Have you ever thought about the best way to clean and maintain your drapes? If your answer is no, don’t worry. Once they’re chosen and hung, many people forget that these household accents need to be maintained, just like your clothes. There are five big influencers that can affect your drapes over time. Let’s examine each, and also take a look at best practices for cleaning your drapes … 

Exposure to sunlight can cause discoloration. In addition, sunlight can weaken the integrity of a fabric, which can result in damage to drapes — typically shredding or ripping — during the cleaning process.

Exposure to moisture like humidity, window condensation, water leaks and pet stains can cause the dye in drapes to bleed. Moisture can also cause water stains, which can be difficult or impossible to remove.

This typically occurs when fabric that has not been properly pre-shrunk is cleaned. Any mode of laundering, drycleaning or wetcleaning can cause shrinkage. Industry standards for shrinkage are between 2% and 4% in typical household fabrics. If you’re working with loosely woven fabrics like rayon or acetate, shrinkage will increase.

Drape Coating Breaks Down
Insulated or reflective coating on the back of drapes may break down over time, or from sun exposure, causing coating to flake or fall off.

Heat & Smoke
Environmental factors like heat and cigarette smoke can cause permanent discoloration to drapes. 

The Best Way to Clean Drapes
Now that we’re more aware of what causes drapes to become damaged or stained, it may be possible to avoid some of these environmental factors from occurring in the first place. But if your drapes need to be cleaned, here’s our advice. 

  • Vacuum or dust your drapes with a DRY paper towel or Swiffer-like product on a regular basis. When doing so, leave them hanging and always work your way from the top down.        
  • Follow the advice of the care tag.  If there is no care tag, bring your drapes to Klinke Cleaners, and we’ll give you our expert advice.       

Care tags may advise steam cleaning, dry cleaning or machine washing. If machine washing is recommended, remember to wash and dry your drapes on the delicate/gentle cycle. Also, if air-drying, never hang drapes back on the curtain rods to dry. This can cause drip stains on your carpet or flooring and the folds in the drapes will take too long to dry, possibly causing mildew. 

We hope this information helps you keep your drapes clean and looking good! If dry cleaning is necessary, feel free to drop off your drapes at any of our Klinke Cleaners locations.