How To Clean Blackout Curtains: A step by step guide

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This post is part of the blackout curtain buyers guide.

Blackout curtains are great for blocking light when we’re trying to get that much-needed sleep.

Sunny days are appreciated, but when it comes to getting the sleep we need, especially if we work at night, blackout curtains are just what the doctor ordered. So we want to take special care of them to ensure we always have them when we need them. 

If you’re wondering how to properly clean your blackout curtains, this post is for you. 

As with any other curtains, blackout curtains collect dust and allergens over time. Therefore, it’s important to know how to clean them so the fabric stays intact. 

In this post, we’ll look at how to clean blackout curtains based on the fabric, machine, or hand wash and other cleaning methods. We’ll also look at how to clean blackout curtains without having to take them down and how to maintain your blackout curtains regularly.

Quick How-To Blackout Curtains Cleaning Guide

Type of FabricMachine WashHand-WashOther Methods
Foam-Coated FabricsUse mild detergent; no fabric softener. Wring them, line dry immediately. No touching.Vacuum Process Spot clean ProcessDeep Clean ProcessDrying Process
Woven Triple-Weave FabricsGently machine wash in front-loaded machine. Wring them, line dry immediately. No touching.Vacuum Process Spot clean ProcessDeep Clean ProcessDrying Process

How To Clean Blackout Curtains: The step by step

How to Clean Blackout Curtains A step by step guide

The good news is that there is no one way to clean blackout curtains; you have options. You can machine wash them or choose to clean them without using a washing machine. We’ll take a look at each of those options, and you can decide which one works best for you. 

Machine Wash

Blackout curtains come in two different fabrics, and if choosing to machine wash, it’s important to know the type of fabric you have. That will determine how best to machine wash them.

Foam Coated Fabrics

The foam-coated fabric has a white or gray coating on the reverse side. For best upkeep, it is best to not put these curtains in water. Spot cleaning is best, then you can dry clean. However, if you choose to wash them:

  • Step 1: Hand wash using a mild detergent and no fabric softener. Fabric softener could cause the coating to pull away from the fabric.
  • Step 2: Gently wring them and line dry them immediately. You do not want them to sit. 
  • Step 3: Make sure the coated surfaces do not touch each other as they line dry.

Woven Triple Weave Fabrics

The woven triple weave fabric is very soft and drapey and has no coating on the reverse side. It’s made with high-density yarn that’s tightly woven. 

  • Step 1: Gently machine wash curtains in a front-loaded machine. It’s best to use a front load machine with this fabric because the rotator in the center of the machine can damage the fabric during twisting. 
  • Step 2: Gently wring them and line dry them immediately. You do not want them to sit. 
  • Step 3: Make sure the coated surfaces do not touch each other as they line dry.

Non-Machine Wash

Vacuum Process

  • Step 1: Using an attached hose, vacuum the dirt from the front and back of the curtain panel while they are still hanging. This removes the dust before the deep cleaning process. 

Spot Clean Process

  • Step 2: Remove the curtains from hooks or rods.
  • Step 3: Look for problem spot(s) and place small drops of soap on them. Test in one spot first to ensure the soap will not discolor the fabric.
  • Step 4: Rub the problem spot(s) gently with a warm cloth.
  • Step 5: Rinse with clean water.

Deep Clean Process

  • Step 6: Fill the bathtub with warm soapy water. Use the same recommended amount for a small laid of laundry.
  • Step 7: Gently squeeze and scrub the curtain with your hands.
  • Step 8: Drain the soapy water and rinse with clean water.

Drying Process

  • Step 9: Ring the curtains to remove any excess water.
  • Step 10: Line dry and ensure the surfaces do not touch.
  • Step 11: Hang the curtains back on the rod or hooks so they can completely dry. Separate the panels for faster drying.

How To Clean Blackout Curtains Without Taking Them Down

Maybe you don’t have the time to put into washing your curtains and resolve to a simpler way to clean without even having to take them down from the window. Here are a couple of ways to clean your blackout curtains while keeping them in place. 


Give your curtains a good shake to assist in removing dust and debris. Use the soft brush attachment to gently vacuum the hanging curtains from top to bottom. This removes loose dirt, dust and pet hair. Do this as often as you feel the need. This is an exceptionally welcome alternative, especially if spots are not noted on the curtain.

Steam Clean

Using a steam cleaner, work from the top of the curtain to the bottom. Keep the steamer far enough away that the curtains don’t become wet.

Tips for Regular Maintenance

To keep curtains fresh and well maintained between cleanings, do the following maintenance routines:

Weekly: Before vacuuming, shake the blackout curtains to remove any dust or debris. Give the dust about 10 minutes to settle on the floor, then vacuum the floor.

Monthly: Once a month, vacuum the curtains with the dust attachment. Most of the dust usually accumulates at the top of the curtain, so focus a lot of attention up there. Do not use upholstery attachment because that can damage the fabric.

Monthly Alternative: If the vacuum is not an option for you, try using a hairdryer to remove dust. 


We hope these care and maintenance tips will be useful to you in the upkeep and cleaning of your blackout curtains. As with any manufacturer product, always refer to the label instructions before doing anything. Also note that if the label instructs to self-clean only, to do so. This will ensure the long life of your blackout curtains.

Blackout Curtain Buyers Guide Parts:

1. What Are Blackout Curtains And What Are They Used For?
2. Are Blackout Curtains Worth Getting? The Pros & Cons of Having a Dark Bedroom
3. What Are Blackout Curtains Made of? The Best Fabrics to go For!
4. Are Blackout Curtains Expensive? The 7 Best Priced Curtains of 2021
5. Are Blackout Curtains Energy Efficient? Can They Lower My Energy Bill?
6. What Color Should Blackout Curtains be in?
7. Blackout Curtains vs. Blackout Blinds: Which are better?
8. How To Measure for Blackout Curtains: A step by step guide
9. How To Clean Blackout Curtains: A step by step guide
10. Best Blackout Curtains For The Bedroom: A Buyers Guide (2021)

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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