It’s so nice to see a window framed by brand new snow-white lace curtains. But after a couple of years have passed, the sight is not quite so impressive anymore: the curtain looks less like winter wonderland, and more like an ugly gray cloud speckled with reddish stains. And an obvious question comes to mind: how to bleach curtain lace at home.
Modern methods include the use of bleach and stain removers.
The easiest and most affordable product is bleach. Mix bleach in several liters of water (per package instructions), and soak your curtains in the solution for 30 minutes. However, there are a few downsides to using bleach you should know about:
- an unpleasant chlorine smell, which you will have to later remove with fabric softener or other fabric care products;
- if bleaching was successful, it might be the only thing to work on your curtains in the future.
You can also use a variety of different bleach brands at home. The use of bleach comes down to mixing the liquid or powder in a certain amount of water (warm or hot), and soaking the curtains in that solution for anywhere from a few hours to a half a day.
Stain remover may also help to bleach lace curtains at home. Apply concentrated stain remover directly to the area with the most staining, or dilute it in water to soak the curtains.
Remember, though, you can’t bleach any curtain lace using detergents – for some lace, such products can be damaging.
That means you need to read the label of all synthetic detergents carefully, and mix them in water them according to the package instructions. Because of these potential problems, it makes sense to look into some rustic methods of whitening this difficult material.
What methods and products did our grandmothers use to bleach white curtains? The answer is simple:
- brilliant green antiseptic;
- Methylene blue;
- hydrogen peroxide;
- manganese solution;
Boiling does not require any additional products. All you need to boil your lace curtains is a large pot, laundry soap shavings (bar soap or powder), and water. Put a pot of water on the stove, wait for the soap to dissolve, and put the curtains in. Boil for an hour.
You can also try adding 5 drops of brilliant green dye (Zelenka) to a small amount of water (if you see some residue, the solution should be filtered). After regular washing, pour the solution into the rinse water, leave the curtains in for a few minutes, and hang them to drain excess water.
When using Methylene blue to restore the original appearance of the curtains, you need to add just one cap to the water for rinsing. The method is the same as using brilliant green dye.
You can get good results if you use a mix of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide as an at-home whitening solution. Add two parts ammonia and one part peroxide to a bucket of hot water, stir, and put the lace curtain in it for half an hour. Rinse and hang out to dry.
To use manganese for bleaching,make a strong solution in a bucket of water; lather the curtains with laundry soap; place the curtains in the bucket for 30-40 minutes, wash, rinse well, and dry.
To bleach the curtain using starch, you just need to put the fabric into a mix of cold water and starch for a few minutes, and hang it on the balcony to dry. Starch also makes it easier to remove stains for the next wash.
There are two ways of bleaching with salt:
- Remove the dust from the lace item (you can rinse or shake it off), then soak the item in a solution of salt and detergent (5 liters of water, 4-5 tablespoons of salt, and laundry detergent per package instructions) for a few hours, or better yet, overnight. Wash and rinse.
- After a regular wash, soak the curtains in a solution of 4 tablespoons of salt for 15 minutes. This will bleach the white fabric perfectly. You don’t need to rinse after the soak.
Bleaching nylon curtains
Nylon fabric requires more gentle bleaching. Please read the fabric care label to see whether you can use synthetic detergents; if you opt for traditional methods, only use the ones that work in cold water. Read the instructions below on how to bleach nylon tulle.
Out of the methods mentioned earlier, you can use brilliant green dye, methylene blue or manganese solution, and salt during washing or rinsing is also acceptable. To help nylon tulle keep its shape and fall around the window in a beautiful cascade, it should be treated with starch.
Bleaching organza curtains
Organza curtains are even more tricky than nylon ones. They can not be wrung out, and it is not recommended to wash them in hot water, and gray dust particles seem to stick to them. Organza fabrics are often dyed, and the dye can bleed during washing, which is something you need to consider when deciding on a washing and bleaching method.
Organza curtains can be washed in warm (up to 40 degrees) or cold water, and should be bleached in the same way. You can apply brilliant green dye, Methylene blue, salt solution and hydrogen peroxide solution with ammonia.
Bleaching old curtains
Old curtains require special cleaning. To bleach them, you would need to perform the following combination of emergency measures:
- bleaching in peroxide and ammonia;
- bleaching in salt when rinsing;
- rinsing in a starch solution.
If you are not happy with the appearance of old curtains, try to revive them with any means available (it’s not like you’ll make it any worse anyway). If you don’t succeed, just throw the old curtains away without any regret. All things have a lifespan.