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Old 10-15-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
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Washing curtains, worried about tabs

Has anyone washed their curtains? I don't suppose it's something anyone does often but since I have pets I'd really like to wash mine every few months. I'm worried about putting them in the wash because of the tabs, I don't want them to break in the machine and damage it. I have a mesh laundry bag but I think the holes in the mesh are large enough that the tabs will poke through during the tumbling process.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:16 PM   #2
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We handwash in lukewarm water with a mild detergent, then hang to dry. We figure gentle washing will extend the life. We have seen older curtains disintegrate in the washing machine as the UV rays break down the fibers.
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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I have washed ours in the tub and hang on the adjustable spring tension shower curtain rod (relocated to the center of the tub) to drip dry on hangers with clips to hold them vertically as they would hang on the windows. They come out very nicely.
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:59 PM   #4
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Hand washing is definitely the way to go...machine washing would be too rough and the elastic on the clips will lose its elasticity if washed too often and too furiously.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:19 PM   #5
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Dry cleaning works too. One set in our kitchen area was water and tomoato stained by PO. They look new now.

BTW - are the tab attachmnets elastic or not? Ours do not stretch but that may be age.
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:16 PM   #6
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The tab attachments are supposed to be elastic, I replaced all mine (most of the tabs were broken and elastic wasnt elastic-y) so they're all tip top shape. Sounds like hand washing will be the way to go, and then maybe dry on low unless we get a sunny day. Thanks
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonaxLisa View Post
Has anyone washed their curtains? I don't suppose it's something anyone does often but since I have pets I'd really like to wash mine every few months. I'm worried about putting them in the wash because of the tabs, I don't want them to break in the machine and damage it. I have a mesh laundry bag but I think the holes in the mesh are large enough that the tabs will poke through during the tumbling process.
We've washed ours at least three times in our washer. Gentle cycle, Woolite, as soon as they are done, put them in the dryer, on low temp setting. Your tabs should be OK. If you do need any replacements, they are available, either through Airstream, or Camping World.
As soon as it is complete, fold them with the pleats, holding them with either rubber bands, or something to keep them folded with the pleats until you are ready to reinstall them.
It works great, (at least for us), and a lot less than dry cleaning, or buying new ones.
Good luck
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:34 PM   #8
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hand washing

I would suggest hand washing if they have age on them. Stupid me washed all mine from my 1976 and they came out in sreads. I had to cut all the tabs (136) and sew in to new ones. It got pricey for the sewing and then to the cleaners to press. Just an opinion.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:53 PM   #9
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I put my new curtains in my front loader on delicate. On the front curtain one of the rollers came off and I broke one of the plastic tabs when putting it back on. However, all my tabs are really old (some 39 yrs).....

Note - I made my curtains out of a sheets set so that I could wash them at home if needed. My son's allergies don't really agree with dry cleaning...
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:39 PM   #10
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I've washed ours a couple of times in the tub, by hand, in cold water, using Oxiclean. Then I put them in the washing machine on the spin cycle only, then hang to dry. They come out just fine.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:05 AM   #11
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I think a lot depends on the age and the fabric.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:28 AM   #12
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The tabs are made from acetel (Delrin) (the non-UV resistant grade). They degrade when exposed to sun. Old or tabs that look a little yellow, should be replaced. The elastic is also not weather resistant and should be replaced at the first sign of stretching. Replacethe top ones with a shorter non- elastic ribbons. The bottom ribbon is not under continual stress and the elastic ribbon can be used there but will degrade with time.
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