Are Curtains Machine Washable? Let’s See Which Are

You are contemplating trading out your blinds for curtains, but you like things easy to take care of. Blinds only require a quick dusting with a damp rag or dust cloth and are easy enough to care for. So you may be asking, are curtains machine washable? We have looked into this to find out all you need to know!

Whether or not you can machine wash your curtains boils down to the fabric. If you have polyester, cotton, even linen curtains, then in most cases, you can most certainly wash them in the machine. If you have silk, velvet, or organza curtains, then in most cases, you’ll need to send them to the dry cleaner.

Are Curtains Machine Washable? Let's See Which Are

We’ll look at best practices for cleaning your curtains below. We’ll also touch on how to care for sheers and drying techniques as well.

Considerations For Curtains If You Want To Machine Wash Them

The first thing you’ll want to do with any curtain is to read the care label. Many curtains will list as clothing does, the fabric content, and how to best care for them. If there are no instructions and you have doubts, then you’ll want to dry clean them to be safe.

Other considerations are how old your curtains are and if they’ve had any sun damage. Sun-damaged curtains will be more fragile and may do best with gentle cycle washing to keep them in tip-top shape for as long as you can. You can also protect them longer by vacuuming the dust off of them before you wash them.

If your curtains have elaborate box pleats or embroidered raised stitching, you may consider hand-washing or dry cleaning to protect the intricacy.

You can also always do a spot test on a hidden area of the fabric to make sure it won’t stain with water if you’re unsure of the fabric content.

Best Fabrics For Machine-Washable Curtains

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Polyester
  • Nylon

Cotton and Linen, if they are not lined, may be washed in your home machine; however, you’ll want to do it on a gentle cycle. You’ll also want to iron them while they are still slightly damp to keep wrinkles from setting into these natural fabrics.

Polyester and Nylon must be machine-washed. The chemicals from dry cleaning will break them down over time, so a quick vacuum, then machine wash on a gentle cycle at cold temperatures, is what they need for lasting beauty. With the advance of fabrics, polyester is used to replicate many more traditional, and harder to care for, natural materials. We’ve got some examples below.

The Look of Silk, But Machine-Washable

Maybe you want something that reminds you of European villas, but you also hate the thought of drycleaning. Luckily, there are some fantastic polyesters out there to give you both sumptuousness and ease of cleaning.

If you love the look of luxurious fabrics but hate the thought of dry cleaning, many of the polyester blends on the market come in facsimiles of more luxurious fabrics. We love these grey patterned beauties that are not only machine washable, but also provide black-out protection from the light.

Faux Silk

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Faux Velvet

These star-studded curtains are made out of rich polyester velvet, so give you the feel of the castle you’re dreaming of, but with the ease of modern-day living. They’re also available in a vibrant blue tone and a sultry camel color for any decor.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Polyester Damask Jacquard

This polyester jacquard blackout curtain provides protection from the sun and the elegant look you’ve been craving. It comes in five neutral tones, the beige shown in the photo, along with black, and three shades of grey. Grommets on the top slide easily over your curtain rod. These curtains are machine-washable for incredibly easy care.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Can You Wash Sheer Curtains In The Washing Machine?

You can wash most sheer curtains in the washing machine. Since so many of them are now made in polyester or nylon, it’s advised that you machine wash, not dry clean. It’s always best to vacuum the dust off of your drapes first, then wash in a gentle cycle with cool water to make them last as long as possible.

These lovely linen and flax sheer drapes are a beautiful way to let in light while still providing some privacy. The fabric is very forgiving and can be washed on a gentle cycle with cool water and then tumble dried on a low heat setting.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

This decorative sheer is a polyester fabric. But like the linen blend above, it also needs washing on a gentle cycle and drying on a tumble dry low heat setting.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Should Curtains Be Washed Or Dry Cleaned?

It depends on the curtain. If they’re made out of a fabric that can be machine-washed, then you can do them at home. However, professional cleaning will always result in something crisper and less hassle for you. Though certain fabrics, like polyester and nylon, don’t respond well to the chemicals in the dry cleaning solution.

Can You Put Curtains In The Dryer?

If you have washer/dryer friendly fabrics, then yes, you can. However, you might consider drying on a gentle cycle with low heat for ten to fifteen minutes to get the wrinkles out. Then hang your curtains out on a line where the wind and sun can quickly dry them. Or, lay them flat to finish drying. You typically don’t want to hang them back up to dry thoroughly as the weight of the water can distort their shape.

If you do thoroughly dry your curtains in the machine, be sure to keep it on low heat, gentle tumble cycle, which will help with the longevity of your curtains.

Find other helpful home care tips on the Home Decor Bliss blog. We think the following posts may be of interest to you.

How to Get Wrinkles Out of Curtains [5 Methods for Beginners]

Where to Buy Shower Curtains Online: Top 40 Stores

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