Curtain & Drape Cleaning
Curtain or drapery cleaning is something that you might not think about until your curtains are beyond saving. If you let them get to a point where they can no longer be effectively cleaned, you will need to replace them. Depending on the types of curtains you have, this can be costly. To prevent having to replace your valuable curtain panels or draperies, a little maintenance is needed.
Do It Yourself Drapery and Curtain Cleaning
Do it yourself cleaning is fairly limited for most panels. Expensive drapes will typically need to be cleaned by a professional to protect them. In these cases, you will want to stick to vacuuming your drapes exclusively. Use a drapery attachment on an upright vacuum. Most vacuum cleaners come with a drapery nozzle that can be attached to the hose. Vacuum your drapes once a month to remove dust, dander and soil.
If your drapes have a tag saying that they are machine washable, you should consider yourself fortunate. To clean them, simply remove them from the window and wash them in your homes washing machine. You will typically want to use the gentlest setting. Take care when drying them to avoid shrinking them. Using the low or no heat cycle would be advisable.
Professional Drape & Curtain Cleaning
If your drapes are not labeled or if they say to use a professional, there are two basic methods they might use. The first is steam cleaning or hot water extraction. This method will be used on more durable draperies that are not prone to shrinking. Your cleaner will typically clean them on site, while they hang using a portable or truck mounted cleaning machine. The machine will spray water from a jet onto the fabric and simultaneously extract it. This will remove soil and leave a limited amount of moisture.
Some drapes or curtains may be too delicate for cleaning with water. In these cases, your cleaner will use solvent (odorless mineral spirits) to clean them. The procedure is similar to wet cleaning except instead of spraying water on the drape, solvent will be used. Because solvent is being sprayed, some will vaporize so you will ant to be out of the room while this type of cleaning is being performed. The cleaner themselves will need to wear a respirator.