Net curtains serve two main purposes in most situations. For one thing, they help to control the light that comes into your room, usually creating a softer and more attractive look, with less harsh light and shadows. Their other function is to add a little extra style to your room and complement the rest of your décor.
When your net curtains are in need of cleaning, however, they fail to perform either of these functions correctly. Dirty nets that have lost their pristine finish tend to create a darker and much less appealing feel in the room.
Lots of people put up with this because they’re simply not sure how to clean them, so we’ve put together this quick guide to talk you through the necessary steps.
The first step is usually to brush or vacuum your nets to remove excess dirt and dust. Often, this will actually make a big difference, especially when it hasn’t been done for a long time. In any case, this is important to do before further washing.
If you are set on washing your curtains, you may choose to do this before the first step, but usually you can do it after. If your nets are fitted onto a rail you should remove this and lower it before taking them off.
For best results, we recommend pre-washing your net curtains by hand in a bucket or basin. You will need to fill your container with warm water, ensuring there is enough to submerge your curtains, but don’t put them into the water yet.
First you need to add a suitable cleaning agent, such as a cup of vinegar (with lemon juice if you want to reduce the smell). Note that vinegar is not suitable for linen net curtains because it can damage them, so use only the warm water for these.
To ensure your net curtains have time to soak, which removes any lingering smell and dirt, you should leave them in the solution for at least an hour. Overnight would be ideal.
After this, you can drain the water and check how clean your net curtains are. Any remaining stains can be dealt with by soaking in warm water again and adding a cup of baking soda to the mixture, which actively breaks down stains and smells.
A washing machine will work best after the pre-wash process, and using settings and detergent made for delicate items. Cotton or polyester net curtains should be fine in the washing machine. You might need to increase the weight of the load by adding something like a white towel to balance out the spin cycle.
The final step is to get your nets dry, but remember not to use a tumble dryer because this can often result in them shrinking. Hang them outside if possible, or back on their rail if the window is ventilated. Drying naturally is the best way to stop creases forming because net curtains are usually too delicate to be ironed.