Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Getting the Hang of Drapery Cleaning


The title of this article may have given you the wrong impression of drapery cleaning.  I’m not suggesting you clean your own drapes until you ‘get the hang’ of it for yourself.  Instead I’m saying the exact reverse of that.  The best method of getting your curtains looking new again is to have a professional cleaner do the needed work while they are hanging.  You heard me right.  Drapes are best cleaned while they are hanging.

Before we discuss that though, let’s talk about how not to do the job.  Were you really thinking of washing your curtains all by yourself?  May I ask how?  Was the plan to just take the drapes off the hanger hooks and toss them into the laundry machine along with some soap and bleach?  Yikes!  Just the thought of using bleach makes me cringe.  You bought those expensive curtains to complement your couch and carpet colors.  After you’ve bleached them you will be looking at a whole different color scheme and you may not like what you see.  You would be headed straight for the nearest window dressing store to shell out more money.

So you scratch the bleach idea and go with just laundry soap.  After the machine wash, rinse and spin cycle, you transfer your beautiful drapes from the washer to the heat and tumbling action in the dryer.  And it’s now curtains for your curtains.  They once were nice and smooth with all the flowing pleats perfectly even.  After they come out of the dryer your drapes are wrinkled and warped.  You might think of pressing them flat with hot clothes iron but flat wasn’t how they were.  The pleats are now irregular at best.  Either the dryer or the iron but probably both together have stretched the fabric so your draperies don’t even fit the rectangular window shape anymore, plus they may also have shrunk.

Okay, so the dryer and iron are out so you opt for hanging them on the clothesline instead.  Do you even have a clothesline or were you planning to hang the curtains over the fence to dry in the sunshine and gentle breezes.  Your draperies will tend to retain the shape with the fold in the middle where they were draped over the fence and when you remove them you need extra special care or wood splinters can snag the material.  But even with extreme drying care in the fresh air of your back yard, you still have a set of curtains that went through a machine washing.  People used to wash clothes by beating them on rocks by a river.  Laundry machines took over the hard work of beating out the dirt but the fabrics still have a rough go of it.  Can you really expect lovely drapes to still look that good after a laundry machine cleaning?

Have I managed to talk you out of doing your own drapery cleaning?  I hope so because now I’ll give you a hint of the right way to clean curtains.  Call a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning company and have them clean your drapes while they are hanging.  Your window dressings will look like they just came from the store and that won’t be due to your having had to replace them because you didn’t have the hang of drapery cleaning.

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