How To Properly Clean And Store Your Heavy Winter Drapes

Posted on: 20 April 2015

When the weather warms up, it's time to put away your heavy, insulating winter drapes and replace them with flowing, lightweight summer drapes. To ensure your winter drapes are in good shape when you pull them out next fall, follow these steps to clean and store them properly.

Step 1: Dust the drapes.

By dusting the drapes before you officially wash them, you'll remove some of the surface dirt so your laundering efforts are better able to focus on the deeper, ground-in grime. The easiest way to dust your drapes is to carry them outside and hang them on a pole or clothesline. Then, use a stiff brush to brush them, from the top to the bottom, using long strokes.

Step 2: Launder the drapes.

Read the tag on the drapes to determine how to best wash them. Most heavy winter drapes will recommend one of two options:

Machine washing on the delicate cycle

If your label includes these instructions, place the drapes in your washing machine with a laundry detergent made especially for delicate items. You can also use 1/4 cup liquid castile soap in place of a commercial detergent; this is a mild, natural cleanser.

Dry cleaning

If your drapes say "dry clean only" on the tag, you can take them to a dry cleaner, or you can use a home dry cleaning kit. These kits are sold in most home good stores. They consist of a special bag and a cleaning substance that you place in the bag along with the items to be dry cleaned. Follow the instructions to dry clean your drapes in your electric or gas tumble dryer.

Step 3: Dry the drapes.

Many people hang their drapes to dry outside, but this is a mistake. They could attract pollen (especially in the springtime) and contribute to allergy symptoms when you pull them out to use them again. Instead, hang them on a clothes rack inside of your home. Turn them over every 12 hours or so, which will encourage them to dry evenly. Of course, if you dry cleaned your drapes, you can skip this step.

Step 4:Roll the drapes for storage.

This is the secret to storing your drapes without wrinkling them. Instead of folding them up, roll them into a log shape. Start by spreading the entire drape out on the floor, and then roll it up, starting at one of the short ends. When the drape is entirely rolled, place it in a tote or box for storage. Resist the urge to add fragrance sprays or scented sachets -- these may cause stains to appear on the drapes. Label your box, and you're set to go until next winter.

If you don't have time to clean your drapes, or you'd rather leave it to the professionals, you can contact a carpet or upholstery cleaning company that offers drapery cleaning