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How to Wash Muslin Curtains

Updated April 17, 2017

Curtains, just like any other surface in your home, get dirty. They collect dust, dirt and hair. Cleaning is usually done seasonally and once clean, you can enjoy the nice, fresh look those curtains had when you first hung them. Muslin is often used for curtains because of its versatility and durability. They are a sturdy cotton and do not need to be dry cleaned.

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  1. Remove the muslin curtain from the window and remove all hardware attached to it.

  2. Shake them outside to loosen up the dirt and hair that have collected in them.

  3. Test the muslin for colour fastness by wetting a small corner of one curtain in warm water, then squeezing it out into a clean basin. If the water remains clear then the muslin is colour fast. If the water changes distinctly to your muslin colour, then washing your curtains may cause the pattern to bleed and the colours to fade. They are still washable, but proceed carefully, wash separately and use cold water.

  4. Wash your curtains in your washing machine. Never overload the washing machine. Use mild detergent, cold water and the delicate cycle. Using the delicate cycle is especially important if your muslin curtains were homemade.

  5. Dry the muslin curtains by either hanging them on a drying rack or on a clothesline. If possible, dry them indoors or in the shade to avoid fading. Drying muslin curtains in the dryer is not recommended because they'll most likely shrink.

  6. Iron the curtains when they are still slightly damp to avoid water marks. Muslin curtains must be ironed using a cool setting. Iron them lengthwise and backside.

  7. Reattach all hardware and rehang your clean muslin curtains.

  8. Tip

    If you are concerned about shrinking, measure your curtains before washing them so you know how much stretching you will need to do after they are cleaned. If your muslin curtains are lined, remove the lining and wash separately.


    Curtains can shrink, and fabric colours can bleed. The best way to avoid these problems are to wash curtains in cold water and check for colour fastness. If you are concerned that they may overly shrink or bleed, it is best to have them professionally cleaned so that you don't end up having to buy all new curtains.

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Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Mild detergent
  • Iron
  • Drying rack or clothesline

About the Author

Based in Salt Lake City, UT, Adriann Walker has been writing since she attended Brigham Young University, where she received her Bachelor of Sciences degree in psychology. Her articles have been published on the Internet on sites including ehow.com. Her expertise is in home and garden, business and hobbies.

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