Hotel Drapery: Cleaning Tools


Our clients always ask us how they can best clean their drapes without damaging the blackout layer. Drapery usually isn't cleaned on a regular basis like you would clean your top of bed.

Here are some suggestions on how to get your blackout drape cleaned in a safe way. Check manufacturer’s recommendations for the face fabric.

Coated drapery linings and fabrics are so different from other materials, special care should be exercised to protect them from potential harm.

Many curtains and draperies are unnecessarily dry cleaned. A regular soft brushing or careful vacuum cleaning will generally keep them looking bright and new for many seasons. If dry cleaning does become necessary, BE SURE TO USE A PROFESSIONAL DRY CLEANER. Coin-operated machines can harm the lining and face fabric as well. (Check the manufacturer's recommendations for proper care and cleaning of all face fabrics):

  • Inspect draperies for labels that recommend special care. Classify them for cleaning method.

  • Make sure the draperies have been measured before cleaning. Pass information to finisher.

  • Remove all drapery hooks and/or pins. Inspect for any sharp objects attached to draperies or in machine and remove.

  • Run underweight loads. Do not overload.

  • Give a short run without adding moisture:

Mineral Spirits . . . . . 10 to 15 minutes or Perchloroethylene . . . . . .5 minutes or Fluorocarbon . . . . . . . . . . 5 minutes

  • Give normal extraction.

  • Tumble dry. DO NOT EXCEED 120° Fahrenheit (49° Celsius) TUMBLER TEMPERATURE!

  • Hang immediately. Do not leave in hamper. "

Proper Hand & Machine Washing Technique for Coated Fabrics (blackout)

Hand Washing:

  • Remove all hooks, hangers and any other sharp objects that may damage the coated fabric during washing.

  • Wash only one panel at a time. Do not wash with other items.

  • Use mild detergent; follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

  • Do not use bleach of any type.

  • Ensure that the flakes or detergent are dissolved fully before immersing the coated fabric.

  • Do not rub foam coated areas - squeeze gently.

  • Use cold water or water that is no more than warm to the touch.

  • Rinse thoroughly - detergent left in the coated fabric can cause deterioration.

Machine Washing:

  • Remove all hooks, hangers and any other sharp objects that may damage the fabrics during washing.

  • Do not wash with other items.

  • Use mild detergent, following the manufacturer's recommendations.

  • Do not use bleach of any type.

  • Do not overload the machine.

  • Set the water temperature to cold wash and cold rinse.

  • Wash on delicate/gentle cycle.

  • Once the washing process is complete, gently remove the coated fabric for drying.

Proper Air & Machine Drying Technique for Coated Fabrics

Air Drying:

  • Before drying, do not replace any hooks, hangers or any other sharp objects as they may damage the coated fabric while drying.

  • After washing, shake the coated fabric to remove excessive water. Do not wring out, but you may squeeze gently. Hang the coated fabric on a padded line (to avoid a permanent crease), distribute the weight evenly to allow dripping dry full length in open width. Be certain that the foam coated side is not touching itself or any surface as it dries. That is, hang foam coated side out.

Machine Drying:

  • Before drying, do not replace any hooks, hangers or any other sharp objects that may damage the coated fabric while drying.

  • Load coated fabric into the dryer. Do not overload the machine.

  • Set dryer on delicate/gentle setting.

  • Start the dryer and let the coated fabric tumble dry until the cycle is complete.

  • Repeat the drying cycle until fully dried – but do not over-dry.

  • If delicate/gentle cycle is not available on the Dryer, follow instructions under Air Drying.

Proper Ironing Technique for Coated Fabrics:

Most wrinkles and creases in the coated fabric will hang out over time or be hidden in the pleats or folds of the drapery. Because coated fabrics are so different from other textiles, if you wish to remove a wrinkle or crease, special care should be exercised to protect them from potential damage during ironing.

Use a household steam iron, ironing board with pad and a damp pressing cloth. Make sure that the sole plate (bottom) of the iron is free from any dirt, rust, mineral build-up or damage that could soil or snag the fabric. The iron temperature should be set to polyester or synthetic (290º F - 350º F / 143º C - 177º C). Use the damp pressing cloth to eliminate direct contact between the iron and the fabric. Never allow a hot iron to come directly into contact with the coating. Steam must be used while ironing. Press both sides of the fabric remembering to use the damp pressing cloth on both sides. Make sure the fabric is clean so as not to iron in a stain.

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