Spring Cleaning

A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Plan for Tackling an Annual Chore

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Abe Martinez)

Hopefully you’re not too bitter with me about making you clean again this weekend. But we’re starting the home stretch of spring cleaning! One week from today is the official last day of the program—so I think it’s just best if we buckle down and get going…

Today’s task is another one of those once-in-a-while types of missions, where we aim to clean a spot that likely only gets its due this time each year.


Clean Your Curtains

Homes vary just as much as the people who live inside of them. So today, we’re going to do a little choose-your-own-adventure-style plan. You might decide to take on a different method for each room or even select windows; just do what feels right for your lifestyle.

If your curtains look pretty clean already…

You might just want to give them a quick vacuum. Leave your curtains on the wall and grab a soft brush attachment to remove light dirt and dust.

If your curtains could use a deep clean…

…and they’re lightweight and easy to take down…

You can give them a spin in the washing machine. A cool, delicate cycle with a small amount of regular detergent should work for a lot of standard fabrics. Check the label for cleaning and drying instructions—and follow them, if they’re there. If not, and if you’re worried about your curtains shrinking, you might want to give them a hand wash.

To hand wash curtains, grab a big bucket—or mosey up to the bathtub—and fill it with lukewarm water and just a bit of your normal laundry detergent. Submerge the curtains in the soapy water and soak and swish them around until clean. Drain the soapy water and rinse your curtains with cool water until you see that all the soap and suds are gone.

Whether you machine wash or hand wash, you should let your curtains air dry (unless the label says otherwise). Leave your curtains in a breezy, open-air spot until they’re just slightly damp, then hang the curtains back on their rods to dry all the way and let gravity help to get out any wrinkles.

Or, if they are dry clean only, now’s the time – take them down and bring them in to the cleaners so you’ll have them back up next weekend.

If your curtains could use a deep clean…

…and they’re heavy or hard to take down…

You can rent a steam cleaner, or it might be time to call in the professionals.

Now that your window dressing is looking fresh and clean, might I suggest you spend the night curled up next to the window with a book or craft? Clean curtains are ultimate hygge.