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I decorate with a lot of dried flower arrangements and sometimes I use silks with them. After time they become dusty and fragile. I then buy the cheapest bath tub cleaner at the dollar store (ex. scrubbing bubbles or anything that foams and that will stay on the arrangement).
Set it in the tub or out on the sidewalk and completely cover it with foam. Don't do anything to it. Come back in twenty minutes and it is sparkling. I use it on about anything from wicker baskets to outdoor flower pots. This year, I used it on some small artificial Christmas trees. Like I said, spray it on, let it dry and you have a new brightened arrangement.
Source: I have never seen this tip anywhere, so I am submitting it with honest intentions. Thank you
By Miranda from Fielding, UT
I reminded myself of this tip today when I was sprucing up my bathroom. I found it years ago on the internet, don't remember where. If you have silk flowers that have gotten a bit dusty, you can put them in a bag with a handful or two of cornmeal, and shake the closed bag around for a bit. When you remove the flowers, the dust will be gone. Any residue left from the cornmeal is pretty easy to remove.
By Wendy from Edwardsport, IN
Now some of you may get a real chuckle out of this, but believe me it works so well. I have a lot of silk flower swags and silk flower wreaths as decorations in my house. They all get very dusty, so twice a year or maybe even 3 times a year my hubby and I collect them all off of the walls and take them outside and he gets his leaf blower. Yes, that's right his leaf blower and puts it on high and stands about 6-7 feet away from me and I hold up the wreaths and or swag and let the air from the leaf blower take care of all the dust on the swags and wreaths. It really works well as I am the one who directs all the motion from turning the swags and wreaths where I want the air to hit the dust. lol. It really works great. Try it.
I discovered something a few months ago while doing the weekly cleaning. I love silk plants, but hate the dust they collect. As I was polishing the furniture, I decided to spray the silk plants and trees I have with furniture polish. I did not wipe them clean, but rather let the polish dry and my plants were dust free! They dried in about 10 minutes to look like brand-new! You may want to place newspaper under your plants to protect your flooring. It could be a slip hazard if some of the polish got onto wood flooring.
By Marnita from Cumming, GA
Refurbishing A Silk Flower Swag. I have an expensive silk flower swag that I had made for my bedroom almost 10 years ago. The greenery on it was looking pretty sad and had lots of dust on it.
Clean your silk flowers and greenery with diluted Murphy's Oil Soap! I was cleaning some furniture this week with the diluted mixture in a spray bottle and saw a basket of silk greenery that was dusty and needed a good cleaning.
Dust your silk or dried flowers arrangement with a blowdryer set on low. Best done outside.
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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?
Does anyone have any good tips on dusting silk trees? I have a silk fica tree and I'm dusting one leaf at a time.
I've heard people use blow dryers but I think I would try taking it outside and gently wash with the hose on fine spray. A few minutes in the sun would dry it.
I have set silk plants in the shower and give them a light shower. It works.
I "dust" silk flowers and lampshades with my husband's air compressor. In other words, just blow the dust away. No water needed. If you don't have the use of an air compressor, you might be able to use the canned air that is used to blow out the dust from keyboards, etc. Sold where office supplies are sold.
I rinse all my silk plants outside with the hose, then invert them to letr them dry(so water doesn't pool in the containers) Easy to tweak them back into shape!
Diana ,Also you could take it outside and use the reverse on your vacuum cleaner/shop vac. I take my silk flowers/trees outside and swish the small ones in a tub of warm water with a capful of Amway's LOC or dishwashing liquid. Rinse and let air dry.If the dust is light just blow it away. But if it is heavy/greasy then you'll have to wash them.They come out nice as new. GG Vi.
cover the base/container with a garbage bag and tape tight around trunk then wash with hose and let the sun dry
Where can I find silk plant cleaner for indoor silk plants?
By AURORA KERLEY from Anaheim
Most any craft store. A frugal tip I read was to place them in a paper bag, add some table salt and rice or cornmeal and shake the bag.
They usually sell it at the craft stores or Walmart where they also sell the silk plants! Also, you can use canned air (like for computers & cameras) then spray with dollar store hairspray then if you like, you can wipe the hairspray back off with a paper towel. This cleans off the dust & gunk! I've used hairspray lots of times & it has always worked for me!
* I have also heard of the paper bag & salt idea like the previous person wrote. The salt & bag idea is especially good for silk flowers. The hairspray works great for dried-natural flowers, twigs & leaves.
I bought it a long time ago at Michaels.
Have you tried using a can of compressed air? It's available at office supply stores (maybe Wal-mart, too). It's good for cleaning other things as well, i.e., computer keyboards, anywhere that gets dusty and is hard to reach - hope this helps - it may be worth a try!
I plan on buying a cotton wreath, but how do I keep it clean? I thought of using a portable vacuum and with the hose attachment just vacuum each cotton flower. Any other ideas? It will be inside and hanging on a wall.
I would use a feather duster.
If you are very gentle, you can get dust off by putting an old pantyhose leg or knee high on the suction end of a dust buster or shark vacuum then don't press on the bolls, but wand over the wreath. It isn't perfect, and it won't get dirt off if it gets actual dirt, but it will freshen it and get the dust out. A regular vacuum is too much suction, which is why I recommend the hand held kind.
have you considered keeping it all inside a glass enclosure or shadow box? Not only will it be close to impossible to keep clean but it will become brittle and possibly fall apart
I have some beautiful longstem and 5 inch Victorian silk flowers. I've had them for a long time and they're not only beautiful to look at, but they are soft to the touch also. Well, they used to be! They looked so dusty that without thinking I took them to the kitchen sink and pulled out my sprayer and sprayed them with some warm water. Aaahhh! Too late. I just hung them upside down and hoped for the best. They look fine, but now they are not soft anymore. They feel cheaper and a little stiff and crunchy. Did I ruin them forever? Is there anything I can do to bring back the softness?
How many people are going to be touching them to know that they are not soft anymore?? If they look ok, I would let them be. All I can think of is you may try spritzing some diluted fabric softener on them, but I would test it first where it would not show.
Next time just shake them out. Not all silk is washable
How do I clean silk and latex flowers in awkward, high places without removing them from the wall?
By Cindy L
Try a feather duster on a long handle that extends.
A telescopic duster.
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Make your silk flowers think Spring. Place the silk flowers into a large bag and pour in one cup of Morton's Salt. Shake vigorously. Remove. And voilà Your flowers are clean.
By MrsMoted2 (05/19/2005)
I've heard of using raw rice before, never salt. Whatever works or whatever you happen to have on hand. (05/20/2005)
This has worked for me for years.
I turn the arrangement on an angle over the kitchen sink and using the pull out faucet, spray them with water from the faucet. Shake it good. You can lay it on the side in a dish drainer to drain further for awhile.
The larger tree type silk plants. Take them outside and spray with the garden hose and let dry outside on a warm sunny day. (05/20/2005)
Make sure of the type of floral material before using anything gritty or grainy. Many floral arrangements these days are created with latex or poly flowers. In these cases, each petal and leaf should be cleaned individually. I use a very mild solution of CLEAR dish washing liquid and water applied with cotton balls.
If the arrangement is a Water Illusion, the 'acrylic water' can be cleaned with the same solution, but must be 'rinsed' with plain water, and dried, or it will film over. I simply use more cotton balls to do this.
If the florals are arranged in river rocks or tiny stones, they can be removed, rinsed in a stainer and replaced without disturbing the design. The florals will actually be set in foam or clay beneath the rocks.
The process is time consuming, but well worth it for these delicate florals. (05/20/2005)
By Gail Ruth
Salt does work for me. You can clean artificial flowers and, the best way to do that is to put them in a bag with salt. The salt picks up the dust almost like a magnet and takes it off the artificial flowers. Also saves on soap and water as well as not throwing them away and spending more money.
Place in dishwasher and run through economy wash cycle. Works Great. (09/12/2005)
I use canned air on my silk flowers - just be sure to keep a safe distance from the arrangement so you don't blow it apart! (09/13/2005)
I was just watching "How Clean is your House?" late last night on TV and they were cleaning silk flowers.
She swished them in to a tub filled with warm water and bubble bath and then rinsed them in another tub filled with warm water and a little fabric softener. She said that made them clean AND smell good.
You can also clean your silk flowers by using a cheap hair spray. We had a fire in my home several years ago and the restoration women used a can of hair spray. I was amazed at how clean the flowers became (09/19/2005)
As a former floral designer, I clean my dusty silk plants by simply hosing them off outside and laying them on their sides or upside down to dry in the sun. Bring them in when dry, tweak a few stems and they'll be good as new.
By Linda (09/22/2005)
When you need to wash dusty silk flowers or greenery, don't forget about the top rack of your dish washer. It does a great job on a short cycle, with no heat dry cycle.
By Pandabear (09/22/2005)
You can also run your bathtub full of hot soapy water & just toss in the greenery. Let them sit for an hour or so, submerged in the water. Drain the tub & rinse with cold water. Take outside, shake off excess water & let them air dry. They're good as new, again!
How do you clean silk flowers? I have loads of them and they collect dust.
Mary from Newark, California
If you're not trying to completely clean them, and just want to get the dust bunnies off on a regular basis, try one of those cans of compressed air that you can buy for cleaning computers etc.
In the floral aisle at Wal-mart they sell a can of flower cleaner. I don't know what's in it, but it dissolves the dust away. The cans are usually sort of hidden either on the very bottom or very top shelf. (02/01/2009)
Be careful when using water on silks. I've had some colors of flowers run. I use the compressed air and only use water if it is an older arrangement that I am willing to risk the color running. (02/02/2009)
I blow off the dust with my hair blow dryer. Do this about once a month, or whenever you're dusting. (02/03/2009)
By Evelyn Mayer
Swishing in the bathtub or take them in the shower. I clean lots of stuff in the shower! If it is smaller items, take a plastic bag, toss in some corn starch, toss in the flowers, and shake. Then shake excess off.
I often do the 'grab the stems and shake with a snap' theory. If a flower head falls off, pop it back in place. Artificial flowers are meant for more abuse than fresh flowers.
I also take my silks I just don't want to see anymore and use them in the wreaths I make up to put on family grave sites. I have made some beautiful ones. We change them out with seasons, giving me chance to have different ones in the house without feeling bad about discarding any.
Another place to use 'done with it silks' is my gardens outside. Tuck a few here and there in my just starting gardens and you can't tell they are not real. Looks good into the fall! A lot are sun resistant too. (02/03/2009)
By Grandma J
Put them in a bag with a cup of salt. Shake gently. Remove from bag and shake off any loose salt. You can keep the bag of salt and use it a couple of times (02/10/2009)
How does one clean or wash inexpensive silk flowers?
How do you clean silk flowers? I have loads of them and they collect dust.