IKEA Curtain Hacks

How to Bleach Curtains by sheholdsdearly.com

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If you are in want of some beautiful, not to mention, economical linen curtains, I have news for you! IKEA curtains are a great place to start and with a couple decor hacks you can customize them with some vintage flair.

Ok, let’s talk basic curtains, first of all. If you are in the market for linen drapes like I was, you might like the Aina set from IKEA.

The prices are very reasonable. These ones are $59.99 per set.

AND they are super long at 98″, which is hard to find in my experience.

I went to the store so I could see them in person and feel the texture. I’m a fabric snob and fabrics have to feel a certain way. The weight was just right, but the color seemed too yellow.

Best Ways to Bleach Fabric by sheholdsdearly.com

I needed six, so I just bought them all right then and went home to try them out in my space.

Confirmed. The fabric was too yellow.

No worries, I could just bleach them and we would be all set, right?

But, as many DIY projects go, my idea worked in my head, but not in real life. Those darn curtains would. not. lighten. I bleached them for several days to no avail.

This meant war!

Finally, I went on my Instagram stories and asked for suggestions. My DMs were flooded (btw I just love the home decor community, they are such a wealth of information!)

*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.

Linen Curtain Makeover by sheholdsdearly.com

I decided to try

It took many days and only one thing worked.

Drumroll, please! We have a winner!!

Ikea Curtain Hack by sheholdsdearly.com

Yup, the OxyClean White Revive did the trick. See the original color on the right.

I soaked each panel in OxyClean White Revive for two days before it was the white I wanted. Soooo, let’s do the math on that. After many days of experimenting, I still soaked curtains for ten more days.

I know you understand.

Decorating is an art form, is it not? You have to get it just right.

Anyhooo, once that was done, I decided to add just a touch of detail to them for more of a vintage French look. I found this tassel trim on Ebay and had one of my girls sew it down just one side of each curtain.

If you don’t want to sew or don’t know how, here are some similar curtains.

Linen Ikea Curtains by sheholdsdearly.com

I love how the light catches them as it comes through the window. They bring just the right level of classiness to our master bedroom and I couldn’t be happier with the finished product.

Upcycling Curtains by sheholdsdearly.com
Best Ways to Bleach Fabric by sheholdsdearly.com

Let me know in the comments below if you have struggled to get fabrics the perfect color or if you have any great IKEA hacks that you have tried!! I’d love to hear all about them!

Upcycling IKEA Curtains by sheholdsdearly.com

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Ikea Curtain Hacks by sheholdsdearly.com
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63 Comments

  1. Brenda
    April 3, 2019 / 9:53 AM

    Lovely.

    I use Oxiclean regular for old doilies and linens that are stained. But it does not get them white white, so am happy to hear of this product.

    The trim is a lovely touch.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 3, 2019 / 10:51 PM

      Yay!! I’d love to hear how it works for you, Brenda. xoxo

  2. Sarah
    April 5, 2019 / 12:25 PM

    Hi Sarah!
    Great idea! Question: where did you purchase your bed and what color is it – black or bronze? Thanks so much! Your bedroom is quite lovely.

      • Sarah
        April 6, 2019 / 8:40 AM

        Thank you, Sarah! Appreciate the link, too! Have a blessed weekend!

        • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
          Author
          April 7, 2019 / 11:13 PM

          You bet, girl!

  3. Jeanne
    April 7, 2019 / 8:08 AM

    Hmmmmmm I wonder if the oxy would work on my beige Ektorp covers! I have an extra set and wish I would have gotten the white.
    Thanks for the tip!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 7, 2019 / 11:14 PM

      Maybe, the only thing that worries me is the shear size of slipcovers. You will need to use a lot of water so the fabric can move around a little.

  4. Laura Harrie
    April 7, 2019 / 9:42 AM

    I will have to try that product on drop cloths. Tried bleaching twice, but didn’t lighten enough. Thanks for the tip.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 7, 2019 / 11:15 PM

      Ooo, yes, and let me know what you find out if you remember!

      • Lori
        April 19, 2019 / 5:43 PM

        I have read the drop cloth must be 100 % cotton for it to bleach. I can’t remember the blog I read but they used the bleach sold at costco. If I find the blog I’ll post it.

        • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
          Author
          April 19, 2019 / 11:31 PM

          I think you might have read that in the post I wrote about bleaching drop cloths. Haha, wouldn’t that be hilarious?!! The rule that I have heard and experienced is that the fabric needs to be 100% natural, which linen is.

  5. Ann C
    April 7, 2019 / 4:32 PM

    What did all those products do to the fabric strength? I would think it would damage it more than many years of sunshine would. Hope not but will be anxious to hear how they hold up over time.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 7, 2019 / 11:15 PM

      That is a really good question. Only the first panel got all the products, time will tell.

  6. Kim
    April 8, 2019 / 8:01 PM

    They look amazing with the trim and the oxy ! Very classy

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 8, 2019 / 9:48 PM

      Thank you, Kim, you are super encouraging!! xoxo

  7. Danielle
    April 9, 2019 / 5:40 AM

    My favorite whitener is “OUT White Brite”. It’s amazing. I haven’t tried it on linen drapes though 🙂
    Amazon sells it, but the cheapest I’ve found it is at WalMart.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 9, 2019 / 9:28 PM

      Oh, awesome. Good to know, thanks for weighing in!!

    • Loren
      March 23, 2020 / 2:45 PM

      Just FYI, I bought the IKEA Lejongap linen curtains recently. They are lighter in weight than AINA but whiter, just off white with no yellow tint. Also there was a question about bleaching Ritva & the answer is yes. I bought them years ago & bleached them with no problem.. I have a question now about Aina. I’m looking for a beige color & the AINA Beige is a little dark, more taupe. Not sure if you can answer this but I’m wondering if I could lighten it a bit with bleach? Thoughts? Thx

      • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
        Author
        April 1, 2020 / 3:07 AM

        Oh, good to know! Thank you.

        As for the Aina, I’m not sure the answer. I would buy a panel and test it, knowing it may not work.

    • Tracy
      August 27, 2020 / 12:58 PM

      Danielle, are you able to share what your Out White Brite proportions were? My Ritva curtains are not even close to turning white and I’m on my 3rd day plus adding more Oxi-Clean Revive White every day. I’m so sad Ö Sarah, your curtains look so beautifully white and mine are that dingy yellow. I just wanna cry Ö
      Thanks for any help!

      • Susan
        September 25, 2020 / 1:16 PM

        I am soaking my Ritva curtains right now and will see in 2 days if they turn white. What was the temperature of your water? Did your curtains ever turn white? I am trying cool water since i am trying to reduce any shrinking that may occur. I would be interested in hearing how your curtains turned out and what you learned along the way.

  8. Cathi
    April 9, 2019 / 11:34 AM

    I’ve used IKEA curtains in the last three homes we’ve owned. Every time I put them through the wash three times (wash and dry) with good old Clorox bleach. I’ve also done this with the linen duvet covers they sell. The great thing with this method is it also pre-shrinks the curtains before hanging and hemming. Now I can wash them every so often and I know the length will always be good.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 9, 2019 / 9:32 PM

      I’m glad you figured out what works for you. I’m curious do you have a front loader?

    • Gina Lewis
      September 2, 2020 / 10:05 AM

      did it bleach them white? I have three sets now of the Aina curtains from Ikea that I am trying to whiten with what was mentioned above. Praying it works. It would be great if I could put them all in the washer at the same time with bleach. right now I have one panel in a deep laundry sink.

  9. Brenda
    April 26, 2019 / 5:13 PM

    Question: With regular Oxiclean to get its maximum strength the water must be hot hot. Is this true with Oxiclean White Revive, as well?

    I have an ecru.off white matelasse all cotton Crown Crafts spread I would love to use if it was white …

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 26, 2019 / 11:20 PM

      No, I couldn’t use super hot with my curtains because they would shrink. So, I just used warm water.

  10. Pamela Smith
    May 9, 2019 / 5:04 PM

    Did you soak them in a washer? if so… which kind top or front loader?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      May 17, 2019 / 10:43 PM

      I did not, I used my large utility sink.

  11. Carrie
    July 7, 2019 / 3:06 PM

    Thank you for testing this out!!! I love the texture of the Ikea linen curtains because they feel like a sturdy linen but just don’t love that they call them white when they are really a cream colour. Did you wash the curtains after you finished soaking them in Oxyclean with regular detergent? And do you put them in the dryer or do you hang them to dry?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      October 31, 2019 / 10:01 PM

      YES, my sentiments exactly! I did use regular detergent, then line dried them and ironed them. Great questions!

  12. Abby
    August 1, 2019 / 7:39 AM

    I bought these curtains before our room was painted, hoping the warm white would be ok in the light. Short story: it wasn’t, so I’m so glad to find this post!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      October 31, 2019 / 10:07 PM

      Oh good!!! So glad I could help. xoxo

  13. Jenny
    August 29, 2019 / 8:25 PM

    Great idea!!! I was wondering which IKEA curtain did you use? Thank you❤

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      October 31, 2019 / 10:19 PM

      Hi Jenny, I used the Aina set. There is a link in the beginning of the post. xoxo

  14. Sue
    November 8, 2019 / 10:51 AM

    I want to order the Oxiclean White Revive. I would love to see you get whatever credit you get from Amazon, but your link goes to an item that is no longer available. Can you give me a good link?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      November 8, 2019 / 11:08 AM

      Sue, you the sweetest! I don’t know these things unless a reader notifies me, to thank you so much. I just updated the link.

  15. Alicia
    December 11, 2019 / 7:23 PM

    Do you think this would work with their Ritva curtains as well? They are looking so yellow next to my white trim.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      December 11, 2019 / 10:23 PM

      Hey Alicia, I definitely think it could work, as long as your curtains are a natural fiber like linen or cotton.

  16. Lisa S
    December 27, 2019 / 7:01 PM

    Hi Sarah, I bought these curtains several months ago, hoping I could whiten them so I was really happy to find this post!

    Can you tell me how much water and how much detergent per panel I should use? I gather I use room temperature water and soak each panel for two days?

    Thanks so much!

    Lisa in Canada

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      December 28, 2019 / 10:51 AM

      Hey Lisa! Shoot, I didn’t write that down, but I seem to remember- warm water (check the tag, but I think the hot shrinks the linen and you don’t want to do this). I filled my utility sink half full and used a lot of Oxyclean, like two scoops (from the container) per panel. Soak each panel for two days and swish around every few hours. Hope that helps, let me know how it goes, if you can!

      • Lisa S
        January 1, 2020 / 9:02 PM

        I’ve just finished my first panel and it turned out really well! It’s so much whiter and the original colour looks almost yellow beside it.

        I have 7 more panels to go!

        Did you change the water with each panel? I’m wondering if I can use the same water and just add a scoop of oxy to the water.

        Also, when I washed it, I added a scoop of oxy in addition to regular detergent. I don’t know if that had any effect.

        I’m really happy about how they’re going to look.

        Thanks for posting about your experience.

        • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
          Author
          January 2, 2020 / 11:06 AM

          Good job!! I did change the water. Also, I think I told you wrong, I looked at the scoop again and I think I just did one scoop per panel. No need to add to wash cycle, either, in my experience.

          • Lisa S
            January 2, 2020 / 8:42 PM

            I shall carry on!

            Only 13 more days of soaking to go!

          • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
            Author
            January 4, 2020 / 5:40 PM

            You can do it!

        • Susan
          September 25, 2020 / 1:20 PM

          Hi Lisa, when you were soaking your curtains in oxiclean, what temperature did you use? I am trying to soak them now in cool room temp water, but not sure if it works if the water is not warm or hot.

  17. Fannie
    January 20, 2020 / 5:07 PM

    Does the 2 days mean a full 24 hours?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      January 27, 2020 / 6:57 PM

      48 hours, soak them for 48 hours. Hope that helps!

      • Jess
        June 3, 2020 / 6:15 AM

        I just did the two day soak, maybe a little longer than 48 hours, and this yellow is not budging! Do you think all the previous attempts at lightening affected the final soak for you? Or did you not try all the other stuff on each panel. I only did two panels so I can’t compare to the original, but after 48+ hours they still look pretty yellow. Did two full scoops of the Oxiclean white revive and warm water in the washer, stirred every so often. Did you add more bleach as time went on, more warm water? I’m just stumped why it didn’t work for me!

  18. Dana
    February 28, 2020 / 12:22 PM

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! We just repainted the trim in our bedroom to a much “whiter” white and now our “white” IKEA curtains look so yellow! I was about to purchase all new items for our room when I found your blog. You’re the best!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      April 1, 2020 / 3:01 AM

      Oh that is the best news! Nope, you don’t need to buy all new curtains!

  19. Fly
    April 28, 2020 / 2:17 PM

    So glad you posted this!! I have been looking for a way to bleach my very red Ikea curtains. I’ve tried bleach and Rit color remover. Before wasting time and money, do you think red curtains are worth the effort? Thanks! Your curtains looks fabulous.

  20. May 29, 2020 / 12:33 PM

    I have well water which has a lot of minerals and stains pretty much everything, including my white sheets. What do you recommend for whitening them after they have already been stained? Also, does the fabric have to be cotton or linen for Oxiclean to work well?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      May 29, 2020 / 9:41 PM

      Oh gosh, Cheryl, I don’t know the answer to either one of those questions. I would say to google those answers so you can find some good information. Good luck! xoxo

    • Jess
      June 3, 2020 / 6:18 AM

      Cheryl, have you tried Iron Out for your whites? My parents had very hard water before installing there current water softener and it was the only thing that kept stains out of whites.

  21. Jess
    June 3, 2020 / 6:28 AM

    I just did the two day soak, maybe a little longer than 48 hours, and this yellow is not budging! Do you think all the previous attempts at lightening affected the final soak for you? Or did you not try all the other stuff on each panel. I only did two panels so I can’t compare to the original, but after 48+ hours they still look pretty yellow. Did two full scoops of the Oxiclean white revive and warm water in the washer, stirred every so often. Did you add more bleach as time went on, more warm water? I’m just stumped why it didn’t work for me!

    • Laura
      June 10, 2020 / 1:57 PM

      Hi there- I just finished the Ritva whitening (cotton with linen texture) and they turned white almost instantly.

      I quick washed them first, then in a large 30 gal Sterlite container in the sun I put 11 gals of hot water from faucet and boiling to bring temp to 130 ish. I added 11 scoops of Oxi White and Revive stirred and added the wet panels. I stirred about every 15 min. I left them in an hour but the color was the same as after the first few minutes.

      They are whiter than the white linen Fieldcrest set I have. They will shrink.

      • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
        Author
        June 13, 2020 / 3:29 PM

        Amazing, thanks for the feedback!

      • Susan
        September 25, 2020 / 1:11 PM

        How much did your Ritva drapes shrink when doing this? Right now I am soaking my Ritva drapes, but it’s in cool water. I plan on soaking for 2 days to see if they turn white without the hot water. I am trying to limit the shrinking.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      Author
      June 13, 2020 / 3:36 PM

      Hmmm, I wonder if it is your water. You sound like you are doing everything correctly. I did not use bleach on the rest of the panels only Oxiclean. Have you washed them and dried them to check the final color? And do you have the IKEA panels I used?

      • Laura
        August 31, 2020 / 3:17 PM

        Yes- I washed and dried after the White Revive. They have been hanging a few months now and are still bright white. I believe it’s the hot water temp – and 1 scoop or capful of liquid White Revive to water ratio. I also used a very large plastic storage container. Whitened 4 panels at a time.

        Wash fabric first before white solution to remove chemical sizing in most fabrics – don’t add fabric softener to the load.

        I also brightened up a dingy drop cloth I use for a large table cloth. I soaked it in the same solution after I finished the curtain panels. I didn’t leave it in long enough for white but the color is a big difference. Looks brighter and fresher.

        I’m on my second round of same process with more panels; you can see the color come right out of the ritva panels almost instantly.

  22. Becky
    September 1, 2020 / 4:16 AM

    Hi! I stumbled upon this post after finding your original YouTube video. The problem that I have is with my IKEA curtains. I have sheer curtains on a bunch of windows and Ritva sets layered on top, along with another that I think starts with an L. Anyway, I love the color of my curtains, but after two or three years, they are pretty filthy about halfway down to the bottom. The problem is, I am under 5 feet tall, I live alone, and they are not easily accessible for me to be able to take them down to wash them. I thought maybe I would try to spot clean them with the product you recommended, but then I started to get nervous that I would get white blotches where I mean to remove dirt (dust stains, crap that comes in from the window, the AC, etc.). Any suggestions on how I can clean them without ruining them? Thanks!

  23. Rosa Arredondo
    October 12, 2020 / 10:53 AM

    I am sooo happy to have found this beautiful site! Love the inspirational day planner. Do you sell it? Also, I have been looking to replace my beloved Lejongap panels from Ikea. However, they are discontinued. 🙁 I was thinking of using the
    aina. Don’t mind the color. I actually wanted off white. Are they as sheer? Want a very light panel. Also, thank you to another subscriber for asking…. Can I lighten my Ektorp slip cover with the oxyclean? It is a small er on, for the tullsta chair.

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