How to Wash Blackout Curtains Without Damaging Them

You can wash blackout curtains, but you must be extra careful. Blackout curtains are pretty different from regular household curtains.

Blackout curtains differ in texture, material, thickness, structure, etc. For these differences, the washing process also varies from standard curtains. 

Too harsh washing may damage the curtains, and too mild washing will not remove the specks of dirt and stains.

woman holding a blackout curtain

There are a few safe ways to wash blackout curtains, such as using a vacuum cleaner, a washing machine, steam cleaning, rinsing with laundry detergent, and so on.

To know more about the washing procedure of blackout curtains, keep reading.  

Can You Wash Blackout Curtains?

Yes, you can wash the blackout curtains. They can gather dust, bugs, and germs and might need deep washing over time. But they are not like your regular curtains. You must take extra care of them during washing.

As a result, you need to be particularly cautious when washing your blackout curtains.   

Blackout Curtains Washing Process

There are several ways to wash blackout curtains safely. Before washing, you must first check the care label and curtain material.

The most common methods of washing your blackout curtains are- deep cleaning with a vacuum, using mild detergent, cleaning in a washing machine, and washing at home with laundry soap.

Carefully read the care labels.

It is essential to view the care guidelines on the labels carefully. The type of symbol showcased will ascertain the adequate cleaning methods.

If the labeling states “dry cleaning only” or “do not machine clean,” you must manually wash the curtains. Any efforts at washing will almost surely fail if you don’t understand what they mean or how to wash them correctly.

Check curtain materials. 

Examine how dirty the curtain fabric is. Suppose you see black fungus starting to grow on your curtains, and they smell like muddy shoes from a foot away.

In that case, you should surely give them a meticulous spot-cleaning and sun-soaking with an odor remover before moving ahead.

Check if the curtains have any damage.

Examine the area for decayed areas, surplus soil, or malfunction. Do not machine-wash if the liner is fragile, chipping, or broken.

It will only worsen, and a few liners may come loose and jam your washing machine. Hand cleaning is suggested if the damage is minor. 

Curtains hook or grommets might scrape and harm the washing machine throughout the cycle. Detach the connectors and encompass the rubber gasket by assembling it, wrapping it with a light cloth, and attaching it with textile dross if feasible.

Deep clean with a vacuum cleaner.

Utilize a vacuum cleaner regularly to keep your curtains looking nice and clean. You may do this without removing the curtain from its rod by cleaning it while it is still lying with a soft brush connection.

Begin from the bottom and work your way down, being sure to vacuum both the front and back of the curtain pieces. 

It prevents dust accumulation and makes thorough cleaning more regular and straightforward. Take your curtains off the hook and lay them on the ground to vacuum like you would a traditional rug for a semi-deep clean.

Clean with a mild detergent.

You should test your selected detergent on an insignificant area of the cloth first to ensure that it will not harm the curtains. If you use harsh chemicals or chlorine, the color may likely be altered somehow, so prevent them. 

The detergent may also leave undesired stains; dye-free liquid laundry solutions can prevent it. To see if the detergent is acceptable, dab a little amount on an inconspicuous area of the curtains, spin with a moist towel for a few minutes, and then wash it off.

Use a washing machine for cleaning.

You must use a front-loading washing machine. The center mixer of other devices can bend the heavy material over itself and destroy the foam-coated textiles or fabric structure.

Thus, a top-loading one is not suggested. Put the blackout curtains into the washing machine individually; never mix them with other clothing items. 

To prevent overloading the machine, wash the curtain panels in multiple sessions. Run the washer to perform a cold washing on the gentle cycle preset.

A hot temperature might severely deform the lining if your curtains have latex backing. At the same time, an elevated level can destroy the curtain’s fabric.

Wash at home using laundry soap.

Firstly, remove your curtains. To eliminate dirt and filth, you should clean or toss them like machine-washed curtains. Find a tub large enough to immerse your curtains, such as a tub. Half-fill it with warm hot water.

Make sure you are using a moderate detergent once more. As a basic rule, use the same amount of detergent you would if you were doing a small laundry in the machine.

Press it down on the draperies until they are submerged. You should use warm water to wash and swirl the curtains.

Steam wash the blackout curtains.

If the curtains aren’t unclean enough to require a complete wash, steam-cleaning them with an interior hook is a good option.

Using a water hose is helpful because it eliminates the need to dismantle your curtains to wash them. Furthermore, when you clean, the steamer spreads out the creases. Steps for steam cleaning blackout curtains-

  • Fill your steamer cleaner with distilled water first to achieve the most outstanding results. Employ this for any kind of textile since regular water supply may leave chemical waste, and dark-colored drapes demand extra attention.
  • When you start, heat your boiler by turning it on and waiting a few moments.
  • In broad strokes, start from one end of the curtain and travel up and down until it is thoroughly saturated with water vapor, then go on to the next portion, making sure you don’t miss any areas the first time!
  • Keep the heat a few millimeters away from the cloth to avoid oversaturation. You need to dampen it slightly to ensure that you wipe it thoroughly without pushing so hard on the curtains panel that it strikes the window. 
  • Move slowly before going on to the next piece to achieve even coverage.
  • Take special care of any latex or latex backing. 
  • Steaming is unnecessary to prevent water from becoming caught beneath the fabric layers or inflicting heat degradation.
woman washing a blackout curtain

Guidelines for Caring Blackout Fabric

Every blackout material is unique, and the treatment will differ depending on whether it is fire-resistant or has a tight weave. Direct Fabrics specializes in flame-retardant blackout fabrics and curtains.

We always recommend double-checking the aftercare on the material. Paje’s flame retardant blackout cloth is a best seller.

The following are the product’s care instructions: Wash at 80 degrees F on a short cycle, no bleach, no tumble dry, and cold iron on the uncoated side only at 220 degrees F. Use the gentle cycle to dry clean.

How to Dry Blackout Curtains

While drying the blackout curtains, the most accessible approach to avoid fabric damage and wrinkles is to dry them immediately after rinsing. However, unless noted on the package, you shouldn’t dry most blackout curtains.

It is vital for those with a rear covering since the drier’s heat might melt the rubber and damage it. Wet curtains are extraordinarily weighty and might cause harm to the equipment. Here are some crucial tips for drying your blackout curtains-

  • Squeeze carefully between your hands to remove as much excess water as possible without destroying the lining.
  • Hanging your drapes where nature can quickly remove the water is a terrific technique to make them dry quickly. You may turn them from hooks or rods in the window, but be sure they can support the load of the wet curtain.
    Place towels behind each drape to prevent water from dropping, causing marks on the floor below.
  • Check that the coat on the back is distinct and does not adhere to itself when drying. Allow for adequate airflow within the cloth to keep the artificial covering from sticking to itself.
  • Extending the curtain pieces over the line might result in uneven drying owing to unequal airflow.
  • Make careful to peg it at the top, where the seam is, so there are no wrinkles midway across the curtain when you put it back up. I don’t bother ironing or straightening the drapes since the creases will disappear if it’s sunny or windy. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Can you dry-clean blackout curtains?

Blackout curtains require special care. Farthings recommend dry washing blackout curtains using petroleum-based solvents, often known as F cleaning, because “regular” dry cleaning can harm the lining.

How to wash curtains with lining?

Take caution while using rubbing backings. Hang them outdoors, spritz them with a faucet, and then rub them clean with a light cleanser. Rinse with ice water and hang to dry, ensuring the curtains’ backs do not contact anything.

How can you remove the odor from blackout curtains?

When you currently have a pair of blackout curtains, running them through a few cycles in the washing machine with some fabric softener, assuming the manufacturer’s instructions state it’s okay to do so, may help to eliminate some of the unique additives and enhance the fragrance.

Can you wash dry-clean only curtains?

When cleaning ‘dry-clean-only’ drapes, wash one bit at a time in ice water, ideally by hand or on the lowest preset. After the wash finishes, detach the curtains and hang or lay them flat to dry.

Do not put a dry-clean-only curtain in the washing machine to prevent shrinking.

What are blackout curtains made of?

Usually, blackout curtains are manufactured with 100% polyester or a blend of cotton and polyester. Another excellent component for making blackout curtains is heavy microfiber.

Heavy microfiber is made using triple weave technology that cuts off the light above 90%. 


There are several safe methods for cleaning blackout curtains. To wash your blackout curtains, you can:

  • Check the care label and the curtain material before washing.
  • Passing by vacuuming, using mild detergent.
  • Cleaning in a washing machine.
  • Washing at home with laundry soap.
  • Using the dry-cleaning method.
  • Steam cleaning.

These are the most frequently applied techniques for washing blackout curtains. But, before washing, make sure to check the care label and the curtain material to avoid shrinkage and damage.