Drapes and area rugs are difficult to clean at home. Most are too delicate—and too large—to go in a regular washing machine. Professional dry cleaners know how to handle these items. To keep them in good condition in-between cleanings, follow these tips.

Vacuum drapes weekly with the brush attachment to prevent dust buildup. Use a gentle, up and down sweeping motion.

Because you see them every day, it is easy to not notice gradual fading and soiling of curtains and drapes. They may look fine, but if you haven’t had them professionally cleaned in a while, you will see the difference. Fabrics cleaned by Evergreen Dry Cleaners actually come out looking brighter than before.

Drapes and curtains generally have care labels. If it is labeled machine-washable, go ahead, but if it doesn’t fit comfortably in your washer,bring it to us for a thorough cleaning that won’t leave it wrinkled or linty like your washing machine will.

If your windows develop condensation on the inside, check the back of your drapes regularly for any signs of mildew.

Vacuum regularly to remove dust and dirt.  If a spill happens, blot—do not rub—stain with a paper or cloth towel. If the stain has solid or dried matter in it, remove as best you can with a dull knife. Take the rug to a dry cleaner to safely remove the stain—even if it is a very old rug. If that isn’t an option, mix up a solution of 2 cups lukewarm water, ¼ cup white vinegar, and liquid dish soap.

Most Oriental rugs are acid-resistant, so vinegar should remove the dirt but not the dye. Test for colorfastness by blotting an inconspicuous area with the solution on a white towel. Be careful—if color from the rug comes off on the towel, do not use this solution. Take the rug to us for dry cleaning.

If you want to clean it yourself, place an old towel under the stained area in case the water soaks through. Sponge solution on stained area, moving in the direction of the nap. Rinse sponge and repeat with clean water. If stain remains, bring your rug to us for dry cleaning.