The right curtains and blinds can be more than attractive window dressings in your home. Choosing a specially lined curtain can help block out light and provide thermal insulation for your home. Blackout curtains are becoming a popular choice because of the benefits from this reason. Because of their design, they will need to be cleaned and cared for in a slightly different way than regular curtains are. Here's how to keep your new blackout curtains looking their best and maintaining their performance.
Vacuum them regularly
Curtains mainly get dirty because of the dust that builds up on them over time. Moisture from the air dampens the dust, which then turns it into dirty patches which stain your curtains. Regularly vacuuming them will prevent the dust from building up.
Remember to use the small brush tool that comes with your vacuum instead of the main vacuum head. The large head may cause damage to the fabric. If your vacuum has adjustable suction control, then switch it to a low setting before using it on your curtains, which will also be more gentle on the fabric.
Avoid washing them if possible
Blackout curtains are coated with a layer of sprayed on foam which is what blocks the light out and acts as insulation. This foam will not withstand the rigours of a washing machine and will start to disintegrate and peel off the curtain if they are machine washed.
If you really feel that your blackout curtains need a wash, then hand washing them in a basin or tub is a better option but may still adversely affect the foam backing if you're not careful. To avoid damaging the foam, don't soak the curtains or wring them out. It's better to let them drip dry on the clothesline, then re-hang them whilst still damp and let them finishing drying in situ.
Instead of washing them, it's best to spot clean them or use a small, handheld steam cleaner. Under no circumstances should you attempt to use bleach on them as this will corrode the foam layer. Ironing will also damage the foam layer, so it's best to remove wrinkles by using a hand-held steamer on a low setting.
Don't tie them back
Unlike regular curtains, it's best not to tie your blackout curtains back when they're open. The foam lining can become quite hot when the sun shines on it and using fabric or a curtain hook to tie back your curtains can cause the foam to stick together where the surface touches. This can cause the foam to peel off the back of the curtain.
With a wide variety of styles and colours available, blackout curtains will make an attractive and practical addition to your home. With the proper care, they'll look great and function perfectly for many years to come.