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Should You Wash Curtains Before Hanging?

Should You Wash Curtains Before Hanging?

Curtains have a utilitarian purpose in addition to being a great way to decorate and bring color to a space. However, many factors need to be taken into account when purchasing new curtains. Choosing whether or not to clean them is one of them.

Washing your curtains before hanging them is up to you, as it’s not necessary. However, some new curtains are a little stiff and may have a strong odor. Washing your curtains before hanging them for the first time will not only get rid of any smells, but it will also make them look and hang better when you put them up to your windows.

However, there is a lot to know when washing your curtains, so read on to learn more.

Should You Wash Your Curtains?

The quality and brilliance of any fabric are maintained by following specific washing guidelines, just like with any textile. Curtains, of course, are no exemption and although cleaning new curtains is not really required, washing them can prove to be a good idea for your house. However, it is absolutely fine if you choose not to or don’t want to wash your curtains. 

Curtains are made of cloth and it is possible to wash curtains as you would with any fabric if they become dirty. Cleaning curtains may assist in removing odors, softening the fabric, and restoring color and brightness to any patterns that may be present.

Keep in mind that when washing your curtains, make sure you read the washing directions and make sure you follow them to avoid problems like shrinking, fabric damage, and even wrinkling. 

How to Wash Your Curtains

There are three main ways you can wash your curtains:

1. Use a Washing Machine

Your curtains could be easily cleaned by just running them through the washing machine, depending on the fabric. Lightweight curtains perform better when using a washing machine than heavier ones that will hold water.

However, there are some fabrics that require extra care when placed in a washing machine, such as delicate cottons that might shrink in hot water. Therefore, make sure to read the label, before washing your curtains.

Using a washing machine

Use the delicate cycle if your washing machine has one, or go with a cool wash and a gradual spin. You may use your regular washing detergent without issue. If you are particularly concerned about the fabric shrinking, hand wash the curtains rather than risk putting them in the washing machine.

2. Hand Washing

Sometimes it can be safer to wash curtains by hand. Hand washing curtains is more work than just throwing them in the washing machine, but it lowers the chance that they may shrink, making it an excellent option for delicate fabrics like cotton. It’s better to avoid hand washing really heavy items though, as it’s challenging to get all the water out and it will take longer to dry.

You can either use a product made especially for hand cleaning delicates or your standard laundry detergent. However, to prevent harm to the fabric, it is advisable to use a mild soap. Before washing, make sure to follow the directions on the curtain you have selected as they can vary. 

3. Use a Steam Cleaner

One of the most practical ways to clean curtains is to use a decent steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment. Steam cleaning is a fantastic option for curtains made of really hefty fabrics or those that are particularly challenging to remove from the rail.

When steam cleaning, always begin at the top of the curtain and work your way down. If you see that the fabric is getting wet, move the appliance further away from the curtain.

Furthermore, make sure to read the manufacturer’s directions before using a steam cleaner, and keep in mind that steam may burn you, so make sure you’re wearing the right safety gear.

How to Dry Your Curtains After Washing

Refrain from putting damp curtains in the dryer, as even a hot iron may be unable to eliminate the tenacious wrinkles brought on by the tumbling action of the dryer.

Instead, the best method to dry them is to hang curtains outside, ideally somewhere windy. The wrinkles will disappear if the curtains are allowed to dry naturally while being hung up, and a short iron will restore their original beauty.

Should You Iron Curtains Before Hanging Them?

It’s a good idea to iron new curtains so they hang properly. The cloth can be softened by washing, and creases may be reduced by drying, but you might not have the time or room for both. In these situations, ironing is recommended. It may aid in folding and creating pleats while ensuring that your curtains hang properly.

However, make sure to read the label before doing anything, as certain textiles respond negatively to ironing.

Keep in mind that ironing is not required. Curtains may be hung without needing to be ironed. But, ironing can be your best option if you want to get rid of creases immediately.

Final Words on If You Should Wash Your Curtains Before Hanging

To sum it up, washing your curtains before hanging them is not necessary, but if you do so, it can prove to be beneficial. Your curtains will smell fresh, look good, and hang better.

Depending on the fabric of your curtain, you can either use a washing machine, steam cleaner, or even your hands to wash your curtains. On the other hand, if you just want to quickly freshen up your curtains, ironing can be a fantastic option.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.