How to Wash Rayon Acetate Curtains

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The power of a washing machine is often too harsh for rayon acetate fabrics.
The power of a washing machine is often too harsh for rayon acetate fabrics. (Image: Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images)

The draping nature of rayon is often paired with the silky sheen of acetate to make fabric that can be made into curtains. While curtains are often not in need of washing, there are times when you’ll want to wash them to remove stains, dust and other dirt. The fabric blend of rayon and acetate should be handled gently as both materials soften and become weaker when wet. For best results, consult the fabric label sewn onto the curtain to see if dry cleaning is recommended.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild liquid detergent
  • Clothesline
  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Thin towel

Fill your bathtub half full with lukewarm to cool water, adding in a quarter cup of liquid detergent to the water. Lower the curtain into the water until it is fully submersed.

Push the curtain down into the water with your hands along different areas to force the detergent suds into the curtain evenly while providing light agitation. Five minutes of gentle pushing should be sufficient.

Drain the soapy water and refill the tub with clean lukewarm to cool water. Rinse the material using the same pushing method as you did for washing. Drain the rinse water. Squeeze the fabric to remove excess water, but do not wring or twist.

Hang the curtain along a clothesline outdoors or in your home to drip dry until it is mostly damp.

Spread the damp curtain with the front side of the fabric facing down over your ironing board. Place a thin towel over one area at a time and iron over the towel with a moderately warm iron. Move the towel and continue to press the curtain until it is fully dried.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the care instructions tag on your curtains states "dry clean only," then do not attempt to hand wash your curtains as they could shrink, run dye or distort the shape of the material by getting wet.

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