Drapes using a rubber backing can provide your utility bill with a slight reprieve. In the summer, the curtains protect rooms from sunlight and heat to keep them cooler, while during colder months that the drapes block drafts and supply an extra layer of insulation to maintain a house warmer. The most element that offers these benefits, however, requires extra care and gentle treatment when you wash the drapesthe plastic backing.
The Washing Machine Method
Set your washing machine into the gentle cycle, then fill it with cold water and add the appropriate amount of detergent. The packaging to the detergent will generally dictate how much to use, or you can judge the measurement according to previous experience. For darker curtains you might want to utilize a color-safe detergent to help prevent bleeding or fading. Promptly remove the curtains after the cycle has finished, because prolonged exposure to the moisture from the washing machine could lead to mildew to form.
Hand Wash Outside
Hand washing the curtains is a gentler method than washing them, and is preferable when the status of the rubber backing on the curtains is weakened or there aren’t any signs of rubs or rips. Hang the curtains on a clothesline outside to supply the easiest access to all or most of the fabric at a single moment. Saturate the curtains and lightly rub in laundry detergent using a sponge or your hands, paying special attention to regions where stains or dirt have accumulated. Then rinse the curtains until each of the soap has washed away.
Hand Wash Indoors
If hand washing the curtains outside isn’t a feasible option, you can use a bathtub filled with cold water instead. In the same way, you must first boil the curtains in the water, then wash them with laundry detergent and rinse them until each of the detergent has been eliminated. Since the bathtub doesn’t allow for much distance, it will take a bit of maneuvering, shifting and sometimes folding over of larger, bulky curtains to be certain everything is properly washed, but it could surely be done.
No matter how you washed them, the drapes should be left to dry thoroughly either on a flat, clean surface or hanging from a clothesline or sturdy curtain rod. Avoid any harm to the rubber backing by preventing the impulse to ring or twist out excess water. Due to the agitation cleaning the curtains might have caused, you could be left with a couple of wrinkles. For any wrinkles that don’t naturally disappear in the drying process you can iron the fabric side of the curtains on a low setting. Take precaution not to leave the iron on any one place for too long — you do not wish to expose the rubber backing to heat.