Can You Put Curtains in the Dryer?

You can underestimate anything but the choice of your curtains. So can you put curtain in the dryer?

This is what we want to understand and avoid costly damage.

Your curtains are potent in adding style and sophistication to any room.

Yet, choosing the best curtains is just one part of the job. You must keep them looking fresh as well. This is often done by washing them regularly.

But when mistakes are made—like putting a pair of curtains in the dryer—it can be costly. Knowing what you can and cannot do to your curtains can help.

We’ll cover all the advantages and disadvantages for you to decide how best to care for your window treatments.

From how to pre-treat stains to spot-clean delicate fabrics, read on for everything there is to know about washing curtains and drying them safely (and whether or not it’s ever a good idea to put them in the machine).

What Materials Allow for Drying?

Knowing what materials can and can’t be dried in the dryer is essential so you don’t risk damaging your curtains.

Generally, you should avoid putting any curtains in the dryer—especially those made from rayon, silk, or velvet. These fabrics are too delicate and would tear and shrink if put in the dryer, leading to costly replacements.

On the other hand, synthetic materials—including polyester and nylon—are more appropriate for machine drying.

That said, always check your curtains’ manufacturer’s care instructions before machine-drying, as some materials could still be damaged by exposure to too much heat.

If you can’t find these instructions, air-drying your curtains outside is safer than risking permanent damage.

If you’re searching for an easy way to dry your curtains quickly, try investing in a steam-drying device!

These devices offer a gentler way of refreshing fabric that doesn’t require the harsh heat of a dryer or the agonizingly long wait times associated with air drying.

And while they may cost more than a traditional clothespinned curtain line in the sun, they will save you time (not to mention skin burns) and help keep your fabrics looking new for longer!

How to Wash Curtains in a Washing Machine

Wondering if you can put your curtains in the dryer? The answer is a firm no.

Note that curtains made of delicate fabrics, like silk or lace, should be hung to dry. Even if your curtains are made of more durable materials, they can still be damaged by excess heat and tumbling in a dryer.

Instead, start by checking the care label on your curtains.

If the instructions say something like “dry clean only,” follow that advice to the letter. Still, you can wash them at home with a washing machine.

Here’s how:


Separate dark and light fabrics before washing; otherwise, colors may run or bleed.

Machine Type:

Use either a top-loading or front-loading washing machine and select the delicate cycle for natural fibers and the gentle cycle for synthetic ones.


Set the water temperature to “cold” or “warm” depending on the curtains’ fabric; never use hot water as it can shrink and damage fabric fibers.

Detergent Type:

Use regular or delicates-specific detergent; avoid using bleach as it can yellow some fabric types.

Dry Flat & Iron Gently:

Finally, hang wet curtains on an indoor clothesline and drop an old towel underneath them so that any water runs off into the towel instead of the floor; when dry, iron them gently with an appropriate setting for their fabric type.

And if you don’t have an ironing board, these are quick ironing tips.

Can You Put Curtains in the Dryer?

Some things should not be put in the dryer, and curtains are one of them. The combination of heat and tumbling can damage or ruin your curtains.

That’s why it’s best to avoid putting any curtains in the dryer, regardless of the fabric they are made of.

Risk of Damage

When exposed to temperatures that cannot be regulated, delicate curtains like lace or sheer may melt or shrink beyond their original size.

Even if a fabric label specifies that the material is safe for a machine dryer, the heat and motion may cause damage in some form.

It’s also possible for an ornament or embellishment attached to the curtain to come off during drying.

Risk of Fire

Another reason you should avoid putting your curtains in the dryer is the fire risk due to improper use.

Curtains usually carry warp or flammable finishes, so they must be dried at low temperatures to avoid catching fire. There is no guarantee that your curtains won’t catch fire when put in the dryer, so it’s best to hang them to air dry.

In summary, putting your curtains into the dryer can be too risky – even if it would save time and effort – because:

Your curtain may become damaged due to extra heat and tumbling motion.

An ornament or embellishment attached may come off during the drying process

There is always a risk of fire from improper use

Tips for Drying Curtains Without a Dryer

Putting curtains in the dryer can be tempting–it’s faster and easier than waiting for them to air dry–but it may not end well.

You may have seen videos or memes where home disasters have resulted from homeowners putting their curtains in the dryer, and it’s not a joke!

This mistake can cost you dearly.

So, how can you keep your curtains looking brand new for longer? Here are some tips:

Always check your curtains’ labels to ensure they’re machine-washable. If so, you should still air dry them after washing (more on that below), but if the label specifically says “dry clean only,” then put those curtains away for cleaning by a professional ONLY!

Hang them up to dry on a line or over the bathtub if you need to speed up drying time. The warm air from your vents helps speed things along here.

Allow your newly washed curtains to air-dry naturally without direct sunlight; it will keep them looking fresh and prevent fading or discoloration caused by harsh UV rays.

Consider using a slightly cooler setting in the washer when washing your curtains–the hot temperature of regular washers can cause shrinkage and damage to some materials.

Don’t overload the washer—curtains are heavy when wet, so overloading can damage both the washer and the fabrics!

Follow these simple tips to save yourself time, money, and hassle in the long run, and also enjoy vibrant-looking curtains for years to come!

How to Keep Your Curtains Looking Great

You know you should never put curtains in the dryer, but why? Putting your curtains in the dryer can lead to costly damage. Here’s what to do to make sure your curtains don’t get damaged and stay looking great for years to come:

Hang curtains directly after drying

Hang your curtains back on the rod once they are dry. It helps retain their shape and prevent wrinkling.

Avoid direct sunlight

Sunlight can cause fading and weaken the fabric, so it’s best to hang them in spots away from direct sunlight.

Clean regularly

Dust or vacuum your curtains regularly to prevent dirt build-up.

Use a cold setting

When washing your curtains, use a gentle cycle with a cold setting on your washing machine and tumble dry on low heat. That also helps reduce wrinkling.

Spot clean when needed

Spot cleaning is also an option if only a few small spots need a cleaning instead of washing the entire curtain.

Use an iron with steam

If you must iron your curtains, use an iron with steam and keep the iron’s temperature at low heat settings to avoid burning them or weakening their fabric over time.

Have curtains professionally cleaned periodically

Finally, have them professionally cleaned periodically for best results. Professional cleaners use specially formulated detergents that won’t strip the color from fabrics or leave residue behind like many other non-professional cleaners do.

Troubleshooting Common Curtain Laundering Issues

If you’re dealing with common curtain-laundering issues, like shrinkage or unwanted creases, there are ways to get around them.

One of the most vital things to know is that you can’t put curtains in the dryer—even if the care tag says it’s okay! The dryer can damage them in several ways.


The dryer’s heat can cause the fabric to shrink or lose its shape. It can make it difficult to hang your curtains properly in the window.


Because curtains are made from delicate fabric, tumbling them in the dryer can make them fray or get tied up in knots.


Lint and detergent residue from other items in your dryer might get transferred onto your curtains, which will cause them to look dull and be hard to remove without professional cleaning services.

Therefore, what should you do instead? Hang drying is usually recommended for most fabrics. On average, it takes a few hours for heavy materials like velvet and linen to dry completely.

If you need them dried quicker, you can use an iron at a lower setting on synthetic fabrics or steam iron on natural fabrics like cotton or wool.


All in all, there are moments we can jump to put our curtains in the dryer to save time, but they always call for caution. A few materials are naturally dryer-safe, and you may proceed if you are sure of your material.

However, if you’re ever uncertain, air-drying them is best to avoid costly damage.

Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause shrinking and fading, so to keep your curtains looking and feeling their best, go the extra mile and take the time to hang dry them.

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