Pets, smoking, cooking and basic day-to-day living can all add up when it comes to accumulating odors in the home. These odors can also accumulate in curtains, making a home smell dirty even if it appears clean. Unfortunately, many people are daunted by the task of cleaning their curtains. However, removing odors from curtains or drapery is much easier than you might think. Here are a few basic guidelines for removing curtain odor and keeping curtains clean and fresh year-round.
If you haven’t washed your curtains in ages, then start here. Many curtains can either be washed at home on specific settings or sent to a dry cleaner for professional cleaning. However, be sure to follow all cleaning instructions exactly to avoid ruining the curtains. This is especially true for cottons, as they can shrink and your curtains will no longer fit your window.
Once you’ve washed your curtains, make it a point to to regularly wash them at least every six months. By doing so, you can help reduce the odor buildup that is occurring.
Also, if your curtains have a smokey smell due to a fireplace or a smoker in the home, then dry cleaning is recommended―though it may not get all of the smell out. This is because ash and soot are able to penetrate nearly every textile in the home. Dry cleaning can remove much of this, but may not be able to fully remove the smell. You can wash your curtains, however washing curtains in this situation may be futile as you are simply washing them in ashy, soot-filled water; which obviously does not solve the problem.
It’s not reasonable to wash your curtains on a weekly or monthly basis―and it wouldn’t be good for your curtains either, not to mention the toll it would take on your schedule. However, running a vacuum over the curtains once a weekly or every two weeks can help greatly reduce the amount of odor buildup that occurs.
This is especially true if you have a smokey smell in your home. Vacuuming them regularly can aid in the overall deodorizing process. Plus, there will be less soot-particle buildup in the curtains, so therefore when they are washed―they’ll come out much, much cleaner!
Open the Windows
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is more pollution found inside a home than found outside a home. This is because inside a home, there is no regular ventilation (unless a homeowner has specifically installed this type of ventilation). This situation causes indoor pollutants such as cleaning products, running the dryer or dishwasher, dust and other smells to build up quickly in the home. Simply opening the windows can help remove these smells from the home and from curtains.
You can also consider airing the curtains outside, especially if you’re looking for greener, eco-friendly ways of deodorizing your curtains without any spray fresheners or special chemicals.
Keep in mind that aside from keeping your curtains keep, there are also several products available on the market today that can help keep fabrics (such as curtains or drapery) clean and fresh-smelling on a daily basis. However, these products only offer a short-term solution and you should still regularly clean, wash or air-out your curtains to keep them from accumulating odors.
EPA: An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
House Beautiful: Odor Removal
University of Missouri: After the Fire is Out: Cleaning Household Textiles and Clothing
Mrs. Clean: How to Clean Your Curtains or Drapes