Drapes and curtains provide comfort and aesthetics inside homes and other buildings, and these large pieces of fabric do need occasional washing. But how often is often enough when it comes to cleaning drapes and curtains?
When to Clean Drapes and Curtains
Under most circumstances, cleaning drapes and curtains is something that only needs to be done once a year. In some settings, drapes and curtains are only removed and cleaned every five years. Here are industry reported averages for how often drapes and curtains are typically removed for washing in different settings:
- In homes where people have allergies or respiratory problems, and in locations where there are high levels of dust, pollen, or pollution, drapes and curtains are often washed once a year. This is also the frequency used by restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and nursing homes.
- In most homes and many commercial locations, drapes and curtains are only removed for cleaning once every three years.
- Theaters and schools often wash these window treatments only once every five years.
Reasons for Cleaning Curtains and Drapes
Keeping drapes and curtains clean by occasionally removing and washing them or sending them to the dry cleaner creates a healthier indoor environment and can improve the life-span of the drape or curtain material.
Drapes and curtains act like large filters over windows, especially when windows are open. These window covering collect dust, pollen, and particles from pollution, which damage the fabric over time. Dust mites and other harmful microorganisms can also take up residence in this environment, affecting the health of people in the home and further damaging the fabric.
Keeping Drapes and Curtains Clean Between Washings
Regular dusting or vacuuming of drapes and curtains keeps them clean and reduces how often you need to take them down for washing. Be sure to dust or vacuum both sides of the drapery and to clean the top of valances.
Keep drapes dry by closing windows when there is moisture outside and making sure outdoor sprinklers do not spray moisture through open windows onto the drapes. Moisture on drapes and curtains encourages mold and mildew, reducing the life-span of the material and increasing how often it needs to be washed.