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How to clean linen curtains

Updated November 21, 2016

Linen is not always machine washable, so it is important to check the label on your curtains before placing them in the washing machine like your favourite pair of jeans. Curtains throughout the house should be cleaned annually, but not more than once per season. Linen curtains can be dry-cleaned when equipped with a synthetic backing. Otherwise, cleaning at home can be done on laundry day.

Remove curtains from the window and spot treat any stains with a bar of white soap such as Ivory. Rub the soap on the stain as a pre-treatment.

Place the linen curtains in the washing machine and turn the controls to delicate or hand wash. Pour oxygen-based bleach into the machine if washing white curtains, following the package directions. Regular bleach will yellow the fabric. Add a mild detergent to the washer, following the package directions and run the washer with warm water for the complete cycle.

Promptly remove the curtains after the wash cycle has finished. Hang the curtains to dry, smoothing wrinkles from the fabric. Hang white curtains in a sunny location to preserve their bright colour. Remove the curtains from the dry line and rehang when they are slightly damp.

Iron if needed, following the label directions for the proper heat temperature.

Things You'll Need

  • Bar soap
  • Oxygen-based bleach (optional)
  • Mild detergent
  • Iron (optional)
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