Can Your Dirty Curtain Make You Sick? Curtains are often neglected when cleaning because many never see the need to clean them. Curtains are a home decor item, and they tend to collect dirt, dust, and pollen on them. Over time, this dander builds up on curtains, making it harder for sunlight or artificial light to go through the fabric.
Curtains that do not get cleaned will start to look dingy and old, so curtains must be cleaned at least once every year. Read on – Can Your Dirty Curtain Make You Sick?
How To Clean Dirty Curtains?
The Chemical Method
Cleaning chemically is the simplest and most effective method for curtain cleaning. The idea is to use a small amount of household or commercial cleaning solution to get the dirt and dust off your curtains. That is a suitable method for curtains always left closed, which means no sunlight passes through them. However, do not use harsh chemicals on your curtains since they can damage some fabrics and dyes.
After removing plastic covers from your curtains, spread some cleaning solutions on the curtain panels with a rag or sponge. After spreading it evenly across the curtain, allow it to air dry before putting your curtain back up. This method is suitable when you want to clean your curtains with minimal effort quickly.
The Steam Method
This method suits you if you have heavier curtains or use different curtain cleaning solutions for each season. The steam method provides the quickest and easiest way to clean your curtains and does not require chemicals. Put the curtain into a large steamer and close it in a cotton bag or towel. Allow the curtain to sit in the steamer for approximately 60 minutes, then go about your daily cleaning routine as usual. Using this method, you will achieve quicker results without leaving debris behind on your curtain fabric.
After making sure that the curtain is clean, ensure the curtain panel is completely dry before using it again. Avoid using the steam method on delicate fabric or silk curtains since they can easily get damaged by high heat.
The Dish Soap Method
Dish soap can clean dirty curtains, but you must be careful about what kind you use. Dish soap contains a lot of lye and other chemicals, so make sure to choose mild dish soap for this purpose. You may also use shampoo or liquid hand soap for cleaning curtains if your dish soap does not work effectively.
After spraying some shampoo or dish soap on your curtain:
- Wipe it with a clean piece of sponge or rag.
- Make sure not to scrub or rub the curtain too hard since it can easily get damaged by many detergents.
- Avoid using dish soap on any curtains that are dry-clean only since the chemicals in dish soap can easily damage these fabrics.
The Soak Method
Curtains with pet odor, grease stains, and tough dirt require a more robust cleaning solution to ensure they come off. The soak method is suitable when you want to clean your curtains thoroughly and do not mind spending a couple of hours doing so.
Anticipate which method you will need to use to clean your curtains, then soak them by placing them in a hot water bowl. Leave the curtain in the bowl for approximately four hours, then use a sponge or rag to wipe it clean. If you have stubborn stains and spots, then consider pouring a solution directly onto the area that has dirt on it.
Pros And Cons Of Cleaning Curtains Regularly
- You will get rid of dust and other dirt before it becomes a big problem.
- You will reduce the buildup of mold, which can be found in dusty, musty areas such as closets and bathrooms.
- It is easier to clean curtains when moving them around regularly, meaning you will not have to lug out furniture pieces or take down whole walls if you need more space.
- You might be able to prevent some stains from getting worse by cleaning them when they first start to appear.
- Cleaning curtains is a good chance to clean your windows and eliminate any other dirt or dust on them while you are at them.
- Your home will feel fresher and more welcoming.
- If your curtains are thick, the process can take quite a while.
- You will need more time to clean your curtains when you have many of them.
- Depending on your living area, you might spend a lot of money on cleaning supplies and equipment.
- Depending on the area you are cleaning, there is a chance that you will miss some spots.
- If, for example, your windows are all hidden behind curtains or blinds, you will never know where to start looking for dirt and dust.
- Cleaning curtains (especially when they are big and bulky) involves some physical work. You cannot rush through them without damaging them in the long run.
- You might find that you have no space to hold the curtain if you want to move it around, meaning you will have to fold it and put it back without cleaning off any dirt, or worse, miss some spots.
- Cleaning curtains can be a little expensive. Some fabric softeners/spray cleaners will cost you more than $1 per bottle.
Can Dirty Harbor Germs And Bacteria Make Me Sick?
Bacteria and germs can enter your home through more than just your front door. You could go outside and catch a cold or pick up a parasite by only shaking hands with someone. But if you are not careful, germs can also come in on the most unlikely of places: your window curtains.
Germs and bacteria accumulate depending on how often the curtains are washed, but even brand new sets can carry certain viruses like rhinovirus or coronavirus that cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, if left untreated, they could lead to pneumonia or respiratory disease like asthma in some cases.
A dirty curtain can also carry mites, which can cause skin irritation, allergies, and asthma.
They can also be a breeding ground for mold spores and dust mites. These, too, could cause various health problems for you and your family, including coughing, sneezing, and wheezing.
And when it comes to the most common viruses, such as influenza or rhinovirus, are most likely spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. Because of this, curtains are contaminated with germs if they are close enough. By not washing your curtains frequently enough, you risk getting sick from something that should be there for decoration.
In one study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, it was found that almost 64% of people who contracted a respiratory disease in the last year had their curtains as a source.
You do not want to fall ill while watching your favorite program, nor do you want to spread germs with your curtains throughout your home. Therefore, it is ideal for washing them frequently. It might sound like a hassle, but cleaning your curtains is worth it when you look through them at work or at dinner.
How Often Should I Clean and Wash Curtains?
First, the answer to this question depends on the type of curtains you have. These are mostly made from natural fabrics like cotton or silk. If your curtains are not too dirty and need good washing with soap and water, wash them two to three times per year — once at the beginning of the spring/fall season and again during the summer as needed.
If your curtains are made of polyester or polyester blends, you should vacuum them and wash them at least once a year. And if your curtains are made entirely of polyester or poly blend, you should wash them twice or thrice per year.
The cleaning fabric used in making your curtains also impacts how often you need to clean them. For instance, cotton-based fabrics cannot take too much dirt and require little maintenance and care. Also, natural fabrics such as silk do not require frequent washing because they are generally easier to maintain than synthetic fabrics like polyester or polyblends.
The occasional wash is all that is necessary for curtains made of cotton because they can withstand washing without fading or losing their shape. However, if you have purchased a set of curtains made of polyester or polyblends, you should wash them at least twice a year.
In addition to the fabric type and cleaning frequency, other factors also come into play regarding how often you should clean your curtains, including the fabric manufacturer’s recommendation and your personal preferences. Nevertheless, always follow any cleaning guidelines recommended by the manufacturer and those recommended by most curtain manufacturers.
Can Your Dirty Curtain Make You Sick? – Conclusion
Dust buildup will make curtains tough to clean later on, so it is best to wash them about once per month or even more often if necessary. Be sure not to use harsher laundry detergent than is necessary for clothes, as this could damage your curtains and leave behind an unpleasant scent.
A dirty curtain should also be washed with other home items (such as sheets or comforters) because dirt can transfer from one item to another when they’re washed together.