How to Clean Net Curtains with Vinegar

How to Clean Net Curtains with Vinegar

Net curtains add a cool, breezy quality to any room – but not when they’re yellowing and dusty! Keep your home looking more like a coastal resort and less like an abandoned mansion with the help of trusty white vinegar.

You can clean net curtains by diluting a cup of white vinegar in a bathtub filled with warm water, then soaking your net curtains in the tub for an hour.

The curtains can then be lifted from the tub and gently squeezed to remove excess water. Hang your net curtains back on their rail with the window cracked open to let them air dry.

Extra cleaning agents and methods can be used alongside vinegar if your net curtains need some serious care. I’ll tell you about additional steps you can take to revive your curtains in the rest of this article, and I’ll shine some light on common curtain queries.

How to Hand Wash Net Curtains with Vinegar

I’ll go into more detail about the handwashing method discussed above first, then I’ll lay out some extra ways to thoroughly clean your net curtains after you follow this method.

  1. First, fill one cup with white vinegar. This should measure at around 250-280 ml of white vinegar – adding more will make your curtains stink, but any less and your curtains won’t benefit from their soak.
  2. Next, fill your bathtub or a large bucket or sink with warm water and pour the cup of white vinegar into the water. Swirl the water and vinegar around to create a cleaning solution.
  3. You can add a few drops of lemon juice into the tub to diffuse the vinegar smell.
  4. Now, carefully lower your net curtains into the tub, fully submerging them in the vinegar solution. Gently swirl the curtains around in the tub, letting the vinegar work into the fabric.
  5. Leave your net curtains to steep in the tub for at least one hour – you can leave them overnight if you want to ensure they’re entirely soaked.
  6. Remove your curtains from the tub and gently squeeze the fabric to release moisture. Don’t wring your curtains; netting is delicate and easily torn.

Once you’ve followed these steps, you can hang your curtains up to dry. However, you can also perform some additional methods to get your curtains looking brand new.


Soak with bicarbonate of soda

Soak Net Curtain with bicarbonate of soda

After your curtains have been doused in vinegar, you can repeat the same process with bicarbonate of soda instead. You can’t use vinegar and bicarbonate of soda at the same time, though, since the two substances cancel each other out.

This time, substitute the cup of white vinegar with a cup of bicarbonate of soda and repeat the same steps as before. The two consecutive soaks should leave your net curtains looking fresh and clean, but you can still do more.


Treat Stains with Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda

Treating Curtain Stains with Vinegar

Got some stains on your net curtain that won’t budge? Work this homemade paste into the fabric to lift the remaining stains.

  • Grab a cup and fill it a quarter of the way up with warm water.
  • Mix in four tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda to make a paste, then rub the paste into any stains.
  • Let the paste sit for a few minutes, then add a couple of drops of white vinegar to each area where the paste has been applied. The vinegar will activate the soda, allowing it to destroy any dirt on your curtains.


How to Machine Wash Net Curtains with Vinegar

Vinegar isn’t necessary when machine washing net curtains, but adding a few squirts into the washing machine will soften your curtains just like fabric conditioners.

You can machine wash net curtains at a low temperature using a delicate cycle, adding your typical amount of washing powder or detergent.

How to Machine Wash Net Curtains with Vinegar

Net curtains are light, so add another garment or towel to weigh down the load. Once your machine reaches its rinse cycle, drop in a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to condition the fabric.

Don’t use the spin cycle; net curtains are easily shredded by harsh movement. You can dry the curtains by hanging them back on their rod, smoothing out any wrinkles as they hang.


Net Curtains Which Shouldn’t be Cleaned with Vinegar

Vinegar is acidic, which makes it great for burning through dirt… and certain types of fabric.

If your net curtains are made from linen, wool, or silk, you should ditch the vinegar and instead hand wash them in a basin or tub of cool water. Use a couple of dashes of gentle washing up liquid or laundry detergent as the cleaning agent.

Silk curtains shouldn’t be hung up to dry; they should instead be rolled in a towel then ironed on low heat to dry. Otherwise, the silk will be yellow due to oxidisation.


Does Vinegar Whiten Fabrics?

Vinegar is just the household name for diluted acetic acid.

As an acidic cleaner, vinegar can remove the effects of oxidisation on fabrics, meaning it can lift the yellow stains from your white net curtains. Vinegar won’t inherently whiten fabric, though – that’s best left to chlorine bleach products or the sun’s UV rays.


Whitening Products for Net Curtains

Whitening Products for Net Curtains

Finally, if you’re trying to make your net curtains pure white, vinegar isn’t going to cut it. Instead, try one of the following stain removers with whitening properties.

Add any of these products in during a machine wash cycle to bleach your net curtains – but ensure that you follow the product’s instructions and avoid using it with incompatible fabrics.

  • Dr. Beckmann Glowhite – This stain remover’s reviews are as bright as the fabric it whitens, but some customers have found it hit-and-miss and too expensive compared to supermarket versions. Check out its price and reviews on
  • Ace for Whites Laundry Bleach – Ace’s laundry bleach has excellent reviews, with customers commending its ability to whiten clothes without being too harsh on the fabric. Opinions on its smell, however, are mixed. Find this product on 
  • Vanish Oxi Action Crystal White – This Vanish product dominates the market as the most popular stain remover and whitener. Its reviews are glowing, praising the powder’s ease of use and effectiveness at removing stains. Some customers seemed unconvinced by its whitening abilities, though. This stain remover is on

You could also try whitening your net curtains with Steradent.



You can hand wash net curtains by submerging them in a mixture of warm water and vinegar for at least an hour. Vinegar can also be added to a machine wash’s rinse cycle to soften net curtains, and combined with bicarbonate of soda paste to remove stains.

A multipurpose acidic cleaner, vinegar is an easy and inexpensive way to wash net curtains, unless your curtains are made from linen, wool, or silk.