How to Remove Stains on Your Drapery

A woman cleans drapes.

Removing stains on your drapery can be a risky business. Pet stains and water stains are among the hardest to remove. Other stains are also hard to remove, but not impossible. Follow these simple steps to remove stains without damaging your drapes.

Step 1 - Pre-soak

Presoak your drapes in cold water. You can add Oxi-Clean to your water to help the stain removal process or, for a more natural remedy, try using some baking soda and lemon juice.

Step 2 - Use Caution

Never use hot water as it will cause your drapes to shrink or get distorted in shape. Certain drape materials, like cotton, can be permanently damaged after using hot water. You also want to make sure that you are not putting two different drapes of varying color into the mixture. Let them soak for a few hours depending on the depth and coverage of the stains.

Step 3 - Hand Wash Your Drapes

Fill your sink with cold water and mild detergent; allow the mild detergent to mix into the water completely. Place your drapes into the water and let them sit for a few minutes before you start the washing process.

Start by rubbing the drapes together, depending on the fabric you will need to make a judgment call on how vigorously to rub the fabric together. Sheer curtains will not fall apart as easily as cotton when rubbing the fabric together. Once you have rubbed the fabric together for a while, let them sit again for a few minutes before rinsing them.

Rinse your drapes with cold water and gently wring out the excess water. Place the drapes on a laundry line outside and stretch the material out as long as it will go. This will allow for maximum use of drying time and keep as many wrinkles out of the fabric as possible.

Step 4 - Machine Washing Your Drapes

If you choose to machine wash your drapes, use the gentle cycle with cold water. Once your drapes are washed follow the same drying procedures as you would if you hand washed them. You can use your dryer if you have a non-heating option.

Extra Tips

To remove barbeque sauce or ketchup, try a little artificial sweetener and club soda. To remove stains on all white drapes, bleach is safe in moderation.