Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes.

Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

How to clean curtains and window treatments

June 05, 2017


Some of the places we never think of cleaning are those that we can’t see. Like window treatments – when was the last time you looked at your window treatments? I mean really took a close look at the fabric on those curtains and draperies. If I’m right, there’s probably a film of dust and dirt that hasn’t been removed in years.

If dust is left sitting on a curtain for a long time it can destroy the fabric.  Also, your curtains are acting like a huge sponge; holding on to the dust that aggravates allergies if anyone in your home is an allergy sufferer.  These are two good reasons to know how to clean curtains and window treatments and to start putting this important task on your cleaning radar.

Here is everything you need to know as far as how to clean curtains, so you can get them back to “clean” no matter how dirty they are.

Regular cleaning

To see how dirty your curtains are, try giving them a shake in the sunlight. All those little particles floating around should be removed weekly. Each time you clean your home you should also shake the curtains to remove dust that has settled on them during the week.

If you have a bit more time, use the dusting brush attachment for your vacuum to clean curtains and window treatments. The brush will work to get down inside the fabric and remove the buildup. To make it easier, open the air valve on the vacuum so you don’t pull the curtain off the curtain rod!

Along with shaking or vacuuming the curtains, remove the dust on the top pleats or on the top flat surface of the window treatment. You can do this with an extendable microfiber duster to catch the settled dust and pull it off the fabric.

Deeper cleaning

To remove a buildup of dust on your curtains, your dryer can help. Take down the window treatments and just pop them in the dryer instead of having to wash and iron them.  Use the warm air and gentle tumble settings of the dryer to toss the dust out of the curtain. Be sure to remove them before the dryer stops and hang them immediately – they will look as good as the day you installed them.

If you want to wash curtains first make sure they can be laundered. If so use a very gentle soap, a gentle wash cycle and a quality steam iron. Wash them on the permanent press setting then place them in the dryer for just a minute or two to warm up the fabric. Remove them and let them hang so the wrinkles will be pulled out of the fabric.  Touch them up with a hot steam iron.


Steaming is another option if you want to kill mites. There are great canister style steam cleaners that let you shoot the steam right onto the hanging window treatment. This is a great way to kill dust mites but you’ll still need to vacuum to remove the dust and dirt from the fabric.

Professional cleaning

To ensure that custom window treatments are cleaned without damage, take them to a local dryer cleaner that can clean them without using perc. Ask your dry cleaner to clean them with CO2 instead. It works just as well and it’s safer for everyone.

Mini blinds and fabric blinds also hold onto a lot of dust. Add them to your cleaning schedule. Be sure to check out our recent blog for tips on cleaning window blinds.


Be sure to follow these tips for how to clean curtains and window treatments, to create a cleaner, healthier home and enjoy your beautiful window treatments for years to come.

For more DIY green cleaning tips, visit

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