A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Pleated Shades

As a homeowner, you understand the tranquil allure of a sunlit room graced by the elegance of pleated shades. Unfortunately, even the most regal of shades can succumb to the dulling effect of dust and grime over time. However, the brilliance of your pleated shades can be restored with some know-how and elbow grease. 


In this step-by-step guide, we’ll unravel the mysteries of pleated shade cleaning and ensure that your windows remain the eyes of a sparkling home.


The Importance of Clean Pleated Shades


Pleated shades offer privacy and light control and cozy any space with soft folds and warm textures. Regular cleaning not only maintains their aesthetic appeal but also elongates their lifespan. Excessive dust and dirt can compromise the fabric, leading to potential damage, and can even diminish the overall air quality of your home. Therefore, a well-executed cleaning routine is a gesture of care for your home and everyone who lives in it.


Step One: Gather Cleaning Supplies

At the top of the list in this guide is gathering the right tools at your disposal in order to make the cleaning process smooth and efficient. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A vacuum cleaner with attachments of a soft bristle brush
  • A microfiber cloth or a soft sponge
  • A gentle cleaning solution—mild dish soap or a specialized fabric cleaner
  • Water in a spray bottle
  • A step ladder or stool
  • A large, clean work area


Step Two: Remove Shades

Safely detaching pleated shades from your windows is the initial step in their rejuvenation. You can start by fully opening the shades to expose the pleated surface. Next, locate the clips or mounts that secure the shades to the window frame. Once you located the clips, carefully detach the shades, ensuring no part of the pleated fabric catches or tears on the window hardware. Keep the mounting hardware together with the pleated shades in a safe place.


Step Three: Dusting

Dust tends to be the most common nemesis of pleated shades, but you can keep your shades pristine with a regular dusting routine. There are a few methods you can use for dusting. First, you can gently remove dust from the outer surfaces of the shades using a feather duster or a vacuum cleaner. For a more thorough dusting, especially in tight pleats, you can also use a hairdryer on the cool setting to blow the dust out. Additionally, regular use of a vacuum cleaner attachment will help prevent dust build-up. By following these dusting methods, you can ensure that your pleated shades stay clean and dust-free.


Step Four: Spot Cleaning

Sometimes, spots and stains occur despite our best efforts. When they do, it’s essential to tackle them promptly with the right technique. First, dilute a small amount of mild dish soap in water to create a DIY cleaning solution, or use a specialized fabric cleaner according to the product instructions. Next, dampen a soft cloth with the cleaning solution, ensuring it is not too wet to avoid oversaturation. After this, gently dab the affected area without rubbing to lift the stain. Lastly, use a clean damp cloth to blot the area and remove any soap residue.


Step Five: Deep Cleaning

It may be necessary to thoroughly clean pleated shades that have accumulated dust and grime over time. You can proceed by submerging the shades in a large basin filled with cool water and a small amount of mild detergent. This should be done in sections if you have large shades. Gently agitate the water and shades to dislodge dirt and grime. Drain the bathtub and refill with clean water to rinse the shades. Repeat until the water remains clear. To remove excess water, press against the pleats with a towel. Hang the shades in a well-ventilated area to air-dry completely.


Step Six: Drying and Reinstallation

After cleaning, it is crucial to dry the shades thoroughly before rehanging them. Once the shades are dry, carefully reattach them to the window mounts, taking care not to damage the pleats. Finally, adjust the shades to ensure they operate smoothly and evenly.


Contact Made In The Shades for Window Treatment Advises

Cleaning pleated shades may seem daunting, but it can be a simple yet rewarding process with the right approach and tools. Remember to dust regularly, spot clean as needed, and deep clean when necessary for beautiful and long-lasting pleated shades. For more window treatment advice and services, contact Made In The Shades today.



Regular window shades maintenance and care are the keys to preserving pleated shades’ distinguished look and operational integrity. By following the steps outlined in this guide, from gentle dusting to the occasional deep clean, you can ensure that your shades stay as immaculate and functional as the day they were installed. Pleated shades are more than just window coverings; they are an investment in the aesthetic and comfort of your home. Make sure to treat them with the care they deserve, and your home will continue to be a beacon of elegance and warmth. For further guidance on maintaining the beauty of your window treatments, do not hesitate to contact the experts at Made In The Shades.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should pleated shades be cleaned?

To maintain optimal condition, pleated shades should be dusted monthly and spot-cleaned as necessary. A deep cleaning may be performed annually or bi-annually, depending on your home’s dust and dirt accumulation.

Are there any specific pleated shades cleaning solutions recommended?

A mild solution, such as dish soap diluted in water, is typically safe for most pleated shades. If you prefer a specialized product, check the labels to ensure they match your shade material.

What should I do if the pleats lose their shape?

If the pleats begin to lose shape during cleaning, gently re-crease them by hand while they are still damp. Contacting a professional may be the best course of action for persistent issues.

Is it necessary to remove pleated shades from the window to clean them?

While dusting and spot cleaning can often be done while the shades are still hanging, removing them is advised for deep cleaning to ensure that every part of the shade is adequately cleaned without causing any damage.