If your caravan curtains aren’t the first item on your spring cleaning list, they should be. They are in the perfect position to trap dust and particles from both inside and outside of your caravan. But how do you take care of them?
Cleaning caravan curtains regularly will keep them in good condition and help last longer. A combination of frequent dust removal and routine deep cleanings will also keep your curtains from holding on to germs and mold that could make you sick. Luckily, it’s easy to clean your curtains at home.
Curtains come in lots of different fabrics, and caravan curtains can be a wide assortment of shapes. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how to clean them all.
How Often To Clean Caravan Curtains?
Curtains might not seem like the dirtiest surface in your caravan since you don’t handle them frequently. However, they collect dirt, dust, and allergens that can make you sick. Your curtains absorb particles from inside your home and from outside your windows.
Regular cleaning can also help preserve your caravan curtains. Constant sun exposure can weaken the fabric, especially if there are dirt particles on the material.
The best cleaning schedule for caravan curtains is to remove dust and debris once a week and then wash the curtains once every two to three months. You can leave them hanging up when you remove the dust but should take them off the windows to wash them.
Once a week, you should get rid of the dust accumulated on your curtains, especially in the warmer months when your windows are open to the outside.
The quickest way to get the dust off your curtains is to beat them, but this releases all of the particles they were holding into your caravan. If you want to shake or beat the dust off them, you should remove the curtains and shake them outside.
If you choose to beat the dust off your curtains, you can pin them to a clothesline and then use your hands or a broom handle to beat them. For shorter curtains, you can also shake them. For both of these methods, you will likely get dust and debris on your clothing.
The most effective way to remove dust from your curtains is to vacuum them. A handheld cordless vacuum like the Black + Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum from Amazon.com will get the job done well without taking up too much space in your caravan. The brush attachment keeps the vacuum from sucking up the curtain while you remove the dust.
Vacuuming your caravan curtains will get the dust off of them without getting that dust on your clothes. You’re also less likely to inhale any of the allergens and particles you’re trying to remove from your curtains.
Every two to three months, you should take your caravan curtains down and wash them to get rid of anything the vacuum couldn’t remove. Soap and water can kill germs and stop mold and mildew from growing in your curtains.
You should only deep clean your curtains every few months because too many washes can deteriorate the fabric, particularly if the curtains are in constant sunlight. The best times to do a deep clean are at the beginning and the end of the warmer season when the windows will be open most.
After you wash your curtains, be sure to dry them flat, so that mold and mildew don’t grow on them. If you immediately tie back your curtains while they are damp, mold can thrive in the dark, damp environment.
Spot Cleaning & Spills
Every once in a while, there might be a spill or accident that gets your caravan curtains dirty outside of your regular cleaning schedule. Unexpected rainstorms, kitchen spills, or pet accidents can all impact the cleanliness of your curtains.
If the spill is small, you may be able to spot-clean the area of the curtain with mild soap and water, but it’s a good idea to wash the whole curtain as soon as possible afterward to avoid long-term staining.
You should always wash kitchen spills as soon as possible, particularly if the spill is oily or greasy. Oil-based spills on kitchen curtains can pose a fire hazard. You can use liquid dish soap to spot clean the stain. This will lift the grease out of the fabric.
Why Clean Caravan Curtains?
Having clean caravan curtains might seem like a low priority, but clean curtains can improve your quality of life and protect you from illness.
Caravan curtains catch debris from the air both inside your home and outside of it when the windows are open. When you open and close the curtains, you are releasing all of that debris into the air. Curtains are a prime place for allergens like dust mites, pollen, and pet dander that can cause allergic reactions.
Worse than allergens, curtains can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew, particularly near water sources like a kitchen or bathroom. In a small space like a caravan, most of the curtains will be near a water source.
Mold and mildew can cause respiratory diseases and fungal infections as well as more mild allergy-like symptoms in people and animals. Cleaning your caravan curtains regularly will stop mold and mildew from growing while removing any other allergens and dirt.
How To Clean Caravan Curtains?
Before you clean your curtains, you should check the tags to see the fabric type and whether the manufacturer provided any specific cleaning instructions. Some curtains are made of specialty fabrics treated to be flame-retardant. You cannot wash these fabrics in a machine.
You might need to take embroidered or particularly fancy fabrics to the dry-cleaner.
The label will also include important information about drying and ironing the curtains. Following the instructions on the label will help you keep your curtains looking like new for longer.
Take Your Curtains Down
Before you take your curtains down to clean them, you should measure them. This will help you make sure they don’t get stretched out or misshapen when they’re drying. Wet fabric is much heavier than dry fabric, and the water can easily pull the curtains out of shape.
The curtains in your caravan may not be simply hung on a curtain rod. Track hanging systems are common and have a lot more parts than a traditional curtain rod. No matter how your curtains are hung, it’s important to wash the fabric only and not any metal or plastic components.
Getting the metal parts of your curtain system wet can cause rust and weaken them over time. Running metal or plastic pieces through a washing machine can also damage the machine and break the pieces!
If your curtains have metal or plastic rivets, you may want to wash them by hand, even if the fabric is machine-washable. While this might be a hassle, it’s better than having to replace all your curtains when the rivets break.
Wash With Mild Detergent
No matter what fabric your curtains are made of, you should always use a mild laundry detergent. If you are using a washing machine, you should run it on the gentle cycle. You don’t want to accidentally shrink the curtains or damage the fabric while you’re washing them.
Since caravan curtains are relatively small, you can wash them in your sink. Sink Suds Travel Laundry Detergent from Amazon.com is a mild detergent that comes in portable pouches that you can easily store in your caravan.
When you hand wash your curtains, you should swish them gently in a sink full of cool water and detergent. Avoid scrubbing, twisting, or scrunching the fabric, as this can cause wrinkles and stretch the fabric out of shape.
If the curtains are particularly grimy, you can soak them for 10 to 15 minutes. Once they are clean, rinse them thoroughly until the soap suds are gone and the water runs clear.
If your caravan curtains contain fiberglass, you must wear gloves to wash them. Fiberglass curtains are useful because they are flame-retardant, which can be important in small spaces like caravans. However, the little pieces of glass in the fabric can badly cut your hands if you don’t wear gloves to protect yourself.
These types of curtains should also never be washed in the washing machine, as the glass will damage the machine. Be sure to check your curtain’s tags carefully for fiberglass content before you take them down to clean them.
Once your curtains are fresh and clean, it is important to dry them carefully so that all your hard work isn’t undone.
If you are using machines, you can put your curtains in the dryer on low heat. However, you should remove them while they are still damp. When you dry your curtains all the way in a clothes dryer, any wrinkles that may have formed during washing will set into the fabric, and it will be very difficult for you to iron them out.
Hanging your curtains to dry is an easy way to keep wrinkles at bay, but you shouldn’t hang them back up on the window when they’re wet. Gently squeeze out as much water as possible without twisting or wringing them. Then lay your caravan curtains flat on a drying rack or pin them over a clothesline to minimize stretching.
The best way to pin your curtains to a clothesline is to fold them over the line in the middle of the curtain and pin them in place. This way they won’t drag on the ground, and the weight of the damp curtains won’t stretch them out.
Just like with machine drying, you should wait until the curtains are slightly damp and then iron and re-hang them.
Iron and Re-Hang
When you iron your curtains, use the lowest heat setting for the fabric type, and press gently on wrinkles. Refer to the measurements you took before washing your curtains to make sure you aren’t stretching them out as you iron.
Once you’ve pressed out any wrinkles, you can hang your curtains back up over the windows to dry them the rest of the way. Make sure to leave the curtains closed until they dry all the way. If you tie them back while they are still wet, not only could you re-wrinkle them, but you’re creating a dark, damp environment for mould and mildew to grow.