Freshen old or newly cleaned draperies or remove creases from newly purchased packaged curtains. A handheld steam cleaner is inexpensive and can be used without even removing drapes or curtains from their rods.
Hang the new curtains and check the manufacturer's label to ensure steam won't harm the curtains. There are some steamers that can burn or singe certain fabrics. As a good rule of thumb, curtains that are machine washable can be steamed.
Fill and warm up the steamer according to manufacturer instructions. Ensure you hold the hose-mounted steaming handle upright, with the steam holes away from you. Test your steamer's power by holding it at least 10 inches away from the curtain.
Steam the top of the curtains first, standing on a step stool if necessary. This allows the dirt to fall down instead of starting at the bottom and allowing the dust from the top to drift down.
Slowly run the steamer down the length of the curtain. If the curtains are especially high, you may want to break the length in parts.
Hold the steamer more closely than 10 inches if wrinkles do not release. If you see wet spots, then you could be holding the steamer too close.
Keep the windows closed and do not do any further cleaning/dusting for at least an hour when you are done steaming. This allows the curtains to fully dry and prevents them from picking up dust.