How to Safely Clean Your Window Treatments

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Using a vacuum cleaner to clean curtainsOnce you’ve designed and installed the perfect window treatments in your home or business, you may be wondering how best to clean them. Dust and allergens can accumulate, so it’s important to establish the right cleaning method and do it routinely. Below are some tips on ways to clean the most widely used types of window treatments.

Curtains and Draperies

Generally, if you keep dust off of your drapes, curtains, and valances, you should never have to clean them. Use the vacuum’s upholstery attachment set on low suction to gently lift dust off of the fabric panels. Remember that the lower portion of the draperies generally accumulates the most dust. Every other month is enough. But, if they become soiled and need cleaning, some curtains may be machine-washed, but most, if not all, custom draperies will require professional dry cleaning.

Spot-clean draperies with a toothbrush dipped in corn starch or baby powder. Washable curtains can be cleaned using the washer’s gentle cycle with mild laundry detergent. Sheers can be hand-washed in the sink or tub. Some fabrics can go into the dryer on its lowest setting; others may need to be hung up to dry and ironed or steamed.


You should remove dust and allergens on a monthly basis. Close slats so they lie flat and working from top to bottom, dust with a feather or lamb’s-wool duster, an electrostatic cloth, or the upholstery brush tool on the vacuum (set on low suction). Close the blinds in the opposite direction and repeat. Wood blinds and shutters should not be exposed to steam or moisture in kitchens or baths. Every 6 months you should wipe each slat with a slightly dampened cloth, then dry.


Regular vacuuming is the best way to clean pleated, woven wood, honeycomb, and bamboo shades. Vacuum the shades first using an upholstery attachment. Washable shades can be soaked in the tub in a mild detergent; others must be professionally dry-cleaned to avoid damaging them.

Honeycomb shades can be spot-cleaned using a soft (white) cloth and mild dish washing liquid. Only blot the area; rubbing can damage the material and texture.

Download Care & Cleaning Brochure for Hunter Douglas products.

Roman Shades

Roman shades are quite popular now as they are both functional and elegant. Dry Cleaning roman shades is not recommended as the process can damage them so that they may not lie flat properly. It is better to vacuum them regularly (set on low suction) and to spot clean them when necessary. Spot-clean shades and blinds with a soft cloth or sponge moistened with lukewarm water. Add a mild detergent if needed.

If you have any additional questions about the proper procedure for cleaning your window treatments, please contact us to discuss the best solution for your specific design style.

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