Can You Wash Lined Curtains in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Lined Curtains in the Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash lined curtains in the washing machine, but it depends on the fabric. If they are made of cotton, polyester, linen, or nylon, a gentle cycle with cold water is safe. Delicate fabrics like silk or velvet, and curtains with intricate embellishments, should be hand washed.

Lined curtains can be the perfect addition to your home decor, offering both privacy and style. Over time, however, they may accumulate dust, odors, or stains, prompting the question: can you toss them into the washing machine for a quick refresh? The answer is yes, but with a few important considerations, primarily dictated by the type of fabric used in their construction.

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


  • Check the Fabric: The key factor in determining whether your lined curtains can be machine washed is the fabric. Curtains made from cotton, polyester, linen, or nylon can generally be machine washed.
  • Remove Hooks and Hardware: Before washing, remove any hooks, curtain rings, or other hardware. This prevents damage to both the curtains and the washing machine.
  • Use a Gentle Cycle: When setting up your washing machine, opt for the gentle or delicate cycle. This cycle uses less agitation and is suitable for most curtain fabrics.
  • Cold Water: Always use cold water when washing lined curtains. This helps prevent shrinking and color fading.
  • Mild Detergent: Use a small amount of mild detergent to avoid damaging the fabric and the lining. Be mindful not to overuse detergent.


  • Ignore the Fabric: Delicate fabrics like silk, velvet, or organza, and curtains with intricate embellishments should not be machine washed. Always check the fabric type before deciding on the washing method.
  • Overload the Machine: Avoid overcrowding the washing machine with too many curtains at once. This can lead to uneven cleaning and may cause creasing or distortion of the lining.
  • Use Bleach: Bleach can harm both the curtains and the lining, so it should be avoided. Stick to a gentle detergent instead.
  • Skip the Care Label: If your curtains have a care label that provides specific washing instructions, follow them. Ignoring these guidelines can lead to damage.
  • Dry in the Dryer: Never use a tumble dryer for lined curtains. The heat can cause shrinkage and distort the lining. Instead, opt for air drying.

Steps to Wash Lined Curtains in the Washing Machine:

Step 1

Check the Fabric: Confirm that your curtains are made of cotton, polyester, linen, or nylon, which are generally safe for machine washing.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

Use Cold Water: Cold water is ideal for preserving the integrity of the fabric and lining

Step 5

Mild Detergent: Add a small amount of mild detergent to the washing machine. Avoid overusing detergent.

Step 6

Load Carefully: Place the curtains in the machine, ensuring they have enough space to move freely without becoming tangled.

Step 7

Start the Cycle: Begin the washing cycle, and allow it to complete.

Step 8

Remove and Air Dry: After the cycle is finished, promptly remove the curtains from the machine. Do not use a dryer. Instead, hang the curtains up to air dry. This prevents creasing and maintains the lining’s shape.

Alternative Washing Methods for Lined Curtains:

For curtains made of delicate fabrics or those with intricate designs, consider alternative methods to ensure their preservation:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin with cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently agitate the water, submerge the curtains, and let them soak for 10-15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and hang to dry.
  • Dry Cleaning: If in doubt, or if your curtains have specific dry cleaning instructions, consider taking them to a professional cleaner with experience in handling delicate fabrics.
  • 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.
  • Steam Cleaning: Use a handheld steam cleaner for refreshing curtains without water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and effective use.


Can I wash lined curtains with blackout lining in the washing machine?

Answer: Yes, curtains with blackout lining can be machine washed following the same guidelines as other lined curtains. Check the fabric type first.

How often should I wash my lined curtains?

Answer: The frequency of washing depends on factors like exposure to dust and odors. In general, curtains in high-traffic areas may need more frequent cleaning, while those in less-used spaces can be washed annually or as needed.

Is it safe to iron lined curtains after washing?

Answer: Ironing lined curtains is generally safe, but it’s important to use the lowest heat setting and iron on the fabric side, not the lining side, to avoid potential damage.

Can I use fabric softener when washing lined curtains?

Answer: It’s best to avoid fabric softeners, as they can leave residues on the curtains and affect their appearance. A gentle detergent should suffice.

How can I prevent curtains from wrinkling during washing?

Answer: To minimize wrinkling, shake out the curtains before placing them in the washing machine, and avoid overloading the machine.

Final Words:

Washing lined curtains in the washing machine can be a convenient and effective way to keep them clean and fresh. However, it’s essential to check the fabric type and any care labels before proceeding. For delicate curtains or those with intricate embellishments, consider alternative washing methods to ensure their longevity and maintain their elegance. With the right care, your curtains will continue to enhance your home decor for years to come.

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