Knowing how to clean fake plants helps reduce the amount of dust and allergens in your home’s air while preserving the beauty of these decorative touches.
For those who don’t have a green thumb, plastic and silk plants or flowers can soften a room’s look and add a colorful touch. These days, artificial arrangements are so well-made it’s often difficult to tell them apart from the real thing unless they’re covered in layers of dust and grime. Fortunately, it’s easy to clean these home accents — you probably already have everything you need to do it!
How To Clean Fake Plants
If your artificial plant is relatively new and only lightly dusty, a good shake and a quick weekly once-over with an electrostatic duster (Amazon $6.99) will keep it looking brand new. For more stubborn grime, follow the methods below.
1. Dislodge the top layer of dust by shaking the plant outside, or by aiming a hair dryer (on the cool setting) at the leaves. Getting rid of loose dust initially makes the following steps work better.
2. Individual silk stems may be cleaned by inserting the flower-end first into a pillow case. Add 1 cup of table salt or cornmeal. Holding the pillowcase closed around the stems, gently shake the flowers so the salt/cornmeal knocks away remaining dust on the plants. Remove the stems one from the pillowcase one at a time, shaking gently to dislodge any remaining salt and rearrange them in the container.
3. Plastic or polyester plants should be washed in the sink or shower. Fasten a plastic garbage bag around the base of stems to keep water out of the container, and then rinse the foliage under a strong stream of cold water. Avoid using hot water which may cause the colors to run. If the plants are particularly dirty, swish them in a sink filled with cool water and 1 teaspoon liquid dish detergent then rinse with the hose sprayer. Shake lightly and wrap a towel around the base of the plant to catch excess water as it dries.
4. Silk plants should not be cleaned with water or they will develop spots and their colors may run. To clean these arrangements, shake them vigorously to remove as much dust as possible. Next, fill a spray bottle with fragrance- and dye-free rubbing alcohol (surgical spirits in the UK). Wrap a towel around the base of the plant to catch drips and very thoroughly spray the foliage. Grime will slide off, carrying along any dust with it, but the alcohol will not cause spots or harm the dye. Use a hair dryer on the cool setting to quickly dry the plant.
• To keep plastic plants looking glossy, spray the leaves with furniture polish and give them a quick wipe.
• Clean wicker baskets and other woven containers with an old toothbrush or the dust attachment on your vacuum cleaner.