How Do I Clean Fake Plants?

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Fake plants are heralded as an easy solution to real plants. They don't die, don't require water or fertilizer, and never droop or drop leaves. They are appropriate for people with allergies and in homes where pets or kids make live plants impractical or dangerous. Still, fake plants are not completely care-free. Like any decorative item in the home, artificial flowers gather dust, and need to be cleaned.

Things You'll Need

  • Commercial duster
  • Artificial plant cleaning spray
  • Damp cloth
  • Clean, empty spray bottle
  • Vinegar or lemon juice
  • Canned air (optional)
  • Hair dryer (optional)
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Salt (optional)
  • Paper bag (optional)
  • Remove excess loose dust by taking the plant outside and gently shaking it. This will remove large clumps of dust and keep the dust out of the air inside your home.

  • Use a commercial dusting product, such as a Swiffer duster, or feather duster to remove large areas of surface dust. This is especially helpful for artificial trees and larger plants with more leaves. See the Resources section for commercial dusters that trap dust as they remove it to protect your home's air quality.

  • Spray with an artificial plant cleaner (see Resources). These are often aerosol sprays cans that spray away dust and add a coating to the plants that increases shine and repels dust. These can be expensive and some are very drippy. Similar results can be achieved with a homemade cleaning solution.

  • Prepare a cleaning solution. This can be a simple solution of 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice, or a sink full of warm, soapy water. Either works equally well, and the method you use will depend on the size and location of the plant you are cleaning. Using a cloth dampened in your preferred solution, gently wipe individual leaves and flowers.

  • Dust small crevices and blooms of fake flowers with canned air. Use the tube attachment on the canned air container to get deep into recesses and folds of flowers.

  • Use a salt bath for fake plants that can't get wet. Gently remove the flowers from the arrangement and place them in a clean paper bag. Add about 1/4 cup of salt, close the bag tightly, and shake. The salt will remove dust without damaging the delicate flower. Shake off the flower and return it to the arrangement. Save the bag and salt for future cleanings.

  • Treat with a dust-repelling product. There are many dust repelling products on the market that claim to stop dust from collecting on surfaces. (See the Resource section for the Pledge collection of dust repellent products.)

Tips & Warnings

  • It is a common practice to use oils to shine fake plants. This can create a caked-on dust paste, and is not recommended.

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  • Photo Credit From stock at: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/196787
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