Can You Wash Lace Curtains in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Lace Curtains in the Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash lace curtains in the washing machine. However, it is important to note that not all lace curtains can be machine washed, so it is best to check the care label first.

Lace curtains can add a touch of elegance and charm to any room in your home. Their delicate and intricate patterns can create a beautiful play of light and shadows, enhancing the ambiance of your living space. Over time, though, lace curtains can accumulate dust, dirt, and even stains. So, the question arises: can you toss these delicate adornments into the washing machine? The short answer is yes, you can, but with a few important considerations in mind.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Lace Curtains in the Washing Machine


  • Check the Care Label: Always start by checking the care label on your lace curtains. This label provides essential information about how to care for your curtains. If it indicates that the curtains can be machine washed, you’re in luck.
  • Remove Hardware: Before you toss your lace curtains into the washing machine, ensure that you’ve removed any hooks, rings, or other hardware. These can snag and damage the delicate lace fabric during the wash cycle.
  • Use a Mesh Laundry Bag: To protect the lace curtains from potential damage, place them in a mesh laundry bag. This will provide an extra layer of protection and prevent the curtains from getting tangled or stretched during the wash.
  • Choose a Delicate Cycle: When it’s time to set your washing machine, opt for the delicate or gentle cycle. This cycle uses less agitation and is designed for delicate fabrics like lace.
  • Cold Water is Key: Lace is sensitive to high temperatures, so use cold water for the wash. This will prevent the lace from shrinking or losing its shape.
  • Mild Detergent: Select a mild detergent for your lace curtains. Harsh detergents can damage delicate fibers, so be sparing with the soap. A little goes a long way in this case.
  • Hang to Dry: After the wash cycle is complete, it’s crucial to remove the lace curtains from the machine promptly. Avoid the dryer, as the heat can harm the lace. Instead, hang the curtains up to dry naturally. Ensure they are hung evenly to prevent stretching.


  • Skip the Care Label: Ignoring the care label’s instructions can lead to irreparable damage. If it says “dry clean only” or “hand wash,” it’s best to follow these guidelines.
  • Use Bleach: Bleach is a no-go for lace curtains. It can weaken the delicate fibers and cause discoloration. Stick to a mild detergent instead.
  • Overload the Machine: Don’t overcrowd the washing machine with too many lace curtains at once. This can lead to uneven cleaning and potentially damage the fabric.
  • Use Fabric Softeners: Fabric softeners can leave a residue on lace curtains, diminishing their airy appearance. Avoid using them in the washing machine.
  • Wring Out the Curtains: Never wring out lace curtains to remove excess water. This can stretch and distort the delicate fabric. Instead, let them drip-dry naturally.

Steps to Wash Lace Curtains in the Washing Machine:

Step 1

Check the Care Label: Always begin by checking the care label on your lace curtains. If it indicates that machine washing is suitable, proceed.

Step 2

Remove Hardware: Carefully remove any hooks, rings, or other hardware from the curtains.

Step 3

Use a Mesh Laundry Bag: Place the lace curtains inside a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash.

Step 4

Select a Delicate Cycle: Set your washing machine to the delicate or gentle cycle.

Step 5

Cold Water: Use cold water to prevent damage to the lace.

Step 6

Mild Detergent: Add a small amount of mild detergent to the washing machine. Be cautious not to use too much.

Step 7

Start the Cycle: Start the machine and allow it to complete the delicate cycle.

Step 8

Remove and Hang: Once the cycle is finished, promptly remove the lace curtains from the machine. Do not use the dryer. Instead, hang them up to air dry, ensuring they are hung evenly to maintain their shape.

Alternative Washing Methods for Lace Curtains:

If your lace curtains do not have a care label that suggests machine washing, or if you’d prefer to take extra precautions, there are alternative methods to consider:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin with cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently agitate the water and submerge the lace curtains. Gently swish them around, then let them soak for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and hang to dry.
  • Dry Cleaning: If you’re unsure about washing your lace curtains at home, consider taking them to a professional dry cleaner. They have the expertise and equipment to clean delicate fabrics safely.
  • Steam Cleaning: Another option is steam cleaning, which can effectively remove dirt and refresh lace curtains without using water. Use a handheld steam cleaner, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or localized dirt, spot cleaning with a gentle fabric cleaner or a mixture of water and mild detergent may suffice. Test in an inconspicuous area first and blot rather than rub to avoid damaging the lace.


Can I use a regular laundry bag instead of a mesh one?

Answer: It’s best to use a mesh laundry bag specifically designed for delicate items like lace curtains. These bags provide better protection and allow water and detergent to circulate more effectively.

What should I do if my lace curtains have frayed edges or loose threads after washing?

Answer: If you notice frayed edges or loose threads, trim them carefully with sharp scissors. Be cautious not to cut into the main body of the lace.

Can I use a fabric softener sheet in the dryer for a gentle fragrance?

Answer: It’s better to avoid fabric softener sheets, as they can leave residues on lace curtains. If you want to add a gentle fragrance, consider using a fabric spray or simply allow the curtains to air out in a well-ventilated area.

How often should lace curtains be washed?

Answer: The frequency of washing depends on factors such as the environment and use. In general, lightly used lace curtains may only need washing once or twice a year, while those in high-traffic areas or with significant exposure to dust may require more frequent cleaning.

Can I iron lace curtains after washing?

Answer: Ironing lace curtains can be tricky due to their delicate nature. If you feel the need to iron them, use the lowest heat setting and place a clean cloth or towel between the iron and the lace to prevent direct contact.

Final Words:

Maintaining the beauty of lace curtains is possible with the right care. If your lace curtains have a care label that approves machine washing, follow the steps mentioned earlier. However, if there are no care instructions or if you’re uncertain, consider alternative methods like hand washing, dry cleaning, or steam cleaning. Regardless of the method you choose, treating your lace curtains gently will help ensure they adorn your windows for years to come, adding a touch of timeless elegance to your home.

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