How To Tell If Curtains are Machine Washable

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Curtains come in various fabrics, and some of them are very fragile, requiring extra care. Therefore, it’s essential to know the proper way to clean curtains. Since some curtains are heavy and challenging to wash using hands, you may wonder if curtains are machine washable.

The fabric determines whether or not your curtains may be machine washed. In most

circumstances, if you have polyester, cotton, or linen curtains, you may pass them in the washing machine. However, the best option is to have their dry cleaner for curtains made of silk, velvet, or organza.

In this article, discover what to consider before washing your curtains and what kind of curtain fabric are machine-washable. You’ll also learn the proper way to care for your curtains by the end of this guide.

Factors to Consider Before Washing Your Curtains


When you buy a new curtain, you’ll first want to check the care instructions on it. As with clothes, many curtains will mention the fabric content and the best way to maintain them. Consequently, you may find instructions on machine-washing cotton or polyester at the correct temperature.

Note that the same principles of not mixing colors and whites still apply; ensure to wash white curtains individually. It’s best to dry clean if there are no instructions and you’re unsure. You may also run a little water stain test on hidden parts to clear any doubts about its quality.

If the fabric is very delicate, you’ll want to get it cleaned by a curtain dry cleaning. Silk, lace, and velvet require specialized chemicals and cleaning methods to be cleaned effectively.

The age of your curtains and any sun damage they’ve sustained are also factors to consider. Curtains exposed to the sun are more delicate; moderate cycle cleaning is advisable.

In addition, cleaning the dust off of them before washing is an excellent way to extend their life. Hand washing or dry cleaning may be necessary if your curtains feature intricate box pleats or embroidered raised stitching.

Best Fabrics for Machine-Washable Curtains

Most polyester, cotton, linen, and synthetic (including acrylic) textiles are machine-washable with no issues. However, you should use a mild detergent and wash at a lower temperature to preserve their appearance.

Here are four standard curtain fabrics that are machine washable:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Cotton

It is possible to wash 100% cotton garments by hand or in a washing machine. Also, you may wash your unlined cotton curtain in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.

Shrinking is possible if you expose cotton to too much heat. The most straightforward approach to avoid shrinking, wrinkling, and fading is cool water, light washing detergent, and air drying.

If the dye type is incorrect, too much heat might also cause cotton fabrics to fade faster than usual. It’s preferable to air-dry cotton clothing to keep it looking and feeling its best for as long as possible.


Machine-washing or hand-washing are acceptable methods of cleaning linen when adequately produced and treated. Even low-temperature tumble drying is possible. However, avoid washing in water that is too cold or too hot.

It’s best to use the gentle cycle on your washing machine when washing your linens. Use the maximum water level in the washing machine to allow easy movement inside. With linen, it’s best not to overload the washing machine at once.

If you’re washing anything else, make sure it’s similar to your linens in terms of color, weight, and cleaning recommendations. Furthermore, curtains that aren’t significantly stained or linen fabric with a loose weave should hand-washed.


It won’t last if you don’t wash polyester in a washing machine. The best way to keep their beauty is to vacuum and wash them in the cold water. It would help if you did this at a low temperature on a gentle cycle for best results.

The best washing method for polyester material is to flip it inside out and put it into the washing machine. Polyesters can be tumble-dried on low heat once the washing machine cycle is complete. To minimize shrinking, take the polyester straight out of the dryer as soon as it is drying.


When washing nylon in the machine, use cold water temperature and cycle recommended by the labels on the curtain. If you’re unclear which cycle is ideal, stick with the mild one. However, ensure that nylon is washed on its own from other fabrics.

You may wash nylon with an all-purpose washing detergent. If needed, you can use non-chlorine bleach on nylon as well.

Although it’s preferable to let nylon drip dry, you may use tumble-dry at its lowest setting. However, ensure you remove the nylon as soon as the cycle is complete.

How Do I Care for Curtains?

Before cleaning curtains, the first thing to do is measure them to see whether they need to be re-stretched. You should also remove any weights or hooks and then loosen the tapes until they rest flat. Next, use a dryer on the no-heat cycle to dust the curtains before washing them.

Ensure you don’t overfill the washing machine, and keep in mind that wet curtains will weigh a lot more. To prevent wet surfaces from touching one other, they should be dried across two parallel lines. It would help if you didn’t place curtains on wood since this might cause them to become stained.

It’s preferable to dry most curtains outside on a sunny and windy day. However, keep them out of direct sunlight if you have any colored or patterned materials. Tumble dry your curtains on low if the wash label is allowed.

Furthermore, remove them when they’re 95% dry to avoid creases. Check the wash label and iron on the suggested setting for crinkly curtains.

Heavy fabrics hold water and take a long time to dry, causing musty curtains. Often, steam cleaning is preferable for specific materials.

It’s best to dampen the whole thing to avoid watermarks, even if some of the cloth has already dried. Ensure the seams don’t pucker by pressing them gently while ironing. You may also spread the curtains and pull them to the correct length.

When the curtains are dry, insert hooks and weights and pull the tape to the necessary width to fit. To save time, hang your curtains, and then use a portable steamer or vertical iron steaming to smooth them.

It would help to hang curtains with tidy valances attached to the wall. You can utilize the upholstery attachment on a vacuum to clean a plastic valance. The crevice tool on a wooden valance and a sponge dipped in a liquid detergent solution helps as well.

Although it’s much easier to re-hang curtains, you may need some assistance. While one person climbs to insert the hooks, another person should ensure the curtains don’t drag on the floor.


Curtains are pretty durable and easy to maintain. They require minimal care and maintenance. Nonetheless, as with anything else, you should learn the proper way to wash curtains to get the most from them.

With this article, you’ll have a better idea of what kinds of products work best for different types of materials. Hopefully, this guide has been educative and will help you better care for your curtains.

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