I read all the info on how to clean silk flowers, but what if you have a 9 foot ficus tree that is very dusty? How to you clean it?
To clean artificial flowers, place them in a paper bag with a handful of salt and shake well. This will remove a lot of the dust. Shake them off well. If they need reshaping and are fabric or paper, warm up a teaspoon by dipping it into a pan of hot water, dry it off and press each petal on the bowl of the spoon.
Tracy in Watauga, TX (09/16/2002)
Use a blowdryer to get most of the dust off. I would swish the leaves around in a sink with mild dish soap and warm water if it remained too dusty. (09/16/2002)
Of course it depends on what the artificial flowers are made of. The tips above, blowdryer and bag with salt, are great for the type of plant you wouldn't get wet. If they are made of anything that will withstand water, fill a sink or bucket with warm water and a small amount of detergent. Take each plant individually, hold it upside down and dip it into the water. Swish it a few times, give it a gentle shake to remove excess water, and replace it in its location. It's not hard to do, I watched a teenage boy at McDonalds do all of their plants one afternoon. (01/07/2003)
Or you could just buy some artificial plant cleaner at the store. I bought some spray stuff at Walmart and it worked great. (04/06/2004)
I have many artificial trees and flowers. I find the easiest way of cleaning them is as follows:
For most large trees (even flowering) I place a tarp over the potted area and tape closed around bark to avoid getting the potted area wet. I then spray the whole tree with bathroom spray cleaner, I use Dow or similar. I immediately (fine mist) spray rinse them with the garden hose. I then use an old towel to dab off excess water and let it dry in the sun.
For most artificial flowers, the flower itself comes off. I simply tip the flower upside down and dip a few times in a mild cleaning solution (water cool) and dab dry immediately. Most artificial small plants can be cleaned this way too. Never let the plants or flowers sit in water for the glue will loosen. Simply wet and dab dry immediately after. (04/30/2004)
By Kim in NY
For large plants like ficus trees, use a whisk broom and individually whisk each branch/leaf. Works great. This is a great "dry cleaning" method. (03/28/2005)
In southern California we have some winds that will take care of the dust. Put them outside on a breezy day. Then use a spray nozzle and let it "rain" on the plants from the top down. If the pot has dried moss to cover the plaster holding it in place it won't hurt it to wash the base too. You'll just have to do it on a sunny warm day to dry out the water that collects in the bottom of the basket/container. If some of the leaves or flowers fall off during the washing, let dry and then use Elmer's glue (any all purpose works) and glue them back.
And the washing part applies also to live plants such as ficus and hanging plants like ferns. Use a mild soap (a drop or two of dishwashing liquid is OK) and water. Spray on the tree/plants and use a gentle spray of the hose to rinse. Let dry outside before bringing back inside. Just remember not to wash plants like African Violets this way.
(From a former Florist.) (02/14/2006)
I have always just put large artificial plants in the shower and used the hand sprayer on them with the spray on gentle. I tilt them a little to avoid large amounts of water getting into the pots. I usually just leave them to drip dry. A small fan set on a stool, with or without the help of the bathroom exhaust fan helps speed the drying process, as does gently shaking the branches to help them shed the drips.
Didn't Martha Stewart put the flowers in a box with pebbles and shake them? I don't have artificial flowers, but sometimes I dust things quickly with dust remover spray cans that are for computers
and electronic equipment. It gives a strong blast and would do well in a pinch. (02/14/2006)
I have a real tall ficus tree also. I just take it out in the yard, wrap up the basket part with a black plastic bag and turn the hose on the tree. It comes out great and I just let it dry outside. If the moss is in bad shape, I just change the moss and use a microfiber cloth to jazz up the basket. Sometimes I put dark green miniature lights on the bottom of the tree and then spread clear ones higher up. Really looks neat and I get a lot of compliments.
Take the tree outside on a pretty day. Lay it on its side off the ground or maybe on a patio or picnic table or across a couple of chairs. This keeps water out of the pot or basket. Spray the leaves with a multi-purpose cleaner (I use 409), let it sit for just a few minutes, then spray gently with your garden hose. Leave it out until it's dry. (02/15/2006)
Take them outside on a nice day. Spray the leaves with rubbing alcohol and water mixture out of spray bottle. When they are dry (15 minutes, slightly mist them with Orange Glo (you can use a car cleaning mitt to spread the Orange Glo). Clean and shiny.
Car cleaning mitts can be bought for about $2-4 and can be used for all nooks and crannies around the house. I use them for my cleaning business and wouldn't be without them, no streaking, no spotting. Good luck. (09/14/2006)
Hairspray leaves a nice shine on the plants. (09/15/2007)
I hose mine off also, but I use Endust. It makes the leaves shine and repels a lot of the dust. (10/27/2008)
By Jennifer from WV
I use, 5 parts windshield solvent, 95 parts water. Spray and let air dry. (02/10/2009)
I also have several large artificial plants, flowers, and trees. I tried rinsing them off, spraying them with several cleaners, etc. only to have them look dirty and dusty once they dried. My fiance came up with the idea of using Armor All. We sprayed on and wiped down a little and let dry. Not only did the dust disappear, but they came out shiny and looked brand new. I was truly amazed and happy. Really worked great and very easy. (04/26/2009)
Silk N Splendor works great, you can just spray it on and let dry. Silk Solutions is another great product which I think is manufactured by the same manufacturer as Silk N Splendor (basically the same product). I hope this helps. (09/14/2009)
I agree with the WD-40 trick. I first tested a hidden leaf of a large artificial ficus with an Armour-All wipe which worked great and moved on to spraying WD-40 on a leaf and wiping with an old towel. It worked great and left the leaves with a nice shine. (10/17/2009)
By Moody Mama
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