White net curtains are a popular window treatment when you want to let light in but still have some privacy. Whether used alone to dress a window or in addition to other curtains or blinds, they need to be clean and bright white to look their best. You may hardly ever touch the curtains, but they still get grubby from dust in the air. Fortunately, there are some inexpensive household items you can use to get lace curtains really white. Unlike bleach, they are safe to use on all kinds of fabric.
Remove your net curtains from the window and remove all hardware such as curtain rings, hooks or clips.
Fill a basin with warm water and add either one or two denture tablets or half a cup of lemon juice.
Submerge the curtains in the basin, swishing the fabric around a little to get it saturated.
Let the net curtains soak in the solution for up to 12 hours -- overnight is ideal. If they are not too dirty you can get away with soaking them for a shorter time.
Remove the curtains from the solution and transfer them immediately to your washing machine.
Add mild laundry detergent and wash the curtains on the gentlest setting your washing machine has.
Pour 1 or 2 cups of white vinegar into the machine when it reaches the rinse cycle.
Stop the machine before it reaches the spin cycle, as the agitation is too rough for delicate net curtains.
Squeeze -- don't wring -- excess water out of the curtains and hang them on a clothesline or drying rack to air dry. Let them dry completely before rehanging them.
If you are concerned about washing your curtains in the machine, do them by hand instead. When you're hand-washing them, let them to soak in warm soapy water for about 20 minutes before rinsing. Another option is putting them in a lingerie bag and then machine washing the curtains. If you know for sure that your curtains are made of bleach-safe fabric, go ahead and add bleach to the washing machine.