Okay, you may think this sounds strange, but it works. I have mostly fresh green plants in my large front window in my home. But, I like the look of plants, so I decorate other areas with artificial flowers and plants. They only bad thing is, they get dusty. And then they look horrible when dusty.
I bring all my artificial plants and flowers to the bathroom floor, I fill my bathtub with about 4 inches of warm water and 3 capfuls of Downy or Snuggle. Mix it around. First I do the silk flowers, I try to hold as many as possible of the stems in my hand, holding the stems, I take them turn them upside down and gently swish the flowers and leaves around in the water. This shakes off the dusty and revitalizes the brightness to their color again. Do this for only about 15 seconds. Take them out and lie them nicely on a thick bath towel. Spread them out until they dry.
For the potted plants, if the plant stems can be removed, do so and repeat what I did above. If the plant stems are glued it to the pot, take the pot, turn it upside down, only getting the leaves or flowers wet (not the artificial soil) holding the pot, and now swish the leaves and/or flowers for about 15 seconds and then keep the plant upside down on the towel, you may have to lean it against a door or cabinet so it does not fall over until the wetness dries.
This works, and leaves your plants and flowers not only dust free but a nice fresh smell that last for quite a while. I have been doing this for quite some time and most likely years, to these same plants. And they don't seem to mind. :) Try it, you will like it!
I spray smaller jobs and big with windex
I spray mine with fabric softener after they are cleaned. They are nice and shiny! Beautiful :)
To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the lowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!
Due to health problems this year, my spring cleaning is also going to entail an attempt to remove quite a bit of dust and grease 'gunk' from some artificial plants which I have in my bedroom and above kitchen cabinets. (No, I don't want to get rid of them)
I was thinking of spraying on a diluted Dawn mixture, then taking them outside and hosing them off, but also wondered if anyone in the wonderful ThriftyFun community has a better or easier way to accomplish this yucky task? The arrangements are too large to do the garbage bag/salt idea. Thank you in advance for any info you can give me; hopefully next year they won't be as bad.
By Marilyn from Orlando, FL
I have both plastic and silk artificial flowers which I clean quite easily by swooshing them around in a bucket or basin of water and washing up liquid. I use fairy since dawn isn't available here. Then I leave them outside, if possible, to dry in the sun. Have had them for years and they still look great!
Thanks to all of you who posted in response to my inquiry. I'm guessing that the 409 will work for the kitchen plants (grease, yuck), and then 'swooshing' for the others!
Do not try to put permanent flower arrangements in a bag with salt and shake them to clean them. That process is for individual stems of flowers. It would beat the arrangement in to an unrecognizable mess. Polyester silk flowers can be cleaned with a mild detergent and water but again that is mostly used for individual flowers, not arrangements. Only assembly line manufactured arrangements like foliage designs will take the abuse, with out ruining the arrangement.
You can wipe down the arrangement flower by flower and then rinse it the same, carefully, to restore the original look of the design. Design Masters aerosol silk flower cleaner will do the trick if used regularly but try not to let the grease or grime build up.
I am a professional florist with over 45 years of experience, and this is the method we ask our clients to employ to keep their nice silk arrangements fresh and looking their best.
Been doing just what you suggested for the last 20 years or more. I just let them dry outside in a matter of an hour or so. They look just like new.
This is a guide about cleaning artificial flowers. Artificial flowers can become dusty or dingy over time.
This is a guide about removing smoke odor from artificial plants. Smoke from a house fire or cigarettes can leave an odor on your artificial plants.
I spray Febreze generously onto the whole flower/foliage arrangement, tree, etc. This works just as well as commerical cleaners made specifically for silk flowers. Just spray, no wiping necessary.
Does anyone have an easy way to clean artificial trees. Dusting with a duster doesn't work.
Most apartment dwellers don't have hoses. Putting the tree in the shower works pretty well if they are made of just foliage. Tip it so the water doesn't go in the container. Do it when you can leave the tree in the shower to drip dry.
I have a tree with fabric flowers I don't know how to clean. Any suggestions?
Walmart carries a spray in both the pump bottle and aerosol can and this works well. You spray it on and let dry. It dusts the leaves as wells as leaves a shine. Works well on baskets as well.
When I run out of this stuff I just set my artificial plants or baskets under the shower and hose down well. I leave them in the shower to drip dry.
Use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water in a spray bottle. It seems to work well.
I clean mine in the shower. It works really well. Do it when you don't need it because you got to let it drip dry.
I am looking for a homemade recipe for cleaning artificial plants. I know one of the ingredients is liquid fabric softener. Does anyone know about this recipe?
Jeri from Indiana
I know you can dust silk flowers/ leaves by placing salt or rice in a brown paper bag, add silk flowers and shake.
On artifical plants and silk flowers I just use sudsy ammonia and water, and dip them in, rinse them off with clean water, air dry them and they are sparkling clean...
I take my silk plants into the shower and rinse them off while I shower. Most silks these days are polyester. I then lay them upside down for the water to drain out and air dry them. No special cleaner is needed. I have been a profesional floral designer and we just hosed them off!
This guide is about cleaning silk flowers, swags and wreaths. Dusty artificial flowers and greenery need special care when removing the dirt.
How do I uncurl artificial leaves after cleaning?
By Ebbie from Cleveland, OH
How do you clean the plants? When I clean mine I set them in the shower and give them a shower and then let them stand there and drip dry. (11/12/2010)
How do you clean dust off of artificial trees and plants?
By Doris from Sparta, TN
I stick them in the shower every now and then. I have also heard that using the low heat on a hair dryer works, but to me giving them an occasional shower and leaving them there while they drip dry, is the easiest and fastest way to do it. (11/12/2009)
I put them outside in a good rain. (11/12/2009)
For an artificial plant/flower that is very large place a discarded knee high hose over the end of your vacuum attachment to remove dust. If the plant needs more cleaning place a large trash bag under the plant and spray with ammonia and simply wipe clean.
For small artificial plants simply douse them up and down in soapy water maybe with a little ammonia or vinegar added and allow to dry. Thanks. (11/13/2009)
If they are small plants that are dusty you can get canned air to blow the dust off. I like the suggestion about the shower, but be sure the pot and whatever is in the pot as soil are water resistant or protected. (11/13/2009)
I put the small artificial plants in a big paper bag, throw in a hand full or so of salt and shake well. (11/16/2009)
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