How To Iron Curtains Safely and Effectively? Everything You Should Know

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Curtains are a must-find in every home. In addition to its function of covering the windows of a building, it is also a great point of interior design in a home. Curtains are just like normal cloth so it is not just enough to have them; maintaining them is also of utmost importance, maintenance like regular washing and ironing. Ironing a curtain is important to keep it in good shape by preserving the fabric with which it is made. Thus, this article will talk about how to iron your curtain, a seemingly basic task but one that is very important in a home.

With this article, you will learn the specifics and technicalities of ironing a curtain and likely come out more knowledgeable than you currently are about the task. After it, your curtains may fare better such that they’ll vocally thank you if they could.

Are Your Curtains Suitable for Ironing?

Several types of curtains, especially cotton ones, are suitable for ironing but several others are not suitable for ironing. The best place to check if yours is suitable is with the manufacturer’s label where it’ll be indicated if the curtain is iron-friendly or if only good for steaming or neither. If you see that your curtain is suitable for ironing or steaming, good for you, but if not, you are advised to take them to a dry cleaner for the proper wrinkle release treatment.

Note that it is important to strictly adhere to the recommendations of the manufacturer regarding ironing or you risk ruining the fabric of your curtain.

Things You Will Need to Iron a Curtain

The tools include;

Steps to Ironing a Curtain:

1.   Wash them first

The first step to consider in ironing a curtain is washing it first to make sure it is clean as possible. No one wants to iron a dirty curtain. With a clean curtain, ironing it to make it smooth brings out the beauty more and makes it more enjoyable to its owner.

Curtains can be washed by hand or using washing machines, with recommendations for either usually given by the manufacturer. Washing it is a straightforward process, either with a machine or hand-washing by first soaking in cold water, washing carefully, and rinsing thoroughly. When hand-washing, make sure that the detergent is dissolved thoroughly before soaking the cotton.

2.   Get a Helping Hand

Curtains are most times large in size and this makes them difficult to handle for just one person. To tackle this problem, we advise that you get a helping hand before embarking on the process of washing and ironing a curtain, be it a family member, friend, or neighbor who is willing to help you.

Once washing is complete and the curtain is dry, the very first step for ironing is to set it up properly, as in keeping it in a position where it can be easily ironed and a helping hand is much needed here.

3.   Setup the Iron

With the curtain set up, the iron is next. Irons are a delicate form of equipment with various settings that if not handled well can damage the fabric of the curtain, making it important to set up your iron properly before using it. Setting up the iron includes but is not limited to; getting the right temperature, making sure it is plugged properly to the source of electricity, filling it with water if it is a steam iron, and heating it to the desired temperature.

4.   Iron your Curtain on the Rod

It is advised that you place your curtain properly with the iron rod to iron it. This is because trying to use an iron board is difficult due to the large surface area so it’s easier to hang your curtain on its rod as usual than proceed to steam it. It is better to have a helping hand here that holds the curtain firmly when steaming, firmly by pulling the bottom of the curtain down taut. Your helping hand should then care to avoid contact near steam with his/her hands or face to prevent injury.

5.   Stretch the Curtain

As part of holding it firmly, make sure the curtain is stretched out equally at its edges to make a smooth surface that can easily be steamed. Stretching it this way, it is then easy to apply steam from the iron to straighten it out, remove wrinkles, and bring out its beauty.

6.   Put the Steam Button

Once the curtain has been stretched out, then comes the time to apply steam from the iron. The usual way to do this is by controlling the iron steam button to gush out steam made from the water you filled it with. This is the most important part of the ironing process that determines how your curtain comes out at the end. Here, you have to take care to make sure you apply steam across all sides of the iron and also take care to avoid close contact with steam that could cause injury to you or your helping hand.

7.   Iron Bottom to Top

The recommended way to smoothen your curtain with steam is from the bottom to the top. It is so because not only is it more ergonomic, it provides a better view to judge the results of your work. Thus, it is the recommended method to iron your curtain and emerge with a very satisfactory result.

8.   Iron Section by Section

Another thing to note when ironing is going from section to section of the curtain and smoothing them distinctively. This way, the steam applies to all areas of the curtain equally to give the desired result.

Tips to Iron Curtain:

There are several tips to note down regarding ironing a curtain and they include;

  1. First and foremost, pick high-quality curtains when purchasing because they tend to be easier to iron
  2. Iron your curtains on the rod rather than on an ironing board to get the best results. This has been explained earlier.
  3. Use the right type of iron, steam iron preferably; This is to minimize direct contact with a hot surface that may cause damage.
  4. Follow ironing instructions from the manufacturer strictly; instructions from both the manufacturer of the iron and the curtain to be ironed
  5. Iron a section at a time; explained earlier
  6. Use starch when recommended to make the fabric stronger; if it is recommended by the curtain manufacturer, use spray starch to make the fabric crisp and less vulnerable to wrinkles.
  7. Overlay a piece of bedsheet over the curtain to protect it from direct heat; direct heat contact with a light-fabric curtain may burn it.
  8. Iron the back of the curtain if using an ironing board to prevent and minimize potential damage from excess heat.
  9. Note the type of fabric of your curtain and follow the recommendations for it. If yours is of light fabric like silk or satin, you should take extra care to avoid damaging it.

How To Iron a Delicate Curtain?

Delicate fabrics like silk or satin are more vulnerable to damage from the high heat of iron so they shouldn’t be ironed just like other fabrics. To iron such light fabrics, it is advised that you first spray them with water to lessen the heat effect. Then, you’re advised to place a bed sheet or pillowcase on top of the curtain and iron it that way to avoid damage under direct heat.

For pleated curtains of light fabric, you are advised to gather the pleats together before ironing them according to their specific design. This way, you can ensure that the pleat remains stable and sharply defined.

How Often Should You Iron your Curtain?

There is no need to iron curtains on a regular basis like normal clothing, so the question now lies in how often should one iron his/her curtain? The answer varies…some say every six months or so, someday the moment you notice wrinkles and deep creases on them, both are correct but the difference is not every type of curtain fabric wrinkles or gets creases at the same time frame so the right answer varies according to the type of fabric your curtain is made of.

To make a compromise, you should iron your curtain once you notice wrinkles or creases but this time could vary from six months to up to a year.

Should You Just Steam Them or Let Them Hang?

We advise that steaming your curtain is a more effective way to remove wrinkles from it rather than spraying it with water or wrinkle-release products and letting them dry. So, you should try steaming first using an iron or handheld steamer but if you can’t do that spraying and letting them hang to dry also works but is usually slower.

Can you Iron Blackout Fabrics, How?

Blackout fabric refers to a foam-backed pague fabric that’s used to black out light, mostly used as curtain lining. For their uniqueness, they can still be ironed but it’s a distinct process to follow, unlike traditional fabrics. It is often that blackout curtains arrive from a seller in wrinkles due to folding during packaging, so it is important to iron them.

The process to iron a blackout fabric is thus;

1.   Cover your ironing board with an aluminum foil

It is advised to set up your ironing board in an open area that allows you to move around freely while being plugged into an electrical outlet, then you cover the ironing board with a layer of aluminum foil to help distribute the heat on the bottom side of the blackout curtains.

2.   Set Iron at the lowest temperature

Due to their nature, blackout fabrics are prone to damage from high heat so it is essential to set your iron at the lowest heat setting to appropriately smoothen it.

3.   Place Curtain on Table

The placement should be done with the insulation side of the blackout curtain facing down. You never want the insulation side of your blackout curtain to be ironed directly as the material could easily melt and damage both the curtain and your iron. It is the aluminum foil placed on the ironing board that protects the insulation side facing down from direct heat by distributing it equally.

4.   Cover Curtain with Bedsheet

This is to protect the side being ironed from direct heat contact to prevent damage.

5.   Start Ironing

As advised, iron from the bottom towards the top and section by section. Focus on where you spot wrinkles by gliding the iron over the layered sheet using appropriate pressure (medium or high). Take good care to move slowly and steadily until all the wrinkles you spot have been removed. Then, readjust and move to the next section of the curtain to repeat the same process.

6.   Rehang Curtain When Done

After ironing a blackout curtain, it is advised to rehang it immediately afterward so that new wrinkles and creases don’t get a chance to develop. Remember to turn off your hot iron and keep it properly to avoid potential injury.

Can You Put Blackout Curtains in the Dryer?

If you don’t want to iron a curtain for whatever reason, an alternative method recommended is usually to put it in a dryer, but mind you this method doesn’t always work for blackout curtains. In fact, hanging blackout curtains in a dryer may have the lining melt and stick together to possibly render the curtain useless. But still, some blackout curtains can go in the dryer depending on the recommendations of the manufacturer which are to be strictly followed.

If your type of blackout curtain can be hung in a dryer, we recommend that you put a damp towel in the dryer with them that will help release wrinkles and creases., Also set your dryer to the lowest temperature on a delicate dry cycle and check the drying process regularly. Once you have confirmed the wrinkles to be gone, hand back the curtain on its rod to start using.

Can You Iron Sheer Curtains?

Yes, some sheer curtains can be ironed but strictly according to the manufacture instructions. To iron the sheets directly, you’re advised to use the iron’s coolest temperature setting so that the light fabric doesn’t get damaged, but if you need a higher temperature then you can place a bed sheet, pillow case, or towel on top of the curtain before ironing so as to prevent direct heat contact which may lead to damage.

Steaming sheer curtains is usually quite safe except the manufacturer has provided contradicting instructions.

How Do You Crease Curtains?

Removing creases from curtains can be done with steam iron but you don’t even necessarily need one. It can be done for example by filling a clean spray bottle with water and spraying the curtains at any point you find wrinkles. Then, let the curtain hang to air dry, making the weight of the curtains along with the moisture from water enough to smoothen out the wrinkles.

Other methods include spraying the curtains with a wrinkle-release product, using a handheld steamer, or washing and drying.

When Should You Bring Your Curtains to A Professional Cleaner?

The time you’re advised to take your curtain to a professional cleaner is when you have tried your best to remove the wrinkles and smoothen it but it doesn’t seem to be working. At this time, the issue with your curtain may be above the amateur level and thus require the attention of a dedicated professional launderer.

More so, professional cleaners are better at removing stains from your curtaining and ironing them after washing without the risk of damage to the fabrics. Remember they have much more experience doing this than the average customer and thus can handle it much better.

Can You Get Wrinkles Out of Curtains Without an Iron?

Yes, you can get wrinkles out of a curtain without necessarily ironing it. As hinted earlier, you can simply spray your curtains with water or a wrinkle-release product and leave them to air dry, such that the weight of the curtains along with the moisture from water is enough to make them smooth. Another alternative method is just washing and drying them and it could smoothen itself similarly to the process of spraying with water.

Below is a brief walkthrough on how to go about getting wrinkles out of your curtain without an iron.

1.   Spraying with water

Fill a clean spray bottle with water and then spray the curtains at every point you spot wrinkles such that it becomes significantly damp. After this, leave the curtain to air dry and check back after it has. It is possible that this process would smoothen it.

Also, you could try a 50:50 combo of plain water and white vinegar as a spray to get better results.

2.   Spraying with Wrinkle-Release products

This is basically the same process with water but replacing it now with some dedicated wrinkle-release products sold by many brands. These products are usually scented so even go a long way to add nice smells to your curtain and its surrounding environment.

3.   Using a Hand-Held Steamer

This is similar to a steam iron but when you use a handheld steamer to remove the wrinkles from your curtain. The process to do so is thus;

  • Fill the handheld steamer with water according to the level recommended by the manufacturer then turn it on and verify it is working.
  • Make sure your steamer is set to the appropriate temperature for the fabric of your curtain. There is usually a recommendation on the label of the curtain.
  • Aim the nozzle of the steamer at the wrinkles at every point you spot one, going from top to bottom and section to section.
  • Let the curtains air-dry over the next 24 hours
  • If the curtains are still wrinkled after the process, then repeat the treatment or try a different option that may be taking it to a professional cleaner.

How to Iron Thermal Curtains?

Thermal curtains are the type of curtains that function first as a way to insulate a home, then to also filter out unwanted natural light. The insulation works by having multiple layers of fabric with thick padding that prevents air from circulating from a window into a home, providing protection from the cold in winter and heat in the summertime.

Because of its type of fabric, the advised way to iron thermal curtains is thus;

  • Preheat your electric iron to medium, without using the steam setting
  • Place a large clothing material on the ironing board, maybe a bed sheet, towel, or blanket. This way, it is easier to iron the thermal curtain via direct heat contact which it can endure due to its thick padding.
  • Iron slowly and smoothly with a back-and-forth motion to remove wrinkles. Start at the bottom and work all the way toward the top but avoid the pleats usually placed at the top.
  • Allow the ironed portions of the curtain to be softly pillowed up and you work on new sections on the ironing board.
  • Check for wrinkles, which are likely removed at this point if the process is adhered to. If not, seek other options such as handing it over to a professional.

How To Iron Polyester Curtains?

Polyester is a common fabric for curtains that’s very light and delicate in nature. It’s durable, sturdy, affordable, and also easier to care for and resist wrinkling and stretching, making it a very ideal choice for curtain owners. Of course, they can be ironed in an appropriate way such that they aren’t damaged despite their light and delicate structure.

The care labels of the polyester usually provide good guidance on how to iron the material. For a curtain, the process is thus;

  1. Lay the curtain on an ironing board or alternative thick material of large surface area.
  2. Check the curtain label to find out the recommended temperature setting for the iron. It’s likely to be warm.
  3. Plug the iron in and turn it up to the recommended setting, allowing it to heat up.
  4. Place clothing material over the curtain to protect it from direct heat contact that may damage it. Iron over this clothing material rather than polyester.
  5. Iron the curtain from top to bottom, section to section, making sure that the wrinkles are removed as desired. If the wrinkles are proving stubborn, apply steam or spray water on the fabric before ironing it again.
  6. Once done, hang the curtains up immediately to let gravity pull out extra wrinkles and prevent new wrinkles from forming

How to get wrinkles out of polyester curtains without an iron?

If you don’t want to iron a polyester curtain for certain reasons, you can definitely use the alternative method of spraying it with water or wrinkle-release and then leaving it to air dry. This way, the moisture of the water applied to the weight of the curtain can remove the wrinkles.

Final Words

It is not just enough to have a curtain, maintaining it in good and quality shape is also paramount. Ironing it is one of the most essential processes of keeping a curtain in great condition and this article has provided a detailed walkthrough along with tips to effectively iron a curtain. We hope that this article has provided very useful information on how to iron your curtain effectively and get desired results, keeping its quality as good as new and performing its primary function in your homes as well as beautifying their surroundings.