Can You Tumble Dry Blackout Curtains? (is it safe or will it damage them)
There are different makes and types of blackout curtains all with different care instructions.
Some will be dry clean only, others will be hand wash only, while others can be washed in a washing machine on a cold wash set to the gentle cycle.
There is one thing all manufacturers agree on and that is you should never tumble dry blackout curtains.
Blackout curtains should always be air dried.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Blackout Curtains
There is only one symbol that you’ll find on blackout curtains and that is the symbol for do not tumble dry (see below).
We have included all of the symbols relating to tumble drying that can be found on UK wash care labels for your reference.
- Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top = Do not tumble dry. This is the symbol you will always find on blackout curtains in the UK.
- Square With White Circle = This Symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried. You are unlikely to find this on blackout curtains.
- Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle = This is the symbol that indicates you can dry on a low heat setting. You won’t find this on blackout curtains.
- Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle = This symbol indicates you can dry on a medium heat setting and will never be found on blackout curtains.
- Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle = This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried on a high heat setting. You will never find this on blackout curtains.
- Square With Black Circle = This indicates that the item can be dried in a tumble dryer using no heat. You’ll be unlikely to find this on blackout curtains.
How To Dry Blackout Curtains Without A Tumble Dryer
Blackout curtains should be dried without folding them. This means they need to be hung which rules out many drying methods.
Below we have listed the best ways to dry blackout curtains.
Air Dry Blackout Curtains On A Washing Line
You will need to hang the blackout curtains on the washing line using curtain hooks.
It is best if you can hang them without folding them as folding leads to uneven drying.
You can use a washing line, retractable clothesline or even a rotary line as long as the curtains can hang straight without folding them.
Indoor Air Drying Blackout Curtains On An Airer
Using an airer indoors is a great way to air dry many laundry items.
You can suspend the blackout curtains from one of the high bars on your airer and allow to dry.
The airer should be set up in a well ventilated room.
Dry Blackout Curtains Indoors Faster Using A Dehumidifier
Once you have your blackout curtains suspended indoors on an airer you can speed up the drying time by placing a dehumidifier in the same room.
The dehumidifier will remove excess moisture from the air. Which allows the blackout curtains to release moisture faster than normal.
This will substantially cut down the drying time.
Use An Electric Fan To Shorten Drying Times
By placing an electric fan in the same room as the drying blackout curtains, you can create better airflow which will allow the blackout curtains to dry faster.
This will work even better if you open a window in the same room. This allows a better airflow which leads to a faster drying time.
Why You Should Always Read The Wash Care Label On Blackout Curtains
Not all blackout curtains are created equal. Different brands recommend different cleaning and drying methods. They all agree however, on the do not tumble dry guideline.
If you decide to tumble dry your blackout curtains you can expect;
The Coatings Could Fall Off
The coating on the back of the blackout curtains is likely to fall off in patches if subjected to high temperatures.
This could render your blackout curtains useless and allow light to enter the room.
The Curtains Could Shrink
Some blackout curtains are made from materials that will shrink if exposed to heat.
The level of shrinkage might not be the same all over. As blackout curtains have two or even three layers, you could end up with very uneven curtains.
The Curtains Could Wrinkle
Some materials used in the manufacture of some blackout curtains could wrinkle if exposed to high heat.
In many cases this wrinkling could be permanent.
Frequently Asked Questions
All manufacturers agree that blackout curtains should never be tumble dried. You run the risk of damaging your blackout curtains beyond repair if you subject them to any heat.
Blackout curtains should never be tumble dried. The best way to dry them is to hang them on a washing line or clothes horse.
In many cases, wrinkles will fall out of blackout curtains naturally. But if they persist the best way to remove them is by using a clothes steamer.
If the care label indicates that your blackout curtains can be ironed, you should only iron the fabric side of the curtains, never the backing side.
Depending on the materials used in manufacture, you can expect blackout curtains to last for anywhere between 5 to 10 years.