Cleaning Silk Curtains

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated October 27, 2014)


Despite what many people may think, cleaning silk curtains is a fairly easy thing to do. All you really need is the right tools, a little care, some patience, and a little know how. The tools you can find around your home, the patience comes from you as does the care, while the know how comes form these instructions. Simply follow these instructions and you will get your silk curtains clean and beautiful again. Best of all, you will find out just how easy cleaning silk curtains really can be.

  1. Prepare the water. Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water, adding one teaspoon of a mild soap or detergent for every gallon of water that you use. Some of the detergents and soaps that you can use are things like Woolite, Dawn, Oxiclean, or Palmolive.
  2. Gently hand wash. Gently wash the curtains in the prepared water. You want to hand wash the silk since a washing machine can easily damage the silk. For any areas that are particularly stained, add a little extra soap. Gently scrub, using light pressure to get the curtains clean.
  3. Rinse. Drain the tub, and rinse the curtains. This can easily be done by simply turning the water on again and letting it run over the curtains. Make sure though that you are using lukewarm water, as anything hotter than that can cause damage to the silk. Continue to rinse the curtains until all the soap has been removed.
  4. Wash in vinegar. Refill the tub with lukewarm water, and add a tablespoon of white vinegar. The vinegar will help to not only remove any odor buildup, but also act as a mild type of "bleach" which will brighten the curtains. Gently hand wash the curtains again, and allow the curtains to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing.
  5. Rinse. Drain the tub, and rinse the curtains. In essence repeat step three. Continue doing this until you cannot smell any more vinegar.
  6. Dry. Ball up the curtains and gently squeeze them to remove as much excess water as possible. Be careful that you do not wring the silk as this can actually damage and stretch the silk. After removing as much of the water as you can, lay the curtains on some fluffy towels, and then roll them up loosely. This will help remove most of the remaining water. Unroll the curtains and then hang them up on a clothesline to allow them to air dry. Do this in the shade though to avoid the damage that direct sunlight can cause.
  7. Iron. While the curtains are still slightly damp, iron the wrinkles out. Make sure that you are ironing the inside of the curtains only, as the heat may cause some damage if applied directly against the silk.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is 6 + 2?

2015-05-18 04:35:43


Step 6 - WHOA !!
Some antique silks, (shirts, socks, curtains, sheers, etc...) will survive the soaking & the washing in the tub by hand. But, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES TAKE A CHANCE OF BALLING, OR SQUEEZING because the SILK will COME ALL APART in various ways. Yes, with newer silks, your step is OK.
When hand-washing antique silks of historical value (Historical Home, for ex.) be especially careful not to move them around in the tub too FAST either. Drain the water from the tub. Let the silks lay as they are. Don't touch. Refill the tub with clean water (and the tablespoon of vinegar) and move them around slowly. Drain the water again. Repeat if necessary for soap to come out. I pretreat (SPRAY with weak solution of ivory soap bar - shredded & shaken into solution) before putting them in the tub with more ivory soap & use a cheese grater for shards to fall into the water) until the water finally becomes slightly milky looking. KEEP A FIRM WATCH ! Silk can actually disintegrate right before your eyes ! So, stop if you see any signs of deterioration. Remember, our water has chlorine & fluorine in it. Do not use ANY peroxides, alcohols, linen bleaches, etc...) or detergents (too strong - detergents are designed for modern day fabrics - & DO NOT USE DOWNY (As gentle as it is, it is still too caustic for antique silks). And, DOWNY leaves a film which causes dirt to stick to it's film !

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