How To Clean Silk Curtains

Posted on: 2 December 2015

Silk curtains add style and class to any décor scheme, but they attract dust and dirt like any window dressings and will require cleaning from time-to-time to keep them looking fresh.  You don't have to spend a fortune on specialist cleaning for your silk curtains either; you can easily clean them yourself at home.  Read on to find out how.

What you'll need

  • mild detergent or soap flakes
  • bathtub
  • water
  • white vinegar
  • dry towels

How to do it

  1. Take down your silk curtains and remove any curtain hooks.  Put the hooks somewhere safe while you're working on the curtains.  
  2. Fill the bath with lukewarm water, add a cup of soap flakes or detergent, and mix well.  
  3. Place the curtains in the bathtub and immerse them completely in the water.  Gently hand-wash the curtains, adding a little extra soap or detergent to areas that are particularly badly stained.  Don't scrub the material too vigorously, as you may damage the finish.  
  4. Now drain the bathtub and rinse the curtains in cool water to remove any residual soap.  The easiest way to do this is by using a showerhead if you have one.  In the absence of a shower, just turn on the water and let it run over the curtains.  
  5. The next step is to give your curtains a little extra brightening and odour treatment.  To do this, refill the bathtub with lukewarm water and add a splash of white vinegar.  Carefully hand-wash the curtains again, and allow them to 'rest' in the water for a few minutes before rinsing them clean as outlined above.  
  6. To finish off the process, drain the bathtub and then dry the curtains by balling them up and gently squeezing them.  This will get rid of most of the excess water.  Don't wring the curtains out, as you could stretch or damage the silk.  
  7. Lay the damp curtains out on some dry towels and then roll them up together.  This will enable the towelling to absorb most of the remaining moisture.  
  8. After a few minutes, unroll the curtains and hang them up to air-dry, out of direct sunlight to avoid bleaching.  
  9. When the curtains are dry, iron the reverse side using a very cool iron.  
  10. Finally, give the curtain hooks a swill in warm soapy water to get rid of any dust and dirt.  Rinse the hooks thoroughly in clean, warm water.  Dry the hooks and rehang your curtains.

In conclusion

Silk curtains can be cleaned quickly and simply at home, saving you the expense of a professional cleaning bill.