They may not need light and water, but artificial plants do require regular cleaning to look their best. This is a guide about cleaning artificial plants.
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.
About every 6 months, "it's bath time" Yes, bath time!
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!
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.
How do I clean artificial flowers?
I swish mine in water, with washing up liquid added, then leave them on a towel to dry. I quite often spray them with some room spray or light perfume.
I make up some soapy dish water with a touch of oxy clean in in and swish my flowers around in it. I then rinse them and shake as much water out as possible. allow to dry upside down overnight in the dish drainer and then replace in vase or container.
I do not buy anything other then cheap furniture polish. Spray 'it' on my silk flowers and walk away, folks compliment how nice my silk plants and flowers look. I got the idea from these folks (thrifty fun) some time ago and it works!
I don't understand what ya'll are saying about using salt to clean artificial plants.
This is when you have silk flowers that are dusty and need cleaning. Not good for an arrangement because it will come apart, it is mostly for something like single stems or say a small stalk of greenery.
First: get a paper bag big enough to hold the arrangement. Second: add in about a cup to a cup and a half of salt (depending on the size of the arrangement). Third: place the arrangement into the bag keeping the container or excess stalk out.
Fourth: tighten the bag around the stem by wrapping and twisting it, and secure it with some tape or tie a string around it. Fifth: shake the bag vigorously, this could take a few minutes depending on the amount of dust.
Sixth: untie or remove tape from the bag and slightly shake the arrangement as you remove it from the bag, this is to shake off any salt that may be down in between the leaves or petals.
Now you are done. This should have removed the dust and is so easy. Here is another tip, you can close the bag up tightly and reuse it on other arrangements or have it on hand for next time. I hope this has helped explain this process for you, I kind of thought it was crazy when I first heard about it too. I kept trying to figure out if you just rubbed salt on the plant or used salt water or what?
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!
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 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. And you can choose the scent (or no scent) of your choice.
I had a house fire three months ago and lost most of my belongings that meant the world to me. I have a artificial tree that I love. It reeks of smoke damage and I want to know how to get that smell out?
By Shannon from Lacon, IL
Gently wiping each leaf with a soft cloth with a water and distilled vinegar solution should help greatly. I know washing each leaf that way sounds time consuming, but I wash all my silk plants that way every spring. The vinegar will greatly reduce, if not remove, the smoke smell.
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!