by Amy Gordon
(last updated January 28, 2013)
While we concentrate on cleaning our carpets and upholstery, few of us realize that draperies require equal care and maintenance, because not only are they often exposed to direct sunlight, but they also absorb large quantities of dust, dirt, smoke, and grime, and are as liable to stain as other furnishings. All this means that removing stains from draperies is an essential household chore.
When buying draperies, try to find fabrics that are relatively stain-resistant. These fabrics absorb less moisture and therefore may offer protection against water stains that are otherwise hard to remove. Also, and this is a general rule for all stains, always try to remove the spillage or stain the moment it occurs. This will save you immense time and expense when it comes to maintenance. Finally, make sure you gently vacuum clean your draperies at least once every six months to prevent accumulation of dust, which can cause respiratory problems for you and your family.
Since we have said so much about professional drapery cleaners, you should know exactly how they can help keep your draperies looking fresh and beautiful for years. Typically, most cleaners use one of two methods while removing stains from draperies. One is dry cleaning, where chemicals are used to weaken the stains and accumulated dirt. The other is steam cleaning, where a steam machine is used to steam off dirt and stains. However, steam cleaning is usable only in the case of water-resistant draperies.
Note: We strongly advise against hand washing draperies to remove stains. Not only can you end up using improper detergents and chemicals, you also run the risk of shrinking draperies drastically so that they are no longer usable. So remember, never chuck your draperies into the washing machine. At all times, consult a professional cleaner.
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