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Drapery Cleaning Instructions

General Instructions


In general, it is advisable to clean your draperies as seldom as possible. When it becomes necessary to clean them, however, professional dry cleaning is the preferred method. But, even with dry cleaning, you will want to find a cleaner that has some specialization and experience in cleaning drapes. In other words, find out if your dry cleaner actually performs the work themselves or outsources it to a third party.

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Home Remedies


Regular maintenance cleaning of your drapes is probably a good idea. While using a brush attachment on your vacuum, run it “lightly”up and down the folds of the drape to remove dust and particles. You can also “spot clean”most drapes with a damp soft cloth that has been wrung out. Do not use soap or detergent as is may leave staining around the spot.

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Chief Source of Damage to Drapes


Heat is the primary source of destruction for drapes. This is why lined drapes last two to three times longer than unlined drapes. The liner protects the facecloth from the damaging effects caused by intense ultraviolet sunlight. Heat, even in the cleaning process, can cause significant damage or shrinkage to drapes. Exposing drapes to temperatures less than 130 degrees is preferred when cleaning them.

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Questions For Dry Cleaners


A. Again, begin by first finding a dry cleaner that has direct experience with drapes; i.e. does not outsource the work. Look through phone books or the internet to find a cleaner who advertises specializing in cleaning drapes. Ask for references, check with the Better Business Bureau, or call your local Chamber of Commerce.

B. Ask the cleaner the exact temperature (if cleaned using heat) your drapes will be subject to during cleaning. Remember, any heat treatment should be under 130 degrees.

C. Show the cleaner your drape to determine whether they will have any problem treating your particular fabric.

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Fabric Types and Cleaning


The tighter the weave of the fabric, the more stable the material should be in cleaning. All cotton fabrics are generally not as stable as a mix or blend in terms of shrinkage. For example, cotton/polyester or cotton/rayon are good choices for stable (prone to minimal shrinkage) drapes.

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