How to freshen up those "dry-clean-only" drapes

Updated July 19, 2017

Dry-clean-only drapes get dusty like everything else in your house. The money you spend on dry-cleaning draperies for one window can buy a meal in a restaurant for most families. Save that money and clean your drapes at home for nothing or for the cost of running your clothes dryer. You can choose from several methods to freshen those drapes.

Take down your drapes and put them in the dryer with a fabric-softener sheet. Run the dryer for 10 minutes on the air-fluff setting. When the dryer stops, remove the drapes immediately and rehang to avoid wrinkles.

Leave your drapes hanging and vacuum them using an upholstery attachment, pulling the fabric taut while vacuuming.

Take down your drapes and bring them outside on a breezy day. Shake them out or beat them slightly with a clean spatula to remove dust. Hang the drapes on a clothesline for 30 minutes to an hour to soak up the fresh breeze.

Purchase a home dry-cleaning kit, available at most grocery stores, and follow instructions for dry-cleaning your drapes in the dryer.


If pet hair sticks to your drapes, wrap masking or packing tape around your hand sticky-side out and dab the fabric. A clean dry sponge or washcloth also works. Spray with a fabric freshener after cleaning; always test for colour fastness in an inconspicuous area before applying to all of the drapes.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric-softener sheets
  • Vacuum with upholstery attachment
  • Spatula
  • Clothesline
  • Home dry-cleaning kit
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Julia Margaret writes for various online publications, specializing in gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from California State University, Northridge, and studied horticulture at UCLA Extension. Margaret also holds a Master of Arts in special education.