Hlelp! Hard water stains on black curtains!

mclarkeFebruary 21, 2010

These are huge theatrical black velveteen-ish curtains, twelve feet by nine feet, so I can't throw them into the washer, and I can't afford to have them dry cleaned.

They were brand new, just hung, and they had a lot of wrinkles. So, brilliant me, I filled a spray bottle with hot water, thinking that I would spray the hot water on the curtains so the wrinkles would fall out.

What I DIDN'T know was that the tap water in this town is very, very hard. When the water dried, it left behind white rings of residue.

What can I do now???

I have tried dabbing at the rings with distilled water, but it just spread the rings. I then tried adding white vinegar; more spreading.

Anyone got any ideas?

Please please help!

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oilpainter

try some calgon liquid water softener. Try a little on an inconspicuous place first.

The water softener should dissolve the calcium and lime that are making the rings

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 3:41PM
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graywings123

I have absolutely no idea whether this would work or not, but:

A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is in essence a micro-fine piece of sandpaper. If the residue is on the surface, and you rubbed verrry gently, maybe you could remove the residue without removing the color? Other than that, I have nothing - I've never found a fix for a water spot. Can you switch them left right and hide the spots in folds?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 5:41PM
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mclarke

Thanks for both of your replies. I will try them both.

I don't know if the Calgon will work, because my main problem is that I can't rinse the curtains. Oh, I suppose I could throw buckets of distilled water at them, but that's not practical, really. And I could possibly electrocute myself, which wouldn't really be productive...

I will also try the magic eraser. Ya never know.

Thanks!

Sorry for the typo ("Hlelp") in the thread title.

No solution for that problem, either, I guess.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 9:05AM
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raee_gw

Try vacuuming the dry stains with the brush attachment first--maybe you can loosen and remove some of the deposits.
If you truly can't afford a cleaner (or a commercial laundry? professional drapery cleaner? try negotiating a price?) and the drapes won't be ruined by water, how about in your bathtub?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 9:57AM
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mclarke

In my bathtub?

What a brilliant idea. But not practical at the moment... the show opens on Friday, and I would have no way of drying them. I live in Philadelphia and it's cold and wet outside.

If I lived in Miami... well, we can stop right there, because if I lived in Miami I would be out sitting on the beach, not lurking in the backstage shadows with a bottle of vinegar in my hand.

Thanks, though.

Anyone else?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 2:11PM
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