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How to Clean Curtains

Available in a beautiful array of fabrics and styles, Curtains are a timeless solution used to dress windows and doors. As well as their endless practicality, they are easy to keep clean too!

All of our curtains come with a care label, and our best advice is to consult a professional dry cleaner before attempting any stain removal. That being said, there are things you can do at home to safely keep your curtains in tip-top shape. So whether you have sumptuously soft velvet curtains, or light and breezy voiles, keep reading for our tips and tricks of the trade to ensure they stay looking as good as new.

Athena Burnt Amber Cushion
Laura Ashley Burdett Eucalyptus Curtains & Sabe Voile Ivory Curtains

Dusting Curtains

The main obstacle you’ll face when refreshing your curtains is dust. Dust loves to settle on curtains as they’re made from soft fabrics, but worry not, it’s an easy problem to tackle.

The main consideration you need to make when it comes to any aspect of cleaning your curtains is the fabric they’re made from. More delicate materials like silk will need a gentler touch than linen or velvet. Keep reading to the end for our more specific advice on cleaning these delicate fabrics!

For any build-ups of fluff and dust on the fabric, you can use an upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to gently dust it down. We recommend starting drawing your curtains closed, and working your way from top to bottom.

It’s also key to pay close attention to the edges and the bottom as this is where dust collects the most. Then, repeat this process down the back of the fabric for a really thorough clean.

Remember, be gentle and don’t press too hard on the fabric to avoid damaging it!

Clarissa Hulse Goosegrass Berry Curtains
Clarissa Hulse Goosegrass Berry Curtains

Tackling Marks & Stains on Curtains

Unfortunately, accidents do happen and your curtains may develop some form of mark or stain. Luckily, as long as you catch it quickly, they’re almost always easy to get rid of.

It’s imperative to treat any stains quickly to prevent them setting and being even more difficult to get out.

Mix some soap and lukewarm water to create a sudsy solution, and patch test this on a small, hidden area of the fabric to ensure it doesn’t cause any further damage.

We recommend choosing a small patch on the side and near the bottom of the fabric as it won’t be noticeable in case anything goes wrong.

Satisfied that this didn’t leave any new marks on the fabric? Perfect! Now you can take a soft cloth to blot the stain with the suds starting from the outside and working your way in, make sure to wring the cloth out before doing this so you aren’t getting too much water on the material. Finally, let the fabric dry completely.

A handheld steamer is a really useful tool when dealing with marks on curtains too. Make sure to use the lowest heat setting possible and don’t remain in the same place for an extended period to avoid causing any further damage. Like with the first tip, always remember to patch test first.

Worried about causing any further damage to the product, or these tricks don’t quite get the stains out fully? We recommend going to a professional dry cleaner for advice. Let them know what lining your curtains have to ensure they are fully informed before beginning any treatment on the fabric.

Harlequin Marina Linen Curtains
Harlequin Marina Linen Curtains

Treating Delicate Fabrics


For more delicate materials like silk and satin, a gentle hand is needed to ensure they aren’t damaged further. Avoid using a vacuum cleaner, instead opt for the more gentle feather duster. Still work from top to bottom and pay particular attention to the edges and bottom, and your curtains will be fresh in no time!

Marks & Stains

The best thing to do if you get any marks on silk or satin is to consult a dry cleaner, getting guidance from a professional is the most advisable solution.

If you do want to try cleaning any stains yourself, spot testing first is key. Pick a small area of the fabric in a hidden place to make sure the solution doesn’t add any more stains to the material. Avoid the middle of the fabric as this is where your eye is drawn to first.

The key to cleaning delicate fabrics at home is avoiding hot water and harsh substances and treating them quickly so they don’t set. Use lukewarm water first, and if the stains don’t lift, add a small amount of mild detergent or soap. Work any stains with your fingers or by gently rubbing the silk against itself.

If you use any detergent or soap, clean the area again with cold water to ensure there are no chemicals in the fibres. Use a towel to gently extract any excess water, then leave the fabric to air dry.

Ideal Home Hummingbird Faux Silk Mist Curtains
Ideal Home Hummingbird Faux Silk Mist Curtains

And that’s it, your curtains are now as good as new! Keep on top of their freshness by adding a gentle dusting into your cleaning routine, and they’ll last for years to come. Any questions we haven’t answered here? Get in touch with our friendly customer service team for more expert tips and advice!