As any homeowner knows, over time, everything gets dirty. Home furnishings are no exception to this. Window treatments are usually not something that most consumers clean on their own. But no one wants to throw out or replace drapes or curtains just because they’ve become dirty and discolored over time. It is especially true of drapery and curtains, as what is available on the market regarding style and design changes all the time and may not match what has already been used to design a room or home. Fortunately, drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services offer professional cleaning, both on-site and in the shop. These services can restore dirty window treatments to the almost like-new condition.
People often use the terms drapery or drapes and curtains interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Many drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services companies are more than capable of dealing with both types of window treatments, but some are specialists in one or the other. Therefore, it is good to understand the difference between the two, as it may play a role in the selection of the best cleaning services company for a job.
Generally, drapes or drapery that are handled by a drapery cleaning services company are made of thick fabric and have a liner or backing that faces the window side of the treatment. Their purpose is to block out light from windows, insulate a home or office from the heat and cold transfer, and provide some privacy to residents of the home or office. They almost always hang from the tops of a window down to the floor or bottom of the window and have mechanical elements that allow for opening/closing and adjustment, such as pull/twist rods or cords.
Curtains, however, are different. Curtain cleaning services are quick to point out that while they are also window treatments just as like drapes, and typically hang from the top of a window, there are many more variations of length and style. Some cover only the top of a window, some just the sides, and some are full length just like drapes. Almost always, they are a lighter, thinner fabric than that used on drapes, and are often semi-transparent or sheer. Curtains do not have a backing or liner. Functionally, they offer little privacy or insulation and are almost always purely a decorative element.
As there are many similar aspects to these different window treatments, many drapery cleaning services, and curtain cleaning services also use the terms interchangeably and combine or modify their company names accordingly. Some companies, rather than specializing as just a drapery cleaning services or curtain cleaning services company may call themselves something like a drapery and curtain cleaning services company. Additionally, some deal with other types of window treatments, including vertical and horizontal blinds, shutters, and shades, and refer to themselves more broadly as window treatment cleaning companies.
The specific methods and techniques that drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services companies use will vary significantly based on the material type, experience, and expertise, as well as geography (some chemicals and other methods prohibited in some jurisdictions). However, the main categories of approaches to cleaning are below.
Dry cleaning is the most typical method used by drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services. Like commercial dry cleaning of suits, dresses, and other delicate garments, this process uses a variety of chemicals to remove dirt, stains, and wear from the fabric, without using water. Most of the materials from which drapes and curtains made are sensitive to hot water and would either become damaged, change size/shape or shrink if just cleaned or laundered with water in a way like regular garments.
Drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services have a variety of specialized solutions available based on the material of the drapes or curtain, which are intended for window treatment cleaning without causing any damage. Many of these chemicals and the machines involved are not available for consumers, which is another reason why hiring a professional drapery cleaning services or curtain cleaning services company is usually the best choice rather than a DIY or handyman option.
Steam cleaning is another method, typically used by drapery and curtain cleaning services companies for thick and heavy drapes that might be hard to take down and transport or may become damaged due to their weight if they uninstalled for cleaning. While consumers might be tempted to use commercially-available or rentable steam cleaners and perform this task themselves, there is a great deal of expertise needed to ensure that the drapes or curtains are not damaged.
Drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services know the proper techniques and methods, such as how far away to keep the steamer from the fabric, to prevent damage, shrinkage, or other problems from developing. Further, most reputable drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services offer a guarantee on their work, and in the unlikely event that they damage the drapes or curtains, they will take responsibility for replacing them.
For drapes or curtains that aren’t water-sensitive, hot water extraction is another cleaning method that drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services may offer. Hot water, along with a cleaning solution, applied to the drapes or curtains. After allowing some time to permeate and deal with any stains or discolorations in the fabric, the cleaning solution and water are vacuumed out of the window treatment. Then, the drapery cleaning services or curtain cleaning services may instruct consumers to allow the window treatment to air dry for some time before moving it.
Drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services caution that this method cannot be used on many of the fabrics and materials that are on the market today and should not be attempted by untrained consumers. When using this technique and everything is done correctly upwards of 95% of the dirt and stains in window treatment can be removed.
For simple cleaning of drapes and curtains that are not overly stained or discolored, and merely have accumulated the natural dust and dirt that develops over time, drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services utilize specialized, gentle vacuums or beaters/agitators to extract the dust and dirt. Cleaning must be done cautiously, to avoid damaging the fabric and therefore is also not recommended as a DIY solution.
For best results, one should consult the experts at a drapery cleaning services company or curtain cleaning services, as they do these things professionally and can guarantee the best outcome.
One of the decisions a consumer may have to make with regards to drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services companies is whether they offer on-site cleaning or only in-store cleaning, and which option to use for a situation. There are advantages and also disadvantages to both possibilities.
In-store cleaning is generally necessary for techniques like dry cleaning, which use specialized equipment and chemicals that aren’t safe to use in the home. Generally, in-store cleaning allows for more flexibility by the drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services in how they tackle a cleaning problem, as they have all their tools and techniques available at their disposal in the store. However, this can cause inconvenience for consumers, who might be left without window treatments for several days. It can also be costlier and more time-consuming, especially in the case of older, fragile, or heavy window treatments, as the drapery cleaning services or curtain cleaning services company must exercise great care and expend a great time in disassembling the window treatment before transport to their store for service.
On the other hand, on-site cleaning can offer great convenience for consumers. There is typically no wait or delay when drapery cleaning services or curtain cleaning services come for an on-site cleaning appointment. Their equipment and methods are available for use in the home or office, or sometimes the trucks themselves have a mini, portable dry drapery cleaning or other facilities inside. However, in many cases, these methods are not available on a portable scale or not available for use in the home, so the ability to clean on-site varies by company and window treatment material. As always, distinguished drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services should provide a free consultation, either in-person or over the phone, before committing to work, allowing consumers to shop around for the solution that works best for them.
Drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services can provide a much-needed revival to home or office window treatments, without the need for expensive repairs, upgrades, or replacements. They have a variety of different methods available to clean drapes and curtains, which vary based on the material and style of window treatment. Consumers should always consult drapery cleaning services and curtain cleaning services rather than attempting to clean window treatments themselves, as these experts have the skills, equipment, and knowledge to do the job right.