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We’ve all been there – standing in our living room, looking at our drape and wondering how long it’s been since they were last cleaned. But here’s the thing. Although it may not seem like something you need to do often, cleaning drape is an important part of keeping them looking and smelling nice.

When drape are used at weddings or for special events, it’s even more important that they look their best. After all, these are among the main features of any room, and first impressions count!

This comprehensive guide will take you through all the steps necessary for cleaning drape effectively and some valuable tips to keep them in perfect condition.

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Does Drape Need To Be Cleaned?

In a word? Yes! Regularly cleaning your drape has two main benefits – improved air quality and aesthetics. Plus, you’d be hard-pressed to find a place where drape don’t accumulate dust or allergens over time.

“Some might say it’s like an unwritten rule of interior décor. The dirt and grime will eventually affect your drape’s longevity without diligent cleaning.”

People inhaling dust and allergens from dusty drape could suffer health problems, such as asthma or allergic reactions. So now that we know why we should be cleaning them let’s figure out when it’s time for a deep drape cleanse.

How Do You Know When Drape Need To Be Cleaned?

Sometimes our beloved curtains may scream “Clean me!” with visible layers of dust settling on top or gritty textures as you touch them. This is especially true for lighter, plain fabrics that don’t have a pattern to hide the dust.

Other times, it might be more subtle – like how your once-vibrant curtains now look faded from their former glory. Like most things in life, one size does not fit all; hence, no universal answer suits this query for every home.

“To keep things running smoothly, though, try setting up a regular cleaning schedule based on factors such as material and usage – think seasonal curtain spruce-ups!”

Preparing Drape For Cleaning

Before diving headfirst into drape-cleansing waters, let’s lay some groundwork. Proper preparation is essential for successful drape cleaning, so follow these steps mindfully:

Remove The Drape

We know the excitement of completing tasks can sometimes lead to hasty moves. But this is one area where being gentle and careful will pay off immensely. Slowly remove your drape from their rods or tracks while handling the fabric delicately to avoid damage. You don’t want any rips or tears making a mess of your cleaning efforts.

Removing Hooks And Other Hardware

If you have ever lost a piece of jewelry while doing your daily chores, you’ll know how annoying it can be to search high and low for it later. Well, drape hooks, rings, or other hardware are no different! Before washing your drape, ensure that all hooks and hardware are safely detached and stored so they won’t go missing during their refreshing dip.

Vacuum And Dust The Drape

Before washing (or steam-cleaning), thoroughly vacuum or dust your drape to remove loose dirt particles. It will make a difference in your final product and is much quicker than you think!

Make sure you choose the proper vacuum attachment for each curtain type by considering its fabric type. For example, use a soft brush if you have a velvet drape and an upholstery attachment for curtains with heavy fabric.

Hoovering dust from drape

“Remember, nobody likes repeat work due to carelessness. To avoid this pitfall when vacuuming curtains – work systematically by dividing them into sections! Go around the drape, working from top to bottom or side to side.”

Check For Stains, Fading, Or Damage

Once free from visible dirt and dust, inspect your drape for signs of stains, fading, or damage. These problem areas may need special attention during the washing phase.

“Keep a mental note (or even a photo) of these trouble spots to ensure you address them accordingly during cleaning.”

How To Clean Drape

Now that you have prepared your curtains for cleaning, it’s time to tackle the actual washing. Depending on the fabric of your drape, you may choose to either steam-wash, machine-wash or hand-wash them.

Using A Steamer To Clean Drape

Ever used a steamer for clothes? The same concept applies to draperies! It releases steam onto the fabric, which loosens and removes dirt. It is an excellent option for delicate fabrics that can’t be machine washed.

Steam cleaning drape

Steam Cleaning Benefits For Drape

For starters, steam cleaning drape does an excellent job of removing dust and allergens without harsh chemicals or physically removing the drape from its hardware. Additionally, steam eliminates odors like tobacco smoke or pet smells that might cling to the fabric.

Choosing The Right Steamer

Selecting a suitable steamer might be overwhelming with all those gadgets available in stores today! Fret not; we’ve got your back! When purchasing a steamer, consider factors such as:

  • Size (handheld vs. upright)
  • Needs (frequency of use)
  • Budget
  • Attachments and accessories
  • Power

It’s best to look out for customer reviews & recommendations before making a choice.

Proper Steaming Technique

Steam cleaning seems straightforward – heat the water in the steamer and go! But there are a few details you ought to pay attention to if you want optimal results. First, don’t get too close to the drape while steaming. Keep a few inches of distance to avoid scalding or burning your fabric.

“Start from the top and move in a slow, deliberate vertical motion, being cautious not to linger too long on a single spot to prevent fabric damage.”

Washing Drape

If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach or want to tackle stubborn dirt on your draperies, washing might be the best option. When done appropriately, it does an outstanding job of removing dirt, grime, and stubborn stains. Moreover, the fresh scent that comes with laundering is a great bonus.

Hand Washing Delicate Drape

Hand washing is best when dealing with intricate, delicate fabrics or fragile linings (hello, antique lace!). All you need is some mild detergent and a large basin or tub.

Hand washing drape in water and detergent
  1. Mix lukewarm water with detergent in your basin/tub.
  2. Immerse your delicate curtains in this soapy mix.
  3. Gently swish the curtains using your hands (avoid wringing) for several minutes.
  4. Drain the wash water & add clean water for rinsing until there’s no soap left.

And that’s all there is to hand-washing delicate draperies! Just be gentle with them throughout the process so they’ll look lovely for longer.

Machine Washing Drape

“This method is typically reserved for more sturdy polyester, cotton, or velvet drape. Use the cold water setting with a mild detergent & follow other specific guidelines as manufacturers indicate.”

You may find relevant information on the curtain labels for care instructions on cycle settings.

Liquid detergents work best! Remember to use a mild detergent that’s gentle on the fabric. As for fabric softeners, it ultimately depends on the material used in your drape – check care instructions or consult an expert if you’re unsure.

Spot Cleaning Stains And Spills

In some cases, you may need to spot-clean your drape. These situations typically don’t require a full wash. Instead, you can use a gentle spot-cleaning method to remove the stain.

Identifying The Type Of Stain

Is it red wine or coffee? Knowing the type of stain helps determine which cleaner should be used. Some stains require commercial-strength products, while others can be treated with simple homemade remedies.

“Based on the material of your curtains and the type of stain, opt for either commercial products (like oxy cleaners) or trusty DIY solutions (like water & white vinegar).”

Applying The Stain Remover And Blotting

You’ll want to be gentle when spot-cleaning. Dampen a sponge/soft cloth with a cleaning solution and gently blot from the outer edges towards the center. Don’t rub! Be patient and persistent for the best results. You can then rinse the area with a damp cloth after stain removal is complete & pat dry using another soft cloth/towel.

Drying Drape

At last, the hard part is done! Now it’s time to get the curtains dry. There are two options available for drying – air drying & machine drying.

Air Drying – This is the most gentle option for drying your curtains and will help minimize any risk of shrinkage or color fading. Lay the curtains flat in a well-ventilated area, and keep them away from direct sunlight as this may cause discoloration.

Machine Drying – If you choose the machine drying route, use a low-heat setting for the best results. If you are unsure about the fabric of your curtains, it is always safer to air dry them than machine drying. Machine drying may also cause shrinkage or color fading due to the high heat.

Differences Between Types Of Drape

Have you ever wondered how to best care for your drape? Well, you’re not alone. Like friends, drape come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Knowing the differences between these drape materials can help you determine the best cleaning methods and prolong their life. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of drapery!

Linen Drape – Linen drape is popular due to their natural texture and soft touch. They provide a casual yet elegant feel, allowing sunlight to filter through gently. In general, linen drape can be machine-washed on cold with a mild detergent without fabric softeners – bonus points if they air dry.

Cotton Drape – Cotton drape come in various beautiful colors and patterns. Their lovely appearance matches their durability, making them an excellent choice for busy households. When cleaning cotton draperies, using a gentle detergent in cool water will keep them looking fresh while avoiding shrinkage.

Silk Drape – Silk is luxurious and oh-so-soft! We could go on about its “silky-smooth” elegance all day long. The bad news? Cleaning silk can be tricky if we want to avoid damage. Light vacuuming using brush attachments is highly recommended; however, if stains occur or deeper cleaning is required, consult professional cleaners specializing in silk fabrics.

Sheer Drape – Sheer curtains have a way of dispersing light magnificently while providing privacy at the same time. Be extra careful when cleaning these delicate draperies; mild detergent and gentle machine washing should keep them spick-and-span without losing their magical touch.

Synthetic Drape – Synthetic might sound like a negative word, but it’s a game-changer in the world of drape. Materials like polyester, nylon, or blends can be durable and slightly water-resistant. Synthetic does not mean you should go crazy with the washing, though – gentle cleaning is still recommended here. Turning inside out before washing can also protect these draperies from any accidental snagging.

Wool or Cashmere Drape – Wool and Cashmere have an unmatched level of warmth and coziness, making them perfect for colder climates. Dry-cleaning is typically considered the safest option when cleaning wool or cashmere draperies to maintain these natural fibers’ appeal.

Velvet Drape – To keep your luxurious velvet curtains looking lovely, you’ll want to avoid harsh chemicals. Opt for light vacuuming instead to remove any dust or debris.

Maintaining Clean Drape Tips

Now that we’ve learned about different drape materials, let’s discuss some general tips to maintain their pizzazz!

Regular Vacuuming And Dusting

Following a regular vacuuming/dusting routine can work wonders in preventing dirt accumulation.

“Bust out those vacuum attachments every couple of weeks and get into the habit of maintaining stunning-looking curtains. The eventual big cleaning will be much easier, and your drape will stay spotless longer.”

Scheduling Routine Professional Cleaning

For certain materials, professional cleaning will help ensure longevity while retaining their vivacity. Surrender your drape to a professional cleaner specializing in curtains and fabric materials so you don’t risk damaging them.

Addressing Stains And Spills Immediately

Accidents happen – whether a coffee spill or a stubborn stain, responding quickly can save your drape from permanent marks.

“If you let the stain settle in, it may be much harder to remove. Don’t forget to check your drape for any hidden stains on the inside and remember the specific cleaning requirements for different material types.”


Knowing the differences between drape materials is crucial to create an aesthetic environment with long-lasting drape. Equipping yourself with proper cleaning methods tailored to each material type will help maintain their vibrancy and avoid disasters.

Speaking of avoiding disasters, let us introduce you to us Quest Events – North America’s market leader providing pipe and drape solutions for various industries. For expert advice or assistance with your next event or project, contact Quest Events today!

Clean Drape FAQs

How often should you clean your drape and curtains?

Generally speaking, every 3-6 months would be a good benchmark. However, it depends on the material type – luxurious fabrics like silk would require more specialized care.

How do you clean drape without washing them?

Vacuuming gently with brush attachments or spot-cleaning using mild detergents can help maintain the cleanliness of your curtains without necessarily having to wash them.

Can you put drape in the dryer?

Cotton and synthetic materials usually tolerate dryer usage (low heat setting). However, delicate fabrics like silk are best left outside for air drying. Always check labels for specific guidelines!

How do you remove creases from drape after washing them?

Methods such as ironing on low heat settings (cotton-friendly) or steaming can help smoothen creases on your washed curtains.

Can you clean the drape and curtains while hanging?

Yes! Light dusting and vacuuming are practical ways to clean hanging curtains. Some steamers and fabric fresheners are also designed to be used on drape while still attached.