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How to bleach curtains and keep them looking bright

The arrival of summer with its hot, sunny days awakens our desire to do some deep cleaning to not only make our homes clean but fragrant too.

Now you can open the windows wide and let the sunlight in – gone are the gloomy, grey rainy days of winter. You can clean your house and do the laundry without the fear of it needing forever to dry due to high humidity and cold.

Finally, even the jobs you usually put off like washing curtains and duvets, become doable and even necessary, to remove all the dirt that has built up during the winter.

The yellowing of curtains, especially white ones, caused by central heating radiators and accumulated dust, is one of the first things you start to notice when the sunshine pours into your home.

But washing curtains, too, is a real must if you want to keep your home healthy.

So, how do you whiten white curtains and get them bright again without having to resort a laundry service?

Mention whitening the first thing you probably think of is bleach, but in this case it is better avoided, because even if at first your curtains will look very white, you will soon see that the fibres in the fabric have suffered, and bleach soon turns them yellow as well.

There are many products on the market for hand washing or machine washing to whiten curtains. But if you prefer natural remedies, there are some that have been handed down from generation to generation by our grandmothers. And here are a few.

How to whiten traditional curtains, naturally

Don’t imagine that whitening curtains is a complicated process, because actually it often only takes a few simple steps for it to work.

Overall it is better to wash them by hand, and the only tiring stage will be when you have to squeeze them out. But actually this is not really necessary either because it’s better to stretch them out a little when they are still quite wet so that the weight works to remove the creases.

If you prefer to use a washing machine, then you just have to make sure you wash them often, at least every two months. Use a gentle wash program without spinning, a liquid detergent rather than powder as the latter can leave halos on the fabric.

Some natural remedies also work in the washing machine, but of course they are much more effective if used in hand washing, as you can leave the curtains in a bowl to soak for as long as you consider necessary.

Here are some natural remedies for you to try.

1. Bleaching curtains with Marseille soap and bicarbonate of soda

Wash the curtains by soaking them with Marseille soap and bicarbonate of soda (about 5 spoonfuls) and leave the basin covered with clingfilm in the sun for about 2 hours, so that the bleaching process is activated.

Rinse and soak them again with Marseille soap for 15 minutes. Then, wash them, fill the basin with water and softener, leave to soak for another 5 minutes and then wring them out and hang them in the sun to dry.

If you opt to use a washing machine, use a 40° wash without spin, pre-washing with hydrogen peroxide (about 10 spoonfuls) and bicarbonate of soda and then continue normally with Marseille laundry detergent and your fabric softener.

2. Bleaching curtains with Marseille soap and lemon

Another natural option is to use lemon as our bleaching agent. Put the curtains in a bowl of lukewarm water containing Marseille soap, bicarbonate of soda (about two tablespoons) and the juice of half a lemon.

Make sure you mix everything well and that the mixture impregnates all the curtain material.

Leave for about 2 hours, rinse thoroughly and leave the curtains to soak in a bowl of water with softener for about 5 minutes. Squeeze them and hang them out to dry.

3. Bleaching curtains with Marseille soap and baking powder

Another natural remedy that is a favourite with our grandmothers is baking powder.

After washing, either by hand or in the washing machine using Marseille soap, simply fill a basin with hot water, add a sachet of baking powder, add the curtains and leave them to soak. 

After about 2 hours you can rinse and proceed with the softener, if desired. Or simply squeeze and hang to dry.

4. Bleaching curtains with fabric softener and vinegar

Natural remedies often involve washing, but even just using fabric softener can help whiten your curtains.

If you’ve washed them often but they still look yellowed, try washing them on a delicate wash in the washing machine and putting 1 tablespoon of water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar added, into the softener tray.

How to whiten indoor roller blinds

If you have indoor roller blinds at home rather than traditional curtains, these are not easy to clean, but you can still choose between washing them at home or sending them out for professional cleaning.

The home option is certainly cheaper but, of course, more complicated because you have to disassemble the roller blind, open it out completely and remove the dust with a suitable cloth, being very careful not to break it.

Since the blind material is not machine washable, in order to avoid the risk of damaging it washing it by hand, you should opt for a professional ultrasonic cleaning service. This is a specialist service and requires dedicated equipment.

Some roller blinds on the market are made with non-washable fabrics so, before proceeding, check whether or not the washing and whitening procedure is an option.

Double glazing blinds: the ultimate solution to the cleaning problem

Any problem of cleaning and whitening of your curtains can be solved by choosing to fit double glazing blinds.

Furnishing your home with Venetian blinds will make it both elegant and functional, but for a modern and innovative solution, double-glazed curtains are what you are looking for and these can be inserted in all double-glazed windows.

Choosing blinds that fit inside the double glazing brings many advantages, such as reducing the overall size of the curtains and also, you will no longer have the problem of accumulation of dust and allergens.

The reason for this is because they are perfectly sealed within the double glazing unit, fully protected from atmospheric agents, dirt and pollution. Gone are the days of taking them apart, washing, ironing and reassembling them.

If you are thinking of changing the window dressings in your home, this is the best choice you could ever make regarding cleaning and energy saving.

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Sunbell, the future of blinds design
Born in 1977 thanks to the intuition of its founder Giuseppe Zuelli, Sunbell is a leader company  in the sector of technological advanced blind systems and it established itself for the strong connection between product development and design. High-end technology applied to solar shielding and a  ‘Made in Italy’ style are at the heart of all Sunbell projects, thanks to an innovative production process, in constant development.