsBefore cleaning your curtains and draperies, read the care instructions carefully to determine whether you can wash them or whether you should have them dry-cleaned.

• Measure curtains before washing in case you need to stretch them back into shape. Be sure to remove hooks and any weights, and loosen the tapes so they lie flat.
• Before doing the curtain cleaning, dust them by running them through a dryer set to the no-heat cycle. Or shake them out, lay them on a bed, and dust with the vacuum brush attachment.
• Don’t overload the washing machine, and remember that curtains will become much heavier when wet.
• If hand washing, don’t rub or wring the fabric; just agitate it gently.
• Try to dry curtains over two parallel lines so wet surfaces don’t touch. Don’t let the curtains rest on wood, which could stain them.
• Iron while damp along the vertical length on the side that doesn’t show. If parts of the fabric have already dried, dampen the entire curtain again to avoid water marks.
• Stretch seams gently while ironing to avoid puckering, then spread the curtains out on a clean surface, such as a bed, and pull them to the correct size.
• When curtains are dry, insert hooks and weights, and pull tape to correct width.
• You might be able to save a step by hanging your curtains, then using either a handheld steamer or the vertical steaming of a regular steam iron to smooth them.
• Before rehanging the curtains, clean valances fixed to the wall. Vacuum an upholstery valance with the upholstery attachment and a wooden valance with the crevice tool; clean a plastic valance with a sponge dipped in a solution of liquid detergent and water.
• Rehanging is easiest when one person stands on a ladder to insert the hooks and another stands below to make sure the curtains don’t drag on the floor.