Nothing keeps the sunlight out of the bedroom while you’re having a good afternoon nap like good blackout curtains.
Blackout curtains have a thick rubber and foam coating in the back, making them quite effective in keeping your rooms well-insulated. At the same time, they have a traditional exterior design of curtain fabric, which can be excellent for sprucing up your room décor.
However, keeping the blackout curtains clean can be quite a hassle because of their thick rubber and foam-coated fabrics that can get easily damaged if you’re not careful. Thus, it’s important to consider the materials of these curtains before you chuck them inside your washing machine.
But, no need to get flustered because blackout curtains are washable, and we’re here to discuss how to wash these curtains without ruining their fabrics. So, without any more jibber-jabber, let’s get started!
What Are Blackout Curtains?
Blackout curtains are specially designed to blackout even the brightest sunlight during any time of the day and help to keep your room cool. They are a popular choice for nurseries, media rooms, and bedrooms and are pretty common in hospitals and hotels.
Thanks to their tightly woven fabric and thick foam coating, the rooms will stay well-insulated and protect you from harsh weather conditions. So, the fabric construction makes these blackout curtains energy efficient and can help you save a lot of money on your electricity bills.
Even though the acrylic fabrics and foam material of these curtains make them excellent insulators, you must take extra precautions while washing them. Depending on the curtain materials, their washing techniques will vary.
You might need to only dry-clean some blackout curtains or avoid machine washing based on whether they have foam-coated fabrics or woven triple weave fabrics. So, it’s always best to carefully go through the care labels of the curtains for detailed washing instructions before you decide to wash them; otherwise, you might end up ruining the curtains altogether.
How To Clean Blackout Curtains Before Washing?
Before you decide to take down the curtain panels from the rod or hooks to wash them, take a quick look at the fabric. Check whether there’s any mold growth on the fabric or if the curtains are smelling funny, and you can apply any of the following cleaning methods to keep the curtains spick and span.
1. Dusting & Vacuuming
When it comes to removing dust or pet hairs from the blackout curtains, the combination of dusting followed by vacuuming can be an excellent cleaning method. First and foremost, you need to completely stretch out the curtains on the rod so that you can see the entire curtain panel. Next, use a feather duster to thoroughly dust both sides of the curtains to get rid of dirt and dust.
Once you’ve completed dusting the traditional curtain fabric, it’s time to vacuum the surface using a soft-bristled dust attachment. Always start from the top and apply precise and slow downward motions to cover your curtain’s surfaces. You can also use a lint roller to remove stubborn dust spots and pet hair that usually cling tightly to the curtain fabrics.
2. Spot Cleaning
If the method of vacuuming and dusting isn’t working to clean the curtains, it’s time to take out your laundry soap and get ready for spot cleaning. It’s best to use a mild detergent or laundry soap and warm water for spot cleaning because bleach or harsh chemicals can damage the curtain material.
Furthermore, the detergent can leave marks on light-colored curtains, so it’s best to use detergents free from any dye. You can also test the laundry detergent on a small and inconspicuous portion of the curtain to avoid ruining the curtain material.
Spot cleaning is mostly used for blackout curtains having foam-coated fabrics on the inside, which cannot be soaked into water. It’s best to target the spots on the curtain surface after you take down the curtains from the rod. Now, soak a sponge or a clean, soft cloth in warm soapy water, gently squeeze it to get rid of the excess water, and clean the curtain stains.
You can also gently rub the curtain fabric with a soft and warm cloth soaked in soapy water to remove the persistent dust patches. Next, thoroughly rinse the stains away without wasting any time and keep the wet curtains hanging from the curtain hooks to avoid the detergent from drying and becoming hard.
You can also try wiping the back side of the curtains if they come with a synthetic foam coating. But, avoid using a detergent containing any fabric softener because it can cause the foam coating to separate from the fabric.
3. Steam Cleaning
Since it’s quite difficult to hand wash blackout curtains because of their thick fabric, steam cleaning can be a quick and efficient way to get the job done without much hassle. Firstly, fill your steam cleaner tank with warm water to start the machine.
Then, use the upholstery attachment and the steam wand to clean the curtains and remove dust from the top. Be careful about holding the steam wand away from the curtain surface to prevent it from getting wet or avoid damaging the material. Don’t worry if the curtain fabric gets a bit damp, but avoid soaking the curtains completely.
Also, make sure to steam clean both the curtain sides until you’ve covered different curtain panels. Take extra precautions while steaming the coated surfaces so they don’t get soaked or damaged.
How To Wash Your Blackout Curtains?
1. Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning is another excellent method to clean your blackout curtains, especially when the steam and stain cleaning methods are not sufficient. Even though deep cleaning can be time-consuming and cumbersome, it’s the most effective way to remove persistent stains and make your blackout curtains look as good as new.
Take down the musty-smelling curtains from the rod or curtain hooks and give them a good shake to remove the superficial dust and dirt. Now, fill your bathtub with soapy water using mild soap or detergent, so you have enough room to deep clean the curtains without spilling any excess water.
Use the same quantity of soap or detergent you normally use to do a small laundry load and thoroughly mix it in the water. Next, get your blackout curtains inside the bathtub and completely submerge them in the water while gently swirling them, just like in a washing machine. You can also lightly squeeze or twist the curtains to prevent damaging their synthetic coating.
After a few minutes, drain the soapy water from the bathtub and start rinsing the curtains with cold water. Repeat the rinsing process until you wash all the soap off the curtains. Once the hand washing is done, you need to wring the curtains gently and hang them to dry. It’s best to hang them outside in the sun, which will help the curtains to dry quickly.
2. Machine Wash
Although machine washing isn’t suitable for blackout curtains with a foam coating, it works quite well for curtains with a tightly woven triple weave fabric without synthetic coating. In fact, it becomes easier to wash the high-density yarn materials by putting these blackout curtains in the washing machine.
Always ensure that it’s a front-loading washing machine because the center agitator of the top-loading models can ruin the curtain fabric. So, the top-loading machines are not recommended for washing blackout curtains.
Moreover, you should know how to measure for blackout curtains to know their size before putting them inside the machine to avoid overloading. Don’t mix them with other clothes, and try to wash the curtains in separate batches.
Since the materials of most blackout curtains are much more sensitive than regular curtains, set the washing machine to a delicate cycle setting while maintaining a cool wash temperature. Furthermore, if your curtains have a latex coating, the machine’s high-intensity heat settings can warp the inner latex living and ruin the material.
After washing the curtains, dry them out to prevent developing wrinkles and damaging the fabric. Try not to twist, but gently wring them to remove excess moisture. If your blackout curtains have a foam coating, avoid putting them in the dryer and follow the care labels for more instructions.
Typically, it’s best to hang the freshly washed curtains outside so that they receive direct sunlight. You can also hang them from the curtain rods or hooks if you don’t have much outdoor space.
Can You Wash Blackout Curtains Frequently Asked Questions ?
How often does a blackout curtain need cleaning?
If you regularly dust and vacuum the blackout curtains, you can avoid the hassle of deep cleaning. It’s best to vacuum and spot clean the curtains twice a month or as much as you need to keep them in top condition. You can deep clean the blackout curtains twice or thrice a year. But you can also do it more frequently if you suffer from a dust allergy.
How can you deodorize your blackout curtains?
Mold growth and dust buildup can make your blackout curtains give off an unpleasant odor, so deodorizing and sterilizing can help to remove the musty smell. You can add some deodorizer while washing curtains in your washing machine. Also, you can use a mixture of detergent and baking soda to deodorize the curtains while hand washing them in the tub.
Can you dry clean blackout curtains?
Depending on the fabric quality and curtain materials, you can opt for dry cleaning the blackout curtains and drop them off at a professional dry cleaner without any worries. However, make sure that they follow the cleaning instructions mentioned on the care label of the curtains to avoid any fabric damage.
Can blackout curtains keep out heat?
If you want to know how blackout curtains keep heat out, you must check their fabric construction. The thick curtain fabric and the foam-coated backside make blackout curtains quite efficient in keeping out heat and promoting natural air conditioning in the rooms. They can keep the rooms well-insulated any time of the day.
Can You Wash Blackout Curtains Final Words
After going through our article, we hope you are much more confident about washing and cleaning your blackout curtains without damaging the material. It’s essential to thoroughly wash blackout curtains twice or thrice a year to avoid the buildup of allergens, dust, and mold growth.
Just remember to read the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions before washing the curtains. Also, stick to the gentle cycle setting while washing the curtains in your machine, and you’ll be good to go.
On that note, we bid you farewell. Take care and see you next time!