Macrames are intricate textile crafts often used to spruce up just about any living space. They feature a form of knotting techniques from the 70s and 80s and are still used to hang plants or serve as large curtains in homes.
If you’ve owned a macrame for several months, you may notice visible dirt over a period of time. This could be due to dust accumulating on the surface or stains that developed from spills. Thankfully, these dirt and stains are possible to get rid of in numerous ways.
You can clean your macrame by first removing it from the wall, brushing off any dust on the surface, spot-cleaning the stain, and then submerging it in a cleaning solution. Then, you’ll just need to comb out any tangles and leave the macrame to dry.
In this article, we will cover how to clean your macrame while going over some dos and don’ts to abide by during the cleaning process. Let’s get to it!
1. Take Down The Macrame From The Wall
Macrames are typically hung on walls. This includes those used to hang plants as well as those that serve as curtains. So you will need to start the cleaning process by first removing your macrame from the wall. This will also ensure easy and thorough cleaning.
2. Get Rid Of Dust
Next, you will need to remove the dust that has accumulated on the macrame’s surface. You can do this by simply taking your macrame outside and giving it a firm and hard shake. For dust embedded in the macrame’s nooks and crannies, try using a soft-bristle brush to firmly brush it away.
3. Spot Clean Stains
Once you’ve removed all traces of dust from your macrame, it’s time to inspect it for any kind of stains. Once you spot those stains, try to identify what kind of stain it is, whether it’s a fresh stain or a dried stain.
It’s important to identify the type of stain in order to apply the appropriate solution. This is because the solution for a fresh stain may not work on a dried stain and the solution for a dried stain may be too strong for a fresh stain.
Below, we’ve compiled a simple list of cleaning solutions that you can use to treat the two different types of stains:
Using Lukewarm Water
If the stain on your macrame is still fresh, you may be able to clean it off using just lukewarm water. This method is highly effective for fresh stains because the stain hasn’t seeped into the fibers yet.
However, if the stain does set and dry, you will need to use cleaning solutions to lift the stain particles from the fabric before the water can wash them away.
Follow these steps to easily remove fresh stains from your macrame:
- Turn on your tap and set the temperature to lukewarm.
- Place your hand under the tap and confirm the water has reached a lukewarm temperature.
- Grab your macrame with both hands and hold the stained area’s reverse side under the flowing water.
- Hold the macrame in place until the water has washed away the entire stain.
Using A Diluted White Vinegar Solution
If you encounter a tough and dried stain that isn’t going away with lukewarm water, try using white vinegar. We highly recommend the 365 by Whole Foods Market’s Organic White Vinegar as it contains just enough acidity to remove tough stains. It’s also made with organic ingredients which is gentle and won’t cause any damage to the macrame.
All you need to do is dilute this household white vinegar with some water and use it to spot-clean the stains off your macrame.
Here’s how to use the white vinegar solution to remove these dried stains:
- Combine 1 cup of water with 2 tbsp of white vinegar in a bowl and mix.
- Dip a clean cloth in the mixture and rub it against the stain in a firm circular motion.
- If the stain persists, try pressing the dipped cloth onto the stain for a few minutes. This helps the solution penetrate deeper into the stain to remove it.
- Repeat rubbing the stain until it is completely removed.
- Then, rinse the spot under cool tap water to get rid of the excess solution.
Using Mild Detergent & Water
If you don’t happen to have white vinegar at home, you can create another effective cleaning solution consisting of mild detergent and water. The term “mild” is key here, because strong cleaning detergents or those containing bleach can break down your macrame’s fibers.
Here is how to create a mild detergent cleaning solution and use it to spot-clean your macrame:
- Combine 1 cup of water with 2 to 3 drops of mild detergent in a bowl and mix.
- Take a clean cloth, dip it into the solution, and apply it to the stain. Hold it firmly on the stain for 3 minutes to allow the stain to soak in the solution.
- Firmly rub the stain in a circular motion to remove it.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain is completely gone.
- Rinse the spot under cool tap water to remove any excess solutions.
4. Wash The Macrame
Now that you have removed all the stains on your macrame, it is time to wash it. To do this, you simply need to prepare a cleaning solution in a bucket. We recommend partially filling your bucket with lukewarm water and then adding a few drops of mild detergent.
Next, submerge the entire macrame in the solution and allow it to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, empty out the solution and fill the bucket containing the macrame with clean cool water. If the freshwater appears dirty after coming in contact with your macrame, repeat the cleaning steps until the water is clear.
5. Brush Through Tangled Tassels
Once you remove your clean macrame from the bucket, you should inspect it and look for any tangles. You can use a large tooth comb to comb out these tangles before the drying process starts.
Allowing a tangled macrame to dry is a bad idea because it is difficult to undo tangles once the fabric has dried. Furthermore, the tassels may firm up after drying causing them to look frayed.
6. Dry The Macrame
Once you’re done combing out the tangles from your macrame, you can finally allow it to dry. The fabric is quite fragile so you shouldn’t wring it to squeeze out the excess water. Instead, place a clean bath towel on the floor and lay the macrame on top before gently pressing it on the towel.
The bath towel will help to absorb the excess water without deforming your macrame. Once you have squeezed out all the excess water, it’s time to hang your macrame to dry thoroughly. We recommend hanging it in a cool and dry place with good ventilation.
If you want to speed up the drying process, try using a stand fan. However, avoid using a dryer to dry your macrame because the hot air and rapid tumbling motion can irreversibly damage its fibers.
Dos & Don’ts When Cleaning Macrame
Cleaning your macrame is a relatively straightforward process. However, there are a few dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind while cleaning your macrame to ensure it stays in good condition. Here’s a list of points you should consider:
- Keep Them Away From Sunlight: You should always keep your macrame away from direct sunlight as it can cause the fibers to become hard and discolored. If you intend to hang plant pots from your macrame, you should ensure they’re indoor plants that can survive indirect sunlight.
- Hand Wash Your Macrame: Always hand wash your macrame as attempting to wash it in a washing machine will cause irreversible damage to its fibers.
- Don’t Wring Your Macrame: Macrame fibers are soft and fragile. Attempting to wring your macrame to get excess water out during the cleaning process will cause these fibers to warp or tear.
- Don’t Use Bleach: Bleach will destroy your macrame’s fibers or cause discoloration. For this reason, you should never use bleach to clean your macrame. Always opt for milder and gentler solutions instead.
- Don’t Use a Vacuum Cleaner: It can be tempting to use a vacuum cleaner to get dust and dirt out of your macrame, but this machine’s strong suction power could damage the macrame’s fabric. For this reason, you should stick to shaking your macrame or brushing it to get dust and dirt off.
Sirinan is a self-proclaimed cleanaholic and the editor-in-chief of Cleaney. Apart from coming with up creative ways to keep her living spaces clean and tidy, she loves to read on rainy days.