Washed blackout curtains hanging and closed

Can You Wash Blackout Curtains?

Blackout curtains are popular choices for bedrooms, home theaters, and other spaces where light exclusion is desired. Crafted to block out external light, they’re more than just fabric; they often consist of a tightly woven layer and a unique lining that aids in their light-blocking capability. Given their unique construction, can you wash blackout curtains and be sure they retain their blackout quality.

Blackout curtains can indeed be washed, but with care. Hand washing, machine washing on gentle cycles, or spot cleaning are the preferred methods. It’s essential to avoid harsh chemicals, bleaching, or drying them in a dryer. Instead, use mild detergents and always air dry to maintain their quality and effectiveness.

These cleaning methods for blackout curtains are discussed in greater detail.

Hand Washing Blackout Curtains

Hand washing blackout curtains offers a gentle approach that minimizes the risk of damaging the fabric or its light-blocking properties. This method provides an opportunity to clean your curtains thoroughly without the wear and tear that can come from machines. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Preparation: Fill a large basin or tub with cold water. Add a mild detergent that’s free from harsh chemicals.
  2. Submerge the Curtain: Gently place the curtain into the water, ensuring every part is soaked.
  3. Agitate Gently: With your hands, move the curtain in the water, letting the detergent work its magic.
  4. Soak: Let the curtain rest in the soapy water for about 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse: After soaking, drain the soapy water and replace it with fresh cold water. Rinse the curtain until there’s no soap left.
  6. Dry: Instead of wringing the curtain, press it gently to get rid of excess water. Hang it in a shaded spot to air dry.

Machine Washing Blackout Curtains

Machine washing can be an efficient way to clean blackout curtains if done with care. This approach can save time and handle larger curtains more easily than hand washing. Here’s a clear guide on how to do it:

  1. Check Labels: Always look for any washing instructions on the curtain tags before proceeding.
  2. Preparation: Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle using cold water. Pour in a mild detergent.
  3. Load the Machine: Position the blackout curtain inside the washing machine. Avoid putting other items in to ensure the curtain has enough space.
  4. Run the Cycle: Start the machine and patiently wait until the cycle is complete.
  5. Remove Promptly: Once the cycle is finished, take out the curtain to prevent creases.
  6. Dry: Hang the curtain in a spot away from direct sunlight, letting it air dry naturally.

Spot Cleaning Blackout Curtains

Spot cleaning is ideal for addressing small stains or accidental spills on blackout curtains without the need for a full wash. This approach targets specific areas, ensuring the longevity and appearance of your blackout curtains. Here’s a straightforward guide on spot cleaning:

  1. Prepare a Solution: Mix a gentle detergent with cold water in a bowl or small basin.
  2. Dampen a Cloth: Using a white cloth, immerse it into the solution, then wring out excess liquid.
  3. Dab the Stain: Gently press the damp cloth against the stain, being careful not to rub or scrub.
  4. Rinse the Area: Take a clean cloth, wet it with plain cold water, and dab the cleaned spot to remove any soap residue.
  5. Pat Dry: Using a dry cloth, press it against the cleaned spot to absorb moisture.
  6. Air Dry: Allow the treated area on the blackout curtain to dry naturally, away from direct sunlight.


Can you dry blackout curtains in a dryer?

It’s not advisable to dry blackout curtains in a dryer. The high heat can damage the special lining of the curtains. Always air dry them to maintain their light-blocking properties and overall quality.

What detergent should you use to wash blackout curtains?

A mild detergent is best for washing blackout curtains. Avoid detergents with harsh chemicals, bleach, or brighteners as they can degrade the curtain’s material and lining.

Can you bleach blackout curtains?

No, you should not use bleach on blackout curtains. Bleach can damage the fabric and the blackout lining, diminishing their effectiveness and altering their color.

Can you iron blackout curtains?

It’s best to avoid ironing blackout curtains directly. If wrinkles appear, you can steam them lightly or use an iron on the lowest heat setting with a thin cloth placed between the iron and curtain.

How often should you clean your blackout curtains?

It’s recommended to clean blackout curtains once every 6 months. However, if they are in a high-traffic area or become stained, you might need to clean them more frequently.


Blackout curtains require specific care to maintain their functionality and appearance. While they can be cleaned using various methods, it’s essential always to use cold water, mild detergent, and avoid harsh treatments like bleach or high heat. Regular cleaning and proper maintenance ensure your curtains serve their purpose effectively and look great for years to come.