Updated at: 23-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

The standardized test rule of cleaning curtains is not the same way as dry cleaning alone. But sometimes, it is not practical to clean without knowing the steps or best practices to adopt, and as such, you want to adjust to make the weather friendly to your curtains.

In this case of how to dry clean only curtains, we will give a detailed explanation that will guide you on dry cleaning curtains only.

You can also consider keeping your curtains dry and clean. You may try to do it yourself, as taking the curtain to dry cleaners may be quite expensive.

If you want to dry clean only curtains and use the regular washing and iron method, you will be at risk of altering the curtain fabric’s look and nature.

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You will learn the best and simple method to dry clean only curtains if you would like to do it yourself.

Note: dry clean only curtains require special treatment in maintaining and keeping them clean, and you can not use any method. If dried outside, the fabrics attract much dust to themselves due to the moisture (water) contained in them.

Easy steps on how to dry clean only curtains

The following listed steps will guide you on how to dry clean only curtains, and a simple understanding of the steps will keep you informed on how to do it yourself.

Step #1: Use of Washing Machine

If you already have a washing machine, then this step can be the best option for you to adopt. Note that you are not washing the curtain fabrics like the normal way to dry clean regular clothes.

You follow this process because common fabrics might be colored, and mixing them will only help the colored fabric color the other one (Curtain) – causing alteration in its color.

To use the washing machine successfully in dry-cleaning-only curtains, you need to put only the curtain in the washing machine and change the lukewarm water to cool or cold water. The reason is, cold water helps to sink the detergent in the soaked fabrics for easier washing.

Use a detergent or soap that is only recommended for light fabrics or only curtains in washing because regular or normal detergent has reactive chemicals that can alter the fabrics’ texture.

And for curtains that have a line, you will hold the hem of the fabric to where the line stops and wash gently.

This practice only tries to retain the line on the curtains. Do the line washing till you get to the last line, and then hang the curtain to dry or spread the fabric and allow it to dry.

Step #2: Washing the Curtain at Home

In an attempt to answer “How to dry clean only curtains,” the method of washing the fabric at home (do it yourself), maybe effective here as the cost of hiring professional curtain dry cleaners may be costly.

Amazingly, this step is simple but complicated if you have not yet gotten the real guide on how to start.

This step involves taking a washing basin ( or any equipment you use to wash, preferably the tub) and fill with cold water.

Pour the recommended detergent for washing curtains only in the water and stir. Take the curtain and put it gently in the tub, and wash as carefully as you can.

This action only helps to avoid alteration in either its color or texture. Next, clean the line curtain – if your curtain has a line, gently and avoid roughing the fabric, to keep its texture and make it look neat.

Wash the lines in the curtain gently from one line to another.

Keep washing till you get an even washing in the fabrics. Hang the washed fabrics/curtains to avoid rumpling the line curtains.

Pay special attention to the type of detergent you want to use and check its recommendation before using it as this detergent can cause damage to your fabrics.

How To Clean Curtains - Get any type of curtain clean and dust-free

For these tutorials, more answers have been added below for your understanding.

How to dry Clean Only Curtains Without Bringing Them Down?

If you don’t want to bring your curtain down to wash, and you are looking for a way to keep the curtain clean, use;

  • Vacuum to free the curtain from dust
  • Brush to brush up the tiny fibers of the curtain
  • Shake the curtain to free it from dust.

How To Clean Curtains

The best way to clean your curtains depends on the material they’re made from, so take a moment to check. Start with a seasonal cleaning then keep up with the maintenance cleaning instructions below.

If you’re unsure what type of curtains you have, stick to the maintenance cleaning instructions (described at the bottom of this post), so you don’t damage your window coverings.

Garment Fabric Curtains

  1. Remove all hardware.
  2. Shake outdoors if possible.
  3. Wash two panels at a time on the delicate cycle using the cold setting.
  4. Dry on a low-heat setting.
  5. Immediately remove from the dryer to prevent wrinkles and rehang.

Sheer Fabric or Lace Curtains

The lightweight fabric of these curtains makes them prone to wrinkling and snagging when they’re wet. For that reason, it’s best to hand wash them in a sink filled with cold water and one teaspoon liquid dish detergent.

  1. Shake outdoors to dislodge dust and pet hair.
  2. Wash one panel at a time by submerging it in the soapy water for 10 minutes then swirling to loosen debris.
  3. Drain, refill the sink with cold water and swirl the panel again to remove soap residue.

TIP: To restore a crisp feel to sheer or lace curtains, dissolve 1 cup of Epsom salt in a sink full of cold water. Submerge freshly-washed curtains for 10 minutes. Drain, gently press out any water but do not rinse. Let the curtains drip dry from your shower rod or laundry line and hang them.

Acrylic Bead or Shell Curtains

Bead or shell curtains get tangled easily, so you’ll need to wash them in place. Here’s the easiest way to wash them:

  1. Hang a bedsheet behind them and fasten it to the curtain rod with clothespins.
  2. Cover the floor below your curtains with a towel.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with 2 cups warm water and 2-3 drops of liquid dish detergent and liberally spray the curtain top to bottom.
  4. Wipe them clean with a damp white cotton washcloth, lightly rubbing heavily soiled areas as needed. Move the bedsheet to the other side and repeat.
  5. Take the bedsheet down and let your bead curtains air dry.

Velvet Curtains

Some velvet curtains are machine washable while others require dry cleaning. Check the manufacturer’s label to find out which yours are.

  1. Lined velvet curtains should be treated as Dry Clean Only. (See next section.)
  2. Test unlined velvet curtains for colorfastness by dabbing a hidden area with a damp white washcloth. If the dye transfers to the cloth, treat them like dry-clean curtains. If the fabric is colorfast, wash them one panel at a time on the delicate cycle using cold water and half the usual amount of detergent.
  3. Be gentle with damp velvet curtains, so you don’t crush the fabric. Never put them in the dryer or hang them on a line. Instead, lay them flat on a cotton sheet to dry.

Dry-Clean Only or Polyester Curtains

Formal or lined curtains may have a label saying they should be Dry Cleaned Only. Polyester curtains usually say this, too. If they’re expensive or you’re concerned about ruining them, by all means, take them to a trusted dry cleaner!

If you simply want to refresh dry clean-only curtains, try a dry clean at-home kit. You can also try washing them to see if there’s any improvement but know that washing may ruin them, so there’s definitely a risk.

  1. Wash one panel at a time in the machine on the gentle cycle using cold water.
  2. Remove each curtain panel from the machine immediately to keep the lining from wrinkling and lay them flat to dry.
  3. Do NOT dry them in the dryer, or the liner will most likely shrink.

Maintenance Keeps Curtains Fresh

Keep your curtains in good shape between washings with the following steps.

Weekly: Before cleaning a room, give the curtains a good shake to dislodge dust. Wait 10 minutes for the dust to settle before dusting furniture and vacuuming the floor.

Monthly: Use the dust brush attachment on your vacuum to clean curtains from top to bottom. Cover the end with a nylon sock or piece of cheesecloth if your curtain fabric is very delicate. Don’t use the upholstery attachment since its teeth may snag the fabric and destroy your curtains.

Monthly alternative: If vacuuming isn’t an option, you can also remove dust from curtains by running them through the dryer on a “no heat” (or fluff) setting for 5 minutes. Remove promptly and rehang to prevent wrinkles.

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Before you do anything, look at the label and see if there are specific care instructions for your curtains. And, of course, if the label provides directions like “dry-clean only,” “hand-wash only,” “lay flat to dry,” or any other specific method of cleaning, it’s best to heed that advice.

2. Prepare your curtains for the washer

Assuming that any cleaning-method information on the curtain’s label doesn’t preclude you from using the washing machine, Brown recommends that you plan to use that appliance for the main cleaning event but to first prepare the textile with a pre-wash of sorts.

This means you should vacuum or shake off as much dust as you can before washing, so as to ensure that nothing clings to the curtain’s fibers as they make their journey to pristine cleanliness. Also, make sure you take off all removable hardware at this point in the curtain-cleaning process. You don’t want any hooks snagging your curtains during the spin cycle.


Unless specific instructions from the label you learned in the first step specify otherwise, plan on setting your washing machine to the “delicate” setting, using the lowest heat setting possible and mild detergent. Furthermore, keep the laundry load small, perhaps washing the curtains alone, with nothing else in the mix.

4. Dry your curtains in two parts

Once your curtains have been washed, Brown recommends running them in the dryer—again, assuming the label did not provide for other, specific instructions—on low heat for a few minutes to get any excess drips out. Then, shake them out and hang them to dry. Air-drying will help prevent the curtains from shrinking.

Can I use any Detergent to Wash dry-clean-only Curtains?

The answer to this question as far as the topic “how to dry clean only curtains” is concerned is no. This answer is because the regular detergent/soap has a reactive content that can damage your curtain.

Can Curtains shrink When dry Cleaned?

Yes, the curtain shrinks when dried wrongly and when you use the wrong soap/detergent to wash them, and as such gives a bad look to the curtain.

When Should you Wash Your Curtains?

Once you discover that your curtains are dirty and offensive to pervasive, know that you need to wash your curtain, however, at most twice in 4months.


In this DIY article, we discussed how to dry clean only curtains, in details. I hope reading through this DIY, you have widened your horizon.