By: Mrs. Phipps
Image by Phil SangwellYour silk plants may look nice when you first get them, but after a while dust can accumulate on the plants, making them a bit unsightly and haggard looking. However, cleaning silk plants is easy, with the most difficult part only having to sift through the various ways to clean a silk plant. After finding a method that works for you, simply keep up the practice every 3-6 months so your plants will continue to look as good as they did the day you got them.
How to Clean Silk Plants
While there are special silk plant sprays available at many floral or craft supply stores, you don’t have to use a silk plant cleaner to get the job done. In fact, the best way to clean silk plants usually involves easy, low-cost items that can be readily found in your home: salt, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, dish soap, etc. Of course, nothing beats the power of the old vacuum cleaner (or feather duster) to rid your silk plants of dust and build up beforehand. Nonetheless, here are a few other ideas that you may find helpful as well.
Salt – Using ordinary table salt gets my vote for the best way to clean silk plants. This works especially well for smaller plants. After removing as much dust as possible with a vacuum or feather duster, simply pour about 1/2 to 1 cup of salt into a large paper bag. Add you plant and then give it a good shake. Remove the plant, shake of the excess salt, and it’s good as new. Note: As an alternative, you can substitute the salt with cornmeal.
Rubbing Alcohol – A 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and water can quickly remove dust accumulation on your silk plants. Remove some of the dust with a vacuum or feather duster, then mix the solution in a spray bottle and saturate the plant. The dust will come off, the alcohol will dry fast, and the plant will look great. Note: Always color test a small area beforehand to ensure water will not make the plant colors run. In addition to the alcohol, you can also use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water.
Dish Soap – Misting your plant with water and about a teaspoon of dish soap (preferably lemon) can also be done to clean silk plants. However, you should always run a color test on a small area beforehand to make sure that it will not run. After removing some of the dust first, saturate the plant, and then gently wipe it down with a soft towel. Blot dry or allow the plant to air dry.
Note: Alternatively, you can take the plants outside, especially if you have lots, and gently hose them down, shaking them dry.
In addition to these cleaning methods, you can purchase a can of compressed air for cleaning silk plants. You can then follow up with a quick misting of regular hairspray (in lieu of using a silk plant cleaner).