How to Clean Fabric Roman Shades

A set of brown roman shades fitted to tall windows.
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner with an upholstery brush
Handheld vacuum for lightweight fabrics
Feather or static-fabric duster
Dust-repelling spray
Spray fabric freshener
Upholstery cleaner
Scotchgard (TM) stain repellent
Club soda
Spray stain lifter for washable fabrics
Washing machine
Liquid laundry detergent
Dryer with a cool temperature setting

Regular cleaning of fabric roman shades will remove allergens such as pet hair and dust, improving the quality of your indoor air, and maintain the beauty and durability of your shades. You can do this by vacuuming, dusting, spot cleaning, and washing shades made of washable fabrics. However, trust your embroidered, brocade, and other non-washable shades only to professional cleaning services.

Vacuum Fabric Roman Shades Every Week

With a vacuum and fabric brush, or a handheld vacuum, go over your roman shades weekly, paying special attention to the folds where dust will collect. If you live in a dry, dusty area, vacuum shades up to three times weekly, or half as often as you vacuum your carpeting.

Dust Shades Weekly

If your shades have brocade embroidery, quilting, or other decorative needlework, use a feather duster or static-fabric duster to dust them weekly. Spray the duster with a dust repellent such as Endust (TM) to keep dust from clinging. Avoid vacuuming these shades as the suction will loosen decorative stitching. Spray fabric shades like these with a fabric freshener every week, and then rinse with clean water. Apply upholstery cleaner to non-washable fabrics, allow to dry, and gently vacuum off the powder residue. Consider treating non-washable fabrics with stain repellent as well, applied every three years.

Remove Stains and Spills Immediately

For non-greasy stains on washable fabrics, splash the spot with club soda to lift the stain right away. For greasy or oily substances, spray on a stain remover instead.

Wash and Dry Roman Shades by Machine

You can wash your fabric roman shades in the washing machine so long as the type of fabric doesn't prohibit it. Leave the strings attached or remove them as you prefer. Then, remove all dowels from flat shades before washing.

Wash the shades in their own load with just enough warm water to cover them. Use a liquid laundry detergent to prevent deposits of undissolved powder detergent on the shades. Rinse them in cool water and put them in the dryer on a low heat setting for 45 minutes. Finally, restring the shades and rehang them from the headrail. You'll want to handwash sheer roman shades. Afterward, roll them in a towel to press out the water and rehang them on the window to dry.

Professionally Clean Non-washable Natural Fibers

Once a year, take your silk, wool, linen, or fiberglass-blend fabric roman shades to the dry cleaners for professional cleaning. Point out any places where you have used spot cleaners for stain removal, so these can be inspected and treated as required.

Inspect and Repair Your Shades

Check your roman shades after cleaning for loose or broken string loops, unraveled stitching, drooping hems, or other required repairs. Then, mend the shades before rehanging.