Why would anyone ever clean draperies as they hang in your house? A better question might be, why would you ever send them out to a dry cleaner?
In all my years as a cleaner rehanging drapers that have been dry cleaned, I have never seen a single time when they were cleaned in a plant when they didn’t shrink. Draperies are made of natural fibers in most homes we work in. If you goggle up drapery fabrics, you will find some rayon/poly blends, but 90% are silk and cotton. When these two fibers are exposed to moisture they will shrink. The second reason they need to be cleaned in your home is that the ceiling treatments can not be taken down. They are permanent and are not made to be removed. In many cases they are stapled to cornice boards. Draperies are often folded in elaborate patterns that no one will be able to duplicate once removed.
The best way to keep draperies looking great is to periodically vacuum them pleat by pleat. You will need three items to complete this task:
- A vacuum with that has a moderate amount of suction that will remove the dust without disturbing the pleating
- An attachment that will allow the drapes to be vacuumed without pulling them into the vacuum hose
- A safe step ladder. If you have these tools, you are prepared to remove the dust that is the biggest source of soiling on draperies. The dust should release easily unless it is combined with other home environmental residues.
These residues are why you might need a professional cleaner. Cooking oil for example, combined with the previously mentioned dust, create a whole new soil, that wont come out with simple vacuuming.
We clean draperies using two vacuum cleaners. The first is a backpack HEPA filter that removes the bulk of the dust on the draperies. We then apply a mineral spirits based cleaner that suspended the soil. The suspended soil is then extracted. The machine is vented outside. We also use centrifugal blowers to vent the solvent.
The machines we use have the absolute correct pressure because they are specifically designed for drapery cleaning.