How to Clean Curtains Without Taking Them Down

As you commit to deep cleaning, you want to make sure you cover every nook and cranny in each room. This means making sure that your window coverings are just as clean as your floors and furniture. Keep reading and we’ll take a look at how to clean curtains without taking them down!

How to Clean Curtains Without Taking Them Down

Can You Clean Curtains Without Taking Them Down?

Cleaning curtains can seem intimidating at first, especially if you have long, heavy curtains. The good news is that you can keep your curtains fresh without taking them down at all. We’ll go over a few different methods for cleaning curtains without even taking them off the curtain rod!

What You Need to Clean Curtains

  • Ladder or sturdy chair
    • You need to be able to reach the top of your curtains
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Lint roller
  • Steam cleaner
    • You’ll need an upholstery attachment or at least a soft brush attachment to accommodate the curtain fabric
  • Water

How to Clean Curtains Without Taking Them Down

Step 1: Shake Them Out

To start, give your curtains a good shake. It’s good to begin with this because you’ll want to vacuum the floor below when you’re done. The best way to do this is to climb up on a stool or ladder and shake your curtains from the top.

Step 2: Use a Vacuum Cleaner

Next, grab a vacuum. If you have one, it can help to attach a soft brush attachment to the extendable hose. Then, just use this on your curtains, starting at the very top and moving straight down in side-by-side lines. This will help remove pet hair and dirt before you get started.

Step 3: Use a Lint Roller

Your vacuum cleaner might not pick up all the stubborn dust and dirt that you need it to. Before breaking out a good steam cleaner, a lint roller can help quite a bit. This tool can help pick up any remaining dust on the fabric.

Step 4: Prepare Your Steamer

It’s best to reference the manufacturer’s label when it comes to preparing your particular steam cleaner. Generally, you’ll need to fill the reservoir on your steamer with water and wait for it to heat up. Most manufacturers add a pilot light to notify you of when the tool is ready to use.

Step 5: Do a Spot Test

To avoid disaster, before getting ready to fully steam clean your curtains, make sure to run a spot test. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the steamer and try it out on a small, discreet area of the curtains. This is a safe way to make sure that you won’t damage rather than clean your curtains. Let the area fully dry before concluding that the test was successful.

Step 6: Use an Upholstery Attachment

Once you’re ready to start steaming your entire curtains, get ready by adding the upholstery attachment and letting your steamer heat back up.

To steam the curtains, pull an area tight and run the steamer over it in a vertical motion. Remember, don’t touch the steamer to the fabric just hover it over the fabric to wash curtains without damaging them. Continue this until you’ve finished curtain cleaning and leave them to dry.

How to Clean Curtains with Soap and Water

Step 1: Clean up to Steaming

To start, follow all of the initial steps that we covered above. However, you’ll want to stop before you pull out your steam cleaner.

Step 2: Mix Your Cleaning Solution

For this process, mix a cleaning solution made up of five liters of water, ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol, and add about a teaspoon of dish soap. From there, use a microfiber cloth dampened with the solution to wipe down your curtains. Repeat this until the curtains are clean and replace the solution as you notice it starts to dirty. Once you’re done, let the curtains dry fully.

How to Clean Your Curtains Without Taking Them Down with Baking Soda

Step 1: Clean the Curtains

Baking soda is best-suited as an additional step after you’re finished cleaning your curtains. It’s a great addition to help remove and prevent odors moving forward.

Step 2: Grab Your Baking Soda

When you’ve finished steaming or washing your curtains and they’ve dried completely, grab some baking soda. From there, sprinkle the baking soda on the curtains and let it sit for a while. It needs time to absorb the odors and properly deodorize your curtains.

Step 3: Vacuum the Curtains

Finally, finish up by vacuuming your curtains again. After all, you won’t want to leave a layer of baking soda behind on your window coverings.

How to Clean Curtains when they Are up with Vinegar

Step 1: Use Some White Vinegar

If you have stains on your curtains don’t come up with a steamer, you might want to try white vinegar. This is another option that’s a good idea to spot test before committing to your entire curtains. Then, add it anywhere you notice mold, oil, and other stains on your curtains.

Step 2: Wash with Soap and Water

To avoid leaving vinegar residue behind, follow this method by either cleaning the area with soap and water or a steam cleaner after this step.

How Often Do You Change or Wash Your Curtains?

Nobody wants their curtains dirty but how often should you clean them for the best results. After all, your curtains attract dust, dirt, and even pet hair over time, so dedication to window treatments from time to time can help keep things clean.

In general, cleaning your curtains is a job that you should tackle every three to six months. This will help you make sure you reduce dust clinging to your curtains and keep things tidy.

How Do You Freshen Dry Clean Only Curtains

Cleaning your curtains as we’ve seen here is a great way to keep them fresh. What if you notice a stale smell between cleanings?

First and foremost, dust, vacuum, and lint roll your curtains as we’ve already discussed here. Fresh air can help a lot too. Leaving your windows open on a nice day is a great way to reduce stale odors in your curtains.

If you find your curtains are particularly stubborn and you don’t mind resorting to taking them down to freshen them up, use your dryer. Toss the curtains in on no-heat and hang them back up immediately to avoid wrinkles. Make sure not to overload your washer!

What Happens if You Wash Dry Clean Only Curtains?

If you don’t dry clean curtains that require it, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. If you toss your curtains in the washer when advised otherwise, you could end up permanently damaging or shrinking them. Some dry cleaning curtains can handle a delicate cycle in the washing machine but it’s a big risk.

Why Not Save Yourself the Hassle and Let the Pros Do It?

If you can, why not save yourself the hassle and have your curtains professionally cleaned? The biggest reason really is convenience. Not only will it save you money to clean your curtains yourself but you won’t have to worry about organizing a professional appointment.

Did you like our tutorial? It’s so convenient to know how to clean your curtains without taking them down. If you liked these curtain cleaning tips, make sure to let us know below and share this guide with a friend!

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