What To Do With Old Curtains (Here's What You Can Do)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Curtains are a great way to transform a room and give your windows movement, color, texture, and privacy. However, curtains can become dated as styles change, which leaves many homeowners wondering what they can do with old curtains. Just because the style or pattern may not be popular for curtains, it doesn’t mean you need to abandon your curtains altogether.

It is possible to repurpose the old fabric from curtains to make several home decor projects, including throw pillows, shower curtains, or room dividers. Curtains can also be recycled at specific textile recycling centers or donated at most charitable organizations like Goodwill or The Salvation Army.

If you cannot find a good purpose for your old curtains, you can also just throw them in the trash. Curtains do not contain any hazardous materials, so it is safe to put them on the curb with the rest of your trash. Before turning to a landfill, though, it is always best to think through the possible uses for old fabric and textiles to get the most use out of your old curtains. Even though you may no longer like the patterns or textiles, someone else may be able to get great use out of your old curtains.

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Can You Reuse Old Curtains?

Old curtains can be reused anywhere in your home. You can simply hang them in a new room or use them in an alternative project. Because curtains are made of fabric, they can easily transform into a completely new textile in your home. Or, you may also be able to cut them into fabric strips to use for cleaning or dusting. Before delegating your old curtains to the trash, think of the many uses and ways you can reuse your curtains in your home.

Can Curtains Be Recycled?

Luckily, curtains are usually made of organic materials with non-hazardous fabrics. This fact means that just about every type of fabric, including curtain fabric, can be recycled. You can recycle curtains in the same way you would recycle old clothing. Recycling your curtains is always preferred to throw them away in the trash simply. Plus, recycling helps to keep the curtains out of a landfill.

Although it may not be possible to simply put your curtains in the recycling bin with your glass and plastic, you can still recycle the material. You’ll want to search for specific textile recycling centers in your area. Be sure to call the recycling center ahead of time to confirm they have the space and room to take your old recycled curtains. It is worth noting that you can also recycle other fabric scraps with textile recycling.

How Can I Make Old Curtains Look New Again?

If you love the look of your old curtains but want to give them a new life, a quick trick could make them look new again. If you have sheer or lace curtains, try dissolving about one cup of Epsom salt into a sink filled with cold water. Completely submerge the curtains for about ten minutes. Drain the water from the sink, and gently press the excess water of the curtains without rinsing them. Then, hang the curtains in your shower to dry until they are ready to hang again. You may need to press or steam your curtains once they are dry to remove any wrinkles.

How Can I Repurpose Old Curtains?

Dated or torn curtains no longer look good hanging in your windows, but you may be able to repurpose them to other places in your house. Some great ideas to repurpose your curtains include:

  • Throw Pillows – If you like the look of your curtains, but certain parts are torn or damaged, you may be able to turn them into some fun throw pillows. Cut out the suitable fabric sections and make some fun pillows that will coordinate with the rest of your room decor.
  • Storage Space – Take your curtains and use them as a room divider. You can use any type of curtain rod or tension rod to create a divider between a doorway quickly. Simply slide your curtain onto the curtain rod to completely transform the space.
  • Shower Curtain – Old curtains can be transformed into a fun shower curtain simply by moving them to a new room in the house. Be sure to use a traditional plastic liner in your shower first to keep the water inside the shower, but place the old curtain on the exterior of the shower rod. You’ll be able to give your bathroom a transformation with a new pop of color and fun texture.
  • Tablecloth – If your curtain is still in good shape, you may be able to make a fun table cloth from the fabric. Cut your old curtain to the appropriate size, hem the border, and use it as a festive and practical table cloth for your home.
  • Sink Skirt – If you have an open space under your kitchen sink, you can use old curtains to disguise the space. Cut the curtains to fit the area and use a small tension rod placed between the base cabinets. The sink skirt is a great way to hide pipes and cleaning products hiding under your sink.
  • Gift – Just because you no longer like your curtains doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. If you no longer have a purpose for your curtains, consider gifting them to a friend. Of course, you’ll want to launder and press your old curtains fully, so your friends receive a new-ish and thoughtful gift from a friend.

How Do You Dispose of Old Curtains?

If your curtains are still in good condition, you may be able to donate them to charity. Ensure that the charity center can accept the curtains before donating them, or check online at places like Freecycle. If you can’t find a local center to take your curtains, you may dispose of them yourself. Curtains do not contain any hazardous materials, so it is possible to simply throw away your old curtains with regular trash.

Can Curtains Be Donated?

Donating your curtains is a great way to keep them out of a landfill and give them to someone in need. Usually, The Salvation Army and Goodwill will accept linens like curtains, towels, and sheets. If your local donation center cannot use them, you may have luck donating them to a local animal shelter. Many shelters will cut the old curtains into remnants to use the fabric pieces as pet bedding or rags for cleaning.

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Related Questions

What can I do with old curtain rods?

After you have removed old curtains, you may be left with some old curtain rods. You can use the old rods in your kitchen to help you organize your utensils. Place the curtain rods over the sink, stove, or even under the upper cabinets. Using some rings or S-hooks, you’ll be able to hang your utensils from the rod. Try using your old curtain rods to make a pot rack or even a butcher’s rack that can be hung over your island in your kitchen.

Can I launder old curtains?

Laundering old curtains depends entirely on the type of material the curtains are made from. Be sure to read the care instruction tag included with your curtains carefully. While some curtain material, like cotton, can easily be tossed in the washing machine, other delicate fabrics like velvet or silk should be taken to a professional cleaner specializing in curtains and home decor. Washing your curtains is a great way to make your old curtains look new again. Be sure to press your curtains before hanging them again, so they look their absolute best.

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Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

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