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Can I Machine Wash Dry Clean Only Draperies?

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Would it be safe to machine wash heavy draperies - no fabric content is listed, however I believe it is Rayon. It also states dry clean only.

Alesha from Neosho, MO

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By mcw 80 1,752 09/17/2007 Flag

I can't see why you couldn't providing that you wash them on a gentle cycle, no bleach using a mild detergent.

Marge from NY

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By Kate. (Guest Post) 09/19/2007 Flag

Rayon is often dry cleaned because it can become unstable when wet and can stretch or shrink and lose shape. You may want to try something like dryell instead if you want to clean them at home.

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By Janice C. 18 710 09/20/2007 Flag

I machine-washed heavy draperies years ago and they shrank about 4 inches in length. I don't recall the fabric content. If they're expensive and/or custom-made, I'd have them dry-cleaned.

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By Louise B. 6 2,509 09/20/2007 Flag

I have washed drapes that were dry-clean only with good success, but you never know how it will turn out. It is a gamble. If you do, use cold water and a mild detergent with a gentle cycle, and hang or lay flat to dry. Is there a piece you could experiment with? I had valances that I hated that I used as a test. If these are very expensive and relatively new drapes, I would have them dry cleaned. If they are not, go for it.

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By (Guest Post) 09/21/2007 Flag

I had dry clean only drapes I used and dry cleaned for several years..expensive..I would have them cleaned about once a year. After several years, I tired washing them..my thinking being, I was sick of them anyway and so what...they turned out beautifully and I continued to use them for quite a while after that..they did lose some crispness and the headings suffered after a time. I don't recall the fabric content. You will have to decide whether you are willing to replace them if the "washing" does not pan out. I was, but got lucky. I am very fugral and would have been upset if they had gotten ruined even though I was ready to replace them~

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By Beth 25 1,120 09/21/2007 Flag

Some dry-clean only things can be washed in your washer. However, if they are rayon, they will probably shrink.

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By CArol in PA (Guest Post) 09/21/2007 Flag

I had lined custom draperies that were dry clean only. I tried washing them and they didnt come out well. Mine were poly cotton blend.. (I think) I wouldnt wash your drapes if they have rayon. It shrinks. YOu might want to try dry clean options that work in your dryer.

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By Mary Koehler 8 269 09/21/2007 Flag

There is a kit you can buy to dry clean in your drier. Something like Dryol ??? My friend used this for all things that need dry cleaning. Think the kit costs about $6.00 and good for a couple uses.

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By Claudia- MD (Guest Post) 09/26/2007 Flag

Drapes are a pretty big investment; I don't think I would risk putting them in the washer. The rule seems to be if the tag says "Dry Clean" you can probably wash in the washer (cold water, no dryer) but if the tag says "Dry Clean Only".....you're better off not risking the washer.

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