How to Clean Pinch-Pleated Drapes

MJ Knoblock

Pinch-pleated drapes are an elegant addition to any window. Often made of delicate fabric, they should not be dropped into the washing machine. These drapes can be dry-cleaned if necessary, but unless they have been stained by water or food, simple maintenance every few months should do the trick. No need to take them down; for best results, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment on the end of the wand. Make sure the brush is clean and free of dust. Adjust the suction to a lower setting, if possible, or by opening a vent valve on the suction hose.


  1. Release the tiebacks on the draperies and draw them closed.

  2. Plug in and turn on the vacuum cleaner.

  3. Starting on one end at the top, gently brush the vacuum against and in between the pinch pleats in a scrubbing motion. Be sure to remove all dust. Use the step stool for hard-to-reach places.

  4. Work your way from top to bottom, moving along one section at a time, moving the wand among the pleats and folds.

  5. After vacuuming is complete and the machine is off, spot clean any soiled areas by gently rubbing the area with the damp cloth.

  6. Gather the drapes and replace the tiebacks so that both sides hang evenly.