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The Home Depot

Drape Cleaning Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Cleaning > Drape Cleaning Guide
Drape Cleaning Guide

Although you might not think that draperies need frequent care and cleaning, they will attract dust and dirt as they hang over your windows. It’s important to clean your drapes on a regular basis to keep them attractive and in good condition.


The Michigan State University has information about cleaning sheer curtains, which provides helpful guidance for maintaining delicate drapery fabrics. The cleaning method you will use depends on the fabrics of your draperies.


With a complete drape cleaning guide, you will have the information and details necessary to maintain draperies, keeping them attractive for many years.

  1. Before you proceed with any cleaning processes on drapes, check the label to learn the type of fabric and the manufacturer recommendations.

    1.Routine Maintenance

    Add regular drape dusting to your housework to keep your draperies cleaner and to ensure that they last longer. By dusting regularly, you will be able to remove dust and soil that will accumulate over the surface of the fabric, causing damage.


    Brush down the draperies lightly with a fabric brush or vacuum the draperies with the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner.


    About three or four times each year, remove the drapes from the rods and place them into the dryer. Set the dryer to a no-heat cycle and allow the drapes to tumble for about 30 minutes. This action will loosen trapped dust particles from the fabric fibers. As you remove the drapes from the dryer, shake them well to remove as much loosened dust as possible.

  2. 2.Spot Cleaning

    If spot stains occur, it’s important to remove them as quickly as possible to prevent them from setting. Many spot-cleaning solutions could leave a ring around the stain, making a more noticeable stained area. To remedy this issue, wash or dry-clean the entire drapes instead of just the spot.

  4. 3.Cleaning

    Before you proceed with any cleaning processes on drapes, check the label to learn the type of fabric and the manufacturer recommendations. It may be necessary to have your drapes professionally cleaned if they are too large and bulky to fit in your washing machine and dryer. It may also be necessary to have draperies professionally cleaned if the fabric is delicate or may shrink or fade with standard washing. Rayon and acetate drapes generally require professional dry cleaning to preserve the appearance of the fabrics.


    If you have cotton or polyester draperies, you should be able to wash them in the same fashion as you wash standard clothing. Choose a warm water, gentle wash cycle to avoid too much agitation. If you have a concern about shrinkage, wash the drapes in cool water instead.


    Drapes with foam backing may be washable or they may require dry cleaning – check the label before proceeding.


    If you place drapes in the dryer, use a permanent press setting on the dryer or manually cool the dryer cycle down during the last 10 minutes to prevent wrinkles. Remove the drapes from the dryer immediately to prevent unsightly wrinkles from heat. If heat-set wrinkles occur in the drapes, it will be difficult to remove them without rewashing the drapes. A dry-cleaner may be able to steam out heat-set wrinkles.

    With regular maintenance and periodic cleaning, you can keep your drapes in attractive condition.

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