Besides the decorative aspect, curtains are crucial for ensuring privacy and comfort.
When buying new curtains, there are many considerations you need to make. Among them is deciding whether or not to clean them.
Should You Wash Your Recently Purchased Curtains Before Hanging Them Up?
It’s not a must to wash new curtains before you hang them. But, several reasons may make you want to wash them first. New curtains tend to be stiff and, most times, produce a starch smell. For this reason, you may want to wash them to remove the odor and make your curtains look more vibrant before you hang them.
What You Should Consider When Deciding to Clean Your Curtains?
One important thing that many people forget is that curtains are not made equal.
Some have a strong, distinctive odor once they come out of the factory, while others do not.
Such smells can quickly spread to your rooms, creating unpleasant odors.
Also, you need to think about the fabric.
High-quality curtains come with washing labels and instructions, which you should check before washing your new curtains.
You should also remember that all fabric types shouldn’t be treated equally. For instance, washing drapes can damage them physically and compromise their functions.
Lastly, consider the stiffness or hardness of the curtains.
Curtains are like mattresses, meaning you have to break them in so that they are softer, silkier and easy to use. Some manufacturers use chemicals that make the curtains stiff and rigid.
They make the fabric so hard to prevent deformation or wrapping during transportation.
Why Should You Wash New Curtains Before Installing?
Ideally, curtains from the manufacturing factory should be safe to use.
They should be free of bacteria, germs and some viruses.
So many people install them directly without cleaning them. However, washing your curtains offers various benefits. For instance:
1. It Helps Remove Germs and Bacteria
As earlier said, new curtains from the manufacturing factory are usually germs and bacteria-free.
But, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have microorganisms in their fibers.
Remember that many shoppers touch and feel the curtains in the store.
Plus, the curtains could have dirt, dust and other debris on their surface that our naked eyes cannot see.
In this case, washing them is an ideal step as it ensures that everything that’s not visible is removed.
2. It Gets Rid of Unwanted Odors
Many people hate the smell of new fabric, a combination of several chemicals.
The smell is still persistent whether you buy your curtains from a store or a direct supplier.
If you find it irritating, you can remove it by washing the curtains and rinsing them with a fabric conditioner.
3. Washing Softens the Curtains
Besides the smell, the chemicals used for making the curtains can make them hard and stiff.
The chemicals are used to secure and protect the curtains while preserving their quality.
If your curtains are stiff, washing them before you install them is an excellent idea as it softens the fabric.
That way, it will be easier to install, and they will look more vibrant.
Can You Wash Curtains in the Washing Machine?
Remember that exposure to sunlight for a prolonged period can make them fragile and affect the fabric’s integrity.
If you have older curtains, ensure that you use a gentle cycle to prevent damaging them.
Also, remember that regular or hem tape can be loosened or released when washing curtains.
Curtains made of wool, silk or another specialty fabric should be dry cleaned or washed professionally.
It is not advisable to utilize a washer as you can easily damage them.
Besides using a gentle cycle, remember to use a gentle detergent. Also, clean with lukewarm water and don’t over wash them.
After cleaning, make sure they dry properly before installing them.
You can put them in the dryer with a medium setting or hand them on a clothesline to ensure they dry well.
Drying in the sun also helps get rid of smells and prevents wrinkling.
How Can You Soften Your New Curtains?
New curtains tend to be stiff, making it hard for wrinkles to release, and your curtains will also not hang properly.
Washing the curtains can undoubtedly help remove stiffness. But, if you don’t want to wash, you can also take several other steps to soften your curtains.
For instance, you can steam them using a steamer while they hang.
This removes the wrinkles while helping get rid of stiffness and ensures that your curtains hang better.
Should You Iron Your Curtains Before Hanging?
Ironing new curtains is wise as it helps them hang the right way. Although washing can soften the fabric and drying can help remove the wrinkles, you may not have the time or space to do all these.
In such cases, ironing presents a great solution. It can help create the pleats and folds while ensuring that your curtains hang correctly.
BEFORE DOING ANYTHING, BE SURE TO READ THE CARE LABEL INSTRUCTIONS.
For some fabrics, ironing them can do worse than good.
Remember that ironing isn’t mandatory. You can hang your curtains without ironing. But, if you want to get rid of wrinkles quickly, ironing may be your best bet.