Spring Cleaning Shortcuts
You can steam most fabrics, from velvet to silk, to revive them and knock out odors.
- CleanFast Fabric Odor Eliminator and Wrinkle Releaser ($8, steamfast.com). Designed to work with steam. Safe for most materials.
- Handheld fabric steamer, like the Steamfast SF-435 ($25, target.com)
- Step stool, preferably on castors, so you can kick it into place (Kik-Step, $70, target.com)
1. Close the windows and curtains.
2. Spray a curtain panel with the CleanFast solution.
3. With the steamer, using the stool if necessary, work from bottom to top. (Steam rises, so this allows the water vapor to penetrate more deeply.) Hold lightweight fabrics taut with one hand; heavier fabrics will do the job for you. Glide the steamer over the curtains in one-foot sections, placing the nozzle about an inch away from the fabric. Unless your curtains are unusually thick and impermeable, you’ll need to steam only one side.
4. Open the windows to help the curtains dry.
Time investment: Less than 10 minutes per panel.