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Clean Drapes


Clean Drapes

Photo Credit: Erik Snyder/Getty Images

My grandmother's drapes were my favorite place in her home. I loved to curl up behind the drapes and sun myself in the window with a new favorite book. They always seemed to be fresh and clean...and I took little thought for how she kept them that way...until I had my own drapes.
Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Weekly Care

    Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to vacuum drapes on a regular basis. The tops of your drapes and the folds will accumulate dust, so be sure to dust the entire surface area, top to bottom.

  2. Washing Drapes

    Check your drape's care instructions. Many drapes will need to be dry cleaned. If this is the case, trying to wash the drapes on your own is probably a bad idea. Even if the drapery fabric itself is safe for washing, the inner lining may not be. Washing them on your own is a gamble, if the instructions call for a professional cleaning.

  3. Home Washing Test

    Even if your drape's care instructions say that they are safe for home washing, spot check your drapes. Pick a hidden corner and test it in a small bowl of warm water and detergent to see if the color begins to bleed. If it does, or any other noticeable changes occur, do the safe thing, and take it to your dry cleaner.


  1. Be sure to remove all pins, hangers, and other hardware from your drapes before washing.
  2. Don't forget to dust valances, curtain rods, finials, and any other part of the drapery that will collect dust.

What You Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Dry cleaner
  • (or) Washing machine
  • Small bowl
  • Water
  • Detergent

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