Mustard dining room drapery, upholstered dining chairs, and vibrant foreground settee

Freshen Up Your Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Cleaning Drapery and Shades for Spring

Spring cleaning is a rejuvenating process that breathes new life into our homes, making them feel fresh and welcoming. An integral part of this seasonal refresh involves cleaning drapery and shades, which can accumulate dust, allergens, and odors over time. This guide will walk you through the best practices for cleaning your window treatments, ensuring they look their best and contribute to a healthier indoor environment.

Assess Your Drapery and Shades

Before you begin, it’s crucial to assess the type of material your window treatments are made of. Check for any labels or manufacturer’s instructions that might dictate specific care requirements. Delicate fabrics may require professional cleaning, while more durable materials can often be cleaned at home.

Vacuuming: The First Step

Start by gently vacuuming your drapery and shades using the brush attachment. This will remove the surface dust and any pet hair that has accumulated. Be sure to vacuum both sides of the fabric, paying special attention to the top of drapes and shades where dust tends to settle.

Spot Cleaning

After vacuuming, inspect your window treatments for any spots or stains. Use a mild detergent diluted in water and a soft cloth to gently blot and clean the affected areas. Avoid rubbing the fabric harshly, as this can damage the fibers. For more stubborn stains, consider using a fabric cleaner designed for the specific material of your drapery or shades, always testing it on an inconspicuous area first.


If your drapery and shades are made of a washable fabric, you can proceed to wash them either by hand or in a washing machine on a gentle cycle, using cool water and mild detergent. To prevent wrinkles, promptly remove them from the washer and hang them back up to dry, or lay them flat on clean towels. Avoid using the dryer unless the manufacturer’s instructions specifically permit it.

Steam Cleaning

For materials that cannot be washed, steam cleaning is an excellent alternative. You can use a handheld garment steamer or rent a professional-grade steamer. Move the steamer slowly across the fabric, allowing the steam to penetrate and loosen any dirt or odors. Be cautious with silk or other delicate fabrics, as high heat can cause damage.

Professional Cleaning

Some materials, such as silk, velvet, or certain types of shades, may require professional cleaning. If in doubt, it’s best to consult with a professional cleaner who specializes in drapery and window treatments to avoid any potential damage.

Regular Maintenance

To keep your drapery and shades looking their best between deep cleanings, incorporate regular vacuuming into your cleaning routine. This will help prevent the buildup of dust and allergens and extend the life of your window treatments.

Spring cleaning your drapery and shades not only enhances the beauty of your home but also contributes to a healthier living environment by reducing dust and allergens. With these tips, you can ensure that your window treatments remain in pristine condition, adding warmth and style to your home throughout the year.