It’s time to raise the curtain on washing your living room essentials. Whether you’re contemplating a deep clean before having guests over or you can’t remember the last time you washed your drapes, we get it. But cleaning your textiles — drapes, curtains, and throw pillows— is crucial to maintaining a fresh, inviting atmosphere in your home. Just be aware that many conventional cleaning methods can harm the environment.
So, let’s explore effective and sustainable cleaning techniques that won’t damage your fabrics or the planet. Adopting these practices — from plant-based detergent to air drying — ensures a welcoming living space while minimizing your ecological impact.
Choose sustainable fabrics
Before washing them, purchase items made from natural and organic fabrics, whether linen, bamboo, or organic cotton. Not only are they grown without chemicals, but they don’t release microplastics when washed — something that occurs with such synthetic fabrics as polyester and nylon.
How often should I wash curtains?
If you or anyone in your family is sensitive to dust and debris, washing your curtains every three to six months is recommended. (And the good news is that SaltyLama laundry sheets are hypoallergenic and a great choice for sensitive skin.) Otherwise, once every six to 12 months will suffice. Set a reminder on your phone to keep track of the next time you should clean your drapes or curtains.
How to wash curtains at home
Curtains add style to any room and play a crucial role in light control and privacy. Despite their prominent role in many living room designs, we tend to put cleaning them on the backburner. But not today! Just follow our guide to wash your curtains or drapes effortlessly.
- First, dust the fabrics and vacuum around the area. Begin by gently shaking your curtains to remove loose dust particles. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any remaining dust and dirt. It’s that easy! We recommend dusting once a week or every two weeks to limit dust particles and keep your living room fresh.
- Next, spot clean when necessary. Address stains and spills promptly. Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric. Just take an eco-friendly laundry sheet and rip a small square, placing it in a small bowl. Dampen it with lukewarm water. Dip a washcloth or dish towel into the mixture to gently rub the stained area. Avoid excess scrubbing to prevent damage. For tougher stains like coffee or wine, add white vinegar to the mixture or make a paste by adding baking soda.
- When handwashing, fill a tub with warm water. Hot water can cause the fabric to shrink. Soak the drapes or curtains for about 20 minutes. You can dislodge dirt by carefully stirring the fabric. Then rinse until the water clears.
- Considering machine washing? Always check the item’s care label first. If machine washing is recommended, use a gentle cycle with cold water. Once the wash is done, you can protect your curtains and drapes by using mesh laundry bags. Then, rather than stuffing them into the dryer, hang them outdoors or opt for an indoor drying rack.
- Finally, refresh and deodorize as needed. To eliminate any lingering odors, rub natural lavender sachets (or an herb of your choice) over the surfaces to mask smells in a sustainable, chemical-free way. You can also mix three-parts water with one-part laundry detergent sheet in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of your favorite aromatic essential oil for an extra clean smell.
How to take care of your living room cushions
Cushions provide comfort and a touch of coziness to your living room but can also build up dirt, pet hair, germs, and more. But you can keep cushions clean, stress-free.
- Fluff cushions to keep them looking good. Fluffing helps restore their shape. Take them outside and give them a beating to remove excess dirt and dust. We recommend doing this weekly to keep them in tip-top shape.
- Remember to spot clean. For stains and marks, follow the same steps for curtains, and remember to act quickly. Tear the laundry sheet into a small square, place it in a small bowl, and dampen it with lukewarm water. Dip a clean washcloth or dish towel into the mixture to gently rub the stained area. The detergent sheet will help lift the stain effectively. Ensure you’re using a gentle touch to avoid damaging the fabric.
- Spritz with fabric freshener as needed. If your cushions need a refresh, do so without chemicals. You can rub a lavender sachet over the fabric or spritz with a spray bottle of three-parts water with one-part laundry detergent sheet. We also like adding a few essential oil drops for an extra freshening boost. Remember to shake the bottle well before using.
How to wash throw pillows with care
Throw pillows are a sofa accessory favorite for many! But don’t forget to give them a nice cleaning every month. Just follow these steps.
- Regularly vacuum pillows to suck up any dirt and dust. Use the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and debris from your throw pillows. Pay extra attention to crevices and seams for the most effective clean.
- Spot clean when needed. Like cushions, treat stains on throw pillows promptly. Blot the affected area with a clean cloth dipped in a mixture of laundry detergent and water. Add white vinegar for tougher stains.
- Keep them smelling fresh. To remove unwanted odors, follow any of the above steps for cushions and curtains, or sprinkle baking soda on your throw pillows and let them sit for a few hours. Baking soda will absorb odors. Vacuum the baking soda and spritz with a DIY eco-friendly fabric freshener spray.
- Wash them once a month. Following these tips, you can care for your throw pillows throughout the year. Just remember to toss your throw pillows into your laundry machine once a month to tackle any extra dirt and bacteria.
Note: If you can remove the throw pillowcase, you can wash it once a month and clean the pillow itself once or twice a year.
Cleaning your curtains, cushions, and throw pillows is that simple. By adopting these sustainable methods, you can reduce your environmental impact while keeping your home fresh. Remember, even minor changes in your routine can make a difference. Enjoy your clean, eco-friendly living space!