Did you know a relatively easy and cost-effective way to spruce up your home is to clean your net curtains? Believe it or not, net curtains can actually hold a lot of dust and dirt, and if you don’t clean them regularly they start to look scruffy, old and worn down. Plus, they will stop letting as much light through, making your rooms look dark and dingy.
The good thing is you can clean your nets at home, and it won’t be too much bother for you.
Not sure about where to start? We’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll explain how to wash net curtains from start to finish and have your net curtains back in tip-top condition in no time at all…
Things to Remember
- It’s easier to wash your net curtains if you take them down from the rail – cleaning them while they’re still hanging up is just going to be hard work
- Use a stepladder to take down your net curtains – get someone to hold them as you climb to ensure your safety.
- Remove any jewellery you might be wearing as these could rip or snag the fabric.
- Don’t scrub too hard when washing your net curtains by hand.
- Check what material your net curtains are made from – nets made from linen cannot be washed in vinegar, for example.
Step 1: The Pre-Wash
Doing a pre-wash of your net curtains is essential, as this type of clean removes any dust and general dirt that has gathered on them.
The vacuum cleaner method is suitable for people who don’t have much time to wash their net curtains. The soaking methods take longer, but you’ll get far better results with them.
If you’d prefer to try the vacuum method, and you don’t want to soak your nets, you can read through ‘Method 1’ and then move to ‘Step 2: The Wash’. Although, we recommend that you follow the soaking methods so that you get the best results.
Method 1: Gently vacuum clean your net curtains when they’re still hanging up. This will remove any excess dust that has collected on them. But be careful not to rip down your nets!
Method 2: Pull down your nets and soak them in a bowl, or a bath, that’s been filled with warm water and white vinegar.
- When the curtains are soaking in the warm water, add in some white vinegar.
- Don’t use too much white vinegar, just one cup will be enough – this will help to remove any hard stains and will whiten your nets.
- Move the water around.
- Try dropping some lemon juice into the water to ease the smell, or open a window to keep the air circulating.
- Leave the net curtains in the bath for an hour.
- Pull the net curtains out and get rid of the extra water by gently squeezing the fabric – don’t wring the curtains, as this could damage them.
- Move to ‘Step 2: The Wash’ or try the bicarbonate of soda method instead of/as well.
Method 3: Pull down your nets and soak them in a bowl, or a bath, that’s been filled with warm water and bicarbonate of soda – this will remove any mould or mildew that has formed.
- When the curtains are soaking in the warm water, add in some bicarbonate of soda.
- A cupful is enough.
- Gently move the net curtains around in the water.
- Leave the nets to soak for an hour.
- If there are still tough stains on the nets, follow the points below.
- When you’re done, remove any excess water and go to ‘Step 2: The Wash’.
How to Work Out Tough Stains Using Bicarbonate of Soda
- Get a damp cloth and coat it in bicarbonate of soda.
- Gently rub at the stained areas – don’t scrub.
- This should remove any tough stains from the nets.
- Soak the nets in water once again to remove excess bicarbonate of soda.
If you want to be extra thorough with your pre-washing, you can use both the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda methods. But you should use both methods separately, and you’d have to wash your nets in warm water in between both methods.
By the end of your pre-cleaning session, any excess stains should be removed and the nasty smells should be gone too. It’s now time to move on to the next cleaning phase!
Step 2: The Wash
You’ll see below that there are two steps: ‘Step 2a’ and ‘Step 2b’. The reason for this is because you can either machine wash or hand wash net curtains.
Machine washing will be okay for many net curtains, but some nets must be washed by hand. It’s important that you check out what material your net curtains are made from so that you can follow the step that best suits your needs.
Step 2a: Machine Washing Net Curtains
Here are the steps you need to take:
- Choose the correct setting on the machine – you must pick the delicate wash setting.
- Turn the spin-dry option off.
- Choose an appropriate detergent and pop it into the machine – nothing harsh.
- Pick a low temperature to wash the net curtains on – a temperature below 30°C is fine.
- Make sure that the washing machine is empty because extra pieces in the machine could damage your net curtains.
- If there are plastic bits on your nets, you might want to put the nets in a ‘delicates washing bag’, so they don’t spin around.
- Net curtains are quite light, so you might want to add a white towel into the wash, so there is a little more weight in the machine.
- When the net curtains are in the machine, press start and wait until the cycle is over before pulling the net curtains out.
- Move on to ‘Step 3’.
Here are some suitable products you could try when washing your net curtains in a washing machine:
- Dylon Renovator Curtains Whitens, Revives & Freshens White Curtains – see on Amazon.co.uk
- Net Curtain Whitener – see on Amazon.co.uk
- Dylon Renovator Curtains – see on Amazon.co.uk
- Dr Beckmann Glowhite – see on Amazon.co.uk
You must always check the instructions on the back of a product before you use it.
Step 2b: Hand washing net curtains
As mentioned earlier, there are some net curtains that shouldn’t be washed in a washing machine. And there are some people that think hand washing net curtains is the best way to wash them. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do.
Here’s how you hand wash net curtains.
- Put gloves on.
- Fill the sink or the bath with warm water – the water temperature should be about 30°C.
- Place 1 part detergent into 30 parts of water – use a specialised detergent that won’t damage the material and is okay for your hands.
- Move the water around.
- Put the net curtains in the water.
- Move them around to clean them.
- Gently rub at the net curtains to get the dirt off – not too rough.
- Release the dirty water and wash the nets under fresh warm water.
- Ring out the water, or wrap the nets in a towel to squeeze out the extra water.
- Move on to ‘Step 3’.
This process should take around 15-20 minutes, not including drying time.
Step 3: Drying net curtains
Always hang your net curtains up to dry. And never tumble dry them.
You can pop them back up on their rail if you want, but make sure you leave the window open so that air can come in to help keep the nets moving around lightly and to deter condensation from building up on your windows.
Remember, when drying net curtains you want them to be hanging loosely, otherwise, they’ll start to crinkle, and this isn’t a good look.
Why can’t I tumble dry my net curtains?
Tumble drying your net curtains may make them shrink.
How do I whiten net curtains?
There are many ways that you can try to whiten your net curtains. Here are some ideas:
- Use a specialist product.
- Try putting a sterilising tablet in warm water, and add the nets to the water. Leave them to soak and pull them out to dry.
- Diluted bleach will help whiten your nets – don’t use too much bleach as this will weaken the fibres.
- Leaving your nets in lemon juice and water overnight will whiten them (just wash them in the machine after).
- Vinegar works the same as the lemon juice.
- Whiten them with Steradent
How often should I wash my net curtains?
Net curtains should be washed every 3-6 months. But this is down to personal preference (and of course your schedule).
Can I iron my net curtains?
Yes, but you should be very careful when doing this, and it’s better to do it with cotton/polyester net curtains.
First, you need to make sure that the net curtain is dry, and then you need to pick a warm setting on the iron. Don’t choose a boiling hot setting because this will ruin the material.
Finally, before you actually start ironing, you need to put a cotton barrier (such as a bed sheet or pillowcase) between the iron and the net curtain, so you don’t iron the net directly. The extra layer absorbs most of the heat. Try not to iron for too long, but also don’t rush the process. And definitely don’t be rough.
However, ironing should probably be the last resort for crinkle-free net curtains. If you hang your net curtains up as soon as you’ve finished washing them the creases should fall out regardless.
My curtains look so nice, how do I wash my windows correctly?
Washing your net curtains can make the world of difference to your home. Your windows will look clean, your room will look refreshed, and you’ll get a lot of light coming in. Also, if you have a yummy scented detergent, the breeze through your window nets will spread throughout the room.
As you can see, washing your net curtains is relatively simple, and you can use the things you’ve got at home to clean your nets.
If you’ve never washed a net curtain before, then you’ll probably take some time on your first attempt, but usually, the process doesn’t take too long.
If you’ve got your own ideas, tips and tricks please do let us know!
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!