How to Properly Clean and Store Your Window Treatments

No matter how beautiful those curtains and blinds look on your living room windows, there may come a time when you want to replace them. Maybe you’re updating your home décor and they don’t match your new colour scheme.

These window treatments can be thrown away, saved to give to someone else or stored for later use. If you’re planning to store them, make sure they’re kept carefully to prevent damage. Don’t know how? Just follow these tips to safely store your unused window coverings.

6 Practical Tips to Safely Store Your Window Coverings

When you change your window coverings and replace them with new ones, don’t forget to store the old ones properly. Here are some tips.

1) Clean Them Properly

Whether storing curtains, blinds, drapes or shades, clean them first as it will be more difficult to get rid of stains once they’re out of storage. Dry clean curtains and draperies, wipe dust off roller blinds with a damp cloth, vacuum the louvres of your fabric blinds or use a dry duster to clean wood or faux wood blinds. Get rid of stubborn marks by using an old soft toothbrush. But make sure you dry them completely before storing.

2) Store According to the Material

Window coverings are made of different materials and should be stored accordingly to avoid damage. Here is a list of ways to store each type of window treatment.

  • Resist the temptation to fold your curtains to minimize storage space. Folding them can form creases that may be difficult to remove if stored for long periods. Rolling curtains up like a rug is the perfect way to avoid creases and ensure safe storage. Make a loose roll to decrease the number of creases.
  • Roll up your roller blinds in a tube and put them in a box. Make sure they don’t rub against any hard surface to prevent colour and pattern damage.
  • Avoid bending slats when storing vertical blinds. Take them off the headrail and roll up all slats together or put them all in a box of the same size.
  • Store aluminum, wood or faux wood blinds in a closed/compressed position and ensure the slats are kept straight.
  • People generally don’t store shutters, but if you must, do so like any other piece of furniture. Also, don’t pile anything on them.

Taking down the curtains

3) Store Away from Direct Sunlight

Any fabric window treatment should be stored in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard or attic. Heat, humidity, moisture and ultraviolet light can discolour and wear out fabric so store away from direct sunlight.

4) Check Their Condition Periodically

Check on your stored window coverings at least once a year to ensure their safety and good condition from mould or any other damage. This is especially true if you had to fold curtains due to a lack of storage space. After inspection, refold them to prevent further creasing in any one spot.

5) Go for Acid-Free Packing

You might not be aware that the corrugated cardboard boxes generally used for packing may contain acidic residue. During the manufacturing process, paper pulp is dissolved using nitric acid. Even after being rinsed to neutralize it, residue can be left on the cardboard. Since cardboard tends to absorb moisture which activates the residue, this can lead to corrosion or damage of items stored inside.

That’s why it’s advisable to use acid-free cardboard and paper to store your curtains, shades and blinds. Regular cardboard boxes with acidic residue can also cause window coverings to yellow, especially white ones.

6) Label and Date Everything You Store

Be an organized homeowner and label and date whatever you store to make locating them easier. This is especially helpful if you’re storing multiple pairs of curtains, drapes and shades in identical boxes or containers.

General Rules of Storage

  • Make sure the room you’re storing your window treatments in has adequate ventilation to prevent mould.
  • Don’t lubricate the blind mechanism before storage as any excess lubricant will damage the fabric.
  • Don’t store curtains, drapes or shades with metal pieces or curtain eyelet rings as these can rub against the fabric and cause damage.

Storing your window coverings, the right way ensures they remain in good shape and last a long time. Plus, it will make your home look neat and organized. We hope these tips help you properly store and pack your curtains, blinds, shades and drapes. The preparation might take some time but is definitely worthwhile.

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