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Cubicle Curtains: Why You Should Clean Them & How to Do It

If you visit a hospital or a medical facility, you'll probably see many cubicle curtains that separate the many beds in the area. Also called as privacy curtains, they serve as dividing clothes to provide a private enclosure for patients. They are usually made of pieces of fabric that can be easily drawn or withdrawn at will.

However, did you know that a 2008 study showed that 42 per cent of curtains hanging in hospitals were shown to be contaminated with VRE, 22 per cent with MRSA, and 4 per cent with Clostridium Difficile? This study is actually quite concerning, as hospitals are supposed to be completely clean, disinfected, and sanitised.

In this article, we'll cover the importance of cubicle curtains as well as when and how to clean them:

The importance of cubicle curtains

As mentioned above, privacy drapes are ergonomically designed and used for clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. Here's why they are important:

  • Division: They primarily serve to provide partitions between patients.
  • Infection reduction: They provide patient isolation to avoid and control the risk of the spread of infection.
  • Cover: They can be used as a cover for bay windows or sliding glass doors.
  • Additional workspace: They provide division for additional workspace.
  • Easy access and increased functionality: They provide easy access without the need to open doors or locked rooms.
  • Aesthetics: What used to be solid textured fabrics have turned into fashionable curtains to increase the aesthetic appeal of your hospital or medical facility.

Frequency of changing curtains

As the drapes provide privacy and reduce the risk of infection, they ought to be cleaned and maintained regularly. However, one of the frequently asked questions is how often the curtains should be replaced and cleaned. Unfortunately, some hospital settings and medical facilities do not have clear cleaning or changing guidelines, which is why many are uncertain regarding the specific frequency of how often to change them. Nevertheless, there are particular instances when you finally need to do so.

Cleaning guidelines for curtains

If you're wondering when to change or clean your drapes, follow the guidelines below:

  • Once they get dirty: If you see that the curtains are visibly dirty, then you should take the initiative to remove and replace them. That way, you can have them washed, cleaned, and sanitised.
  • After every patient: As soon as a patient leaves, be sure to get rid of the old drapes and install new ones before a new patient is admitted into the isolation space.

Take note that even without isolation patients or curtains being visibly dirty, it's best to have your drapes changed regularly because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Opting for disposable curtains

There are excellent reasons you should consider opting for disposable drapes. With traditional options, you'll likely be faced with the following challenges:

  • Constant laundering
  • The removal process
  • Transportation issues
  • Reinstalling new ones

With disposable curtains, on the other hand, those problems are eliminated. Apart from this, they are lightweight, durable, disposable, and 100 per cent recyclable!


At this point, you now know why privacy curtains are important and how to clean them. Be sure to follow the cleaning guidelines mentioned above—change them whenever dirty, after a patient leaves, or when the need arises. Finally, it's best to opt for disposable drapes due to their added benefits and overall functionality.

Direct Fabrics is a leading supplier and installer of fabrics, blinds, bedding, tracks, and disposable hospital curtains in the UK. If you need a supply of NHS-certified curtains, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!