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To not dry clean my curtains?

(31 Posts)
RevoltingPeasant Fri 29-Jul-11 15:25:03

I am shortly moving out of a rented property and the 'aide memoire for leaving your property' wotsit which the letting agents have given us specify that we need to dry clean the curtains.

But I have just rung our local Johnson's for a quote - and it's £59 a pair!! shock Given that there are about 6 pairs of curtains in the house, this would a few hundred pounds. And they are not dirty! They are light-coloured curtains, but we haven't soiled them in any way, we don't smoke or have pets, they just hang there....

AIBU to think dry-cleaning curtains is way OTT and would make no practical difference to their appearance? I am tempted to just run one set through the washer and see if they survive okay, or just even spritz them with linen spray <slattern>

Or is dry-cleaning your curtains once a year or so normal? confused

RevoltingPeasant Fri 29-Jul-11 15:25:54

specifies.... this would be.... sigh!

issey6cats Fri 29-Jul-11 15:28:40

there should be care instructions on the label most curtains nowadays are machine washable, if washable i would wash them iron them and put them back up spray some febreeze on them just as you walk out the house job done, and even dry clean only ones should take a hand wash

Hassled Fri 29-Jul-11 15:30:29

I wash mine in the machine on a cold, delicate wash and they've always be fine. Slowest spin speed you have. They do need a hell of a lot of ironing though.

Salmotrutta Fri 29-Jul-11 15:31:22

I'd be tempted to ignore the dry cleaning bit too.

Are they big and heavy curtains? If so could you hire one of those steam clean thingys (which I have seen advertised and have coveted) and use that after running the hoover attachement over them?

If not too big and heavy you could test one on a delicate wash?

Stuff hundreds of quid for dry cleaning!

ZillionChocolate Fri 29-Jul-11 15:31:25

Febreze.

HellonHeels Fri 29-Jul-11 15:31:38

Ouch! Dry cleaning curtains is expensive but that seems excessive. My local cleaners (in London) charged £25 for a pair of mine - and they were very dirty and also quite long. Do you have local non-big-name cleaners you could try?

I really would advise against washing them, I did this with a previous pair that were dry clean only and they shrank considerably and were crooked at the hem, it was extremely noticeable.

Acinonyx Fri 29-Jul-11 15:31:52

Are they lined? I machine washed my full-length curtains to avoid the dry-cleaning cost and they were ruined - one part shrank relative to the other and I had to cut them down, have them re-hemmed for another room and buy new full-length curtains hmm. Never again.

If you do wash them - make sure it's a gentle COLD wash.

I've never cleaned curtains when leaving a rental - that does seem OTT. Will they ask for proof?

RevoltingPeasant Fri 29-Jul-11 15:36:26

I don't know if they will require proof! They are a good agency - we are moving to a new property with them - and very 'just-so' about things. But we are already hiring a gardener to trim the bushes (too high for us to do safely) and a window cleaner, and I am not made of money!!

Hellon and Aci did you wash yours in a washing machine? Cos I am tempted to handwash them and then leave them outside to dry on the first nice day. They are lined, but they look pretty sturdy.

Salmotrutta Fri 29-Jul-11 15:37:09

Actually I'm dreading this with my living room curtains as they are HUGE (very big window).

I reckon they'd be fine on a cold delicate wash (and I have a bit of fabric I can test) but I doubt they'd fit in the machine they're so big. And I don't want to entrust them to a laundry.

I use the hoover attachement on them regularly and hope this is enough!

Acinonyx Fri 29-Jul-11 15:46:40

Yes - I put them in the machine. The wet wash seemed to leave the fabric kind of permanently wrinkled an uneven.

I have 2 enormous Turkish blankets that desperately need washing. I will have to trample them in the bath and hang them outside (over chairs?). They won't go in a machine and have no care labels. I won't say how long we've had them <<deep slattern alert>>.

RevoltingPeasant Fri 29-Jul-11 15:48:25

That's a good idea - Will try gently washing them with warm water and eco detergent in the bath. Well, 6 x pairs of floor-to-ceiling curtains - that's this weekend sorted!

HellonHeels Fri 29-Jul-11 15:53:14

Yes, I think I did do them in the machine, cool wash, delicate cycle. It was just like Acinonyx described - relative shrinkage between curtain and lining, I think the linings hung down droopy-drawers-style below the very crooked hem of the curtain fabric. Awful!

A pair of curtains could be very expensive to replace if ruined.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 29-Jul-11 16:05:41

Do you have an iron that can steam vertically? If so, give the curtains a spray with Febreeze and go over them with steaming iron.

If not, take them down, spray with Febreze, and lightly steam iron them.

If the windows are gleaming and windowsills/paintwork is prisitine it may be that the curtains will only receive a cursory glance, but you could use a safety pin to attach an old dry cleaning ticket to the inside of one curtain and hope this will satisfy the agent/whoever is carrying out the final inspection.

Here in grimy London windows and curtains are dirt magnets. I mean to wash voiles every month but living and dining room curtains are mahoosive and heavy and are cleaned on an adhoc basis i.e never

<<contemplates hermetically sealing house and installing air-con and plantation blinds>>

RevoltingPeasant Fri 29-Jul-11 16:07:58

Yeah I was thinking the fake-nets could happily be slung through the wash on a delicate cycle. Possibly with a tiny bit of bleach soak beforehand?

I think Febreze + iron is the way to go... thanks!

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 29-Jul-11 16:28:46

Bleach can destroy delicate fabric - use packet curtain whitener to return nets to dazzling whiteness or pre-soak using a couple of capfuls of a safe bleach such as Ace before washing.

storytopper Fri 29-Jul-11 19:16:14

Machine-washed my fairly expensive curtains on a cool wash and like many others have reported, the curtains themselves shrunk much more than the lining. I have re-hung them anyway but they look a mess - lining drooping by over an inch. I'm about to order some unlined blackout curtains as a replacement - I'll be careful to follow cleaning/washing instructions in future.

Be careful, OP. Steam cleaning may be safer than washing.

eurochick Fri 29-Jul-11 19:20:41

I wouldn't wash them.

Some launderettes have self-use dry cleaning machines. You could try one of those (much cheaper, but it does mean hanging around in a launderette!).

Or just iron and febreze them...

bishboschone Fri 29-Jul-11 19:58:04

I am a dry cleaner and I wouldn't neccesarily dry clean them but please DO NOT wash in the bath. If you put them in the bath you will need to spin them as they will be very heavy when wet and if you put them straight on the line dripping you will more than likey end up with a horrid tide mark as the water drips down the curtain. If you are going to wash them please do so on a delicate setting in the washing machine ( they may possibly need a extra spin as delicate settings spin delicately too.
Have you looked to see what the instructions say? They will be in the top corner . Most curtains say dry clean and alot can be washed but again be warned if they are something than will shrink they will be ruined. As another poster says they will shrink and the lining will hang down and you will end up buying new curtains which will be considerably more than the d/cleaning charge.
Many shope just automaticaly put d/ clean on curtains as a precaution as many people are rubbish at washing and it prevents returns. Please please do not put in the bath ..happy to advise furtehr if needed.

bishboschone Fri 29-Jul-11 19:59:48

p.s we have dry cleaned many curtains for renters and I believe they will ask for proof of cleaning i.e a receipt ..to prevent you just febrezing.

marzipananimal Fri 29-Jul-11 20:07:34

I am in the same position and am planning not to clean or wash them at all. Our letting agency are pretty disorganised though and the curtains weren't pristine when we moved in so I doubt they'll comment. The worst that can happen though is that they'll deduct the cost of dry cleaning (plus an admin charge no doubt) from the deposit surely?

RevoltingPeasant Fri 29-Jul-11 20:35:12

Hi bishbo I've looked at the letting agents' instructions and it says curtains must be cleaned, they recommend d/cing, but they will charge us for d/cing they aren't clean.

Thing is, like I said above, I can't find a local indie d/cer, and Johnson's are charging £60 the pair - we have 6 pairs of curtains - simply can't afford it. Thanks for the no-bath tip though: think I will stick with ironing and febrezing, and try a very mild safe bleach on the fake-nets then delicate cycle for them. That should be okay, right??

DoMeDon Fri 29-Jul-11 20:37:42

Fuck that - febreze and iron

travailtotravel Fri 29-Jul-11 20:42:05

Another one for Febreeze and a whip over with the iron ...

whackamole Fri 29-Jul-11 20:42:41

Revolting PM me - I have a voucher I will never use for half-price cleaning at Johnson's if you want it? I can post it Monday for you.

OR.....I would personally Febreze and iron as I ruined a set by machine washing them.

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