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How to Clean Artificial Plants

How to Clean Artificial Plants

In the world of home and office décor, artificial plants have gained popularity for their ability to add a touch of greenery without the maintenance requirements of natural plants. While they don't require watering or sunlight, cleaning fake plants is essential to maintain their beauty and longevity.  

Over time, dust and dirt can accumulate on your faux foliage, making them look dull and lifeless. But fear not! You can clean your artificial plants easily and restore their vibrant colors and lifelike appearance.  

In this guide, we'll walk you through the best methods to keep your artificial plants looking fresh and bright, ensuring they continue to enhance your space with minimal effort. 

Understanding Different Types of Artificial Plants 

The most common types are silk and plastic. Silk plants, known for their realistic appearance and delicate texture, add a touch of elegance to any setting. On the other hand, plastic plants are celebrated for their durability and resilience, making them ideal for indoor and outdoor environments. 

  • Silk Plants: These beauties require a gentle touch. Silk, a delicate fabric, can easily be damaged by harsh cleaning methods. The key is to clean them gently and frequently enough to prevent dust and grime from accumulating. 
  • Plastic Plants: Plastic plants are more forgiving when cleaning. They can withstand more rigorous washing and are less likely to be damaged by water or cleaning solutions. 
  • Polyester Plants: Made from high-quality polyester fibers, these plants balance realism and durability. Relatively easy to clean, can handle light to moderate cleaning techniques. 
  • Foam Plants: Crafted from foam materials, often used for more stylized rather than realistic representations. Requires careful handling; not as durable as plastic or polyester. 
  • Rubber Plants: Made from rubber materials, these plants are sturdy and have a more matte appearance. Easy to clean, can handle water and mild cleaning agents. 

How to Clean Artificial Plants? 

To clean artificial plants effectively, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and lightly mist the plant, focusing on dust-prone areas. If you see stubborn dirt, let the solution sit for about five minutes. Then, gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush, to dislodge any remaining grime. Follow up by wiping the plant with a damp microfiber cloth to remove the vinegar solution and loosen dirt.  

If you are cleaning delicate artificial plants, avoid scrubbing and gently wipe instead. You can also use a hairdryer in a cool setting to blow away any residual dust particles. Allow the plant to air dry completely before returning it to its place. Regular cleaning with this method will help maintain the fresh and vibrant appearance of your artificial plants. 

How to deep clean these fake plants?  

A mild soap solution is ideal for a more thorough cleaning, especially for sturdier materials like plastic. Mix a few drops of dish soap in water, dip a soft cloth or sponge into the mixture, and gently wipe each leaf and stem. If your plants are filthy or have a sticky residue, this method will help restore their natural look. Using a spray bottle to apply the soap solution for large artificial plants can make the process easier and more efficient. 

After cleaning with the soap solution, rinsing the plants can help remove any soap residue. However, this step is only suitable for water-safe materials. If your artificial plants are made of silk or other delicate materials, it's best to avoid rinsing them, as water can damage these fabrics. Instead, just use a damp cloth to wipe them down gently. 

Remember, being gentle and thorough is the key to clean fake plants well. Regular cleaning will keep them looking their best and extend their lifespan, ensuring they continue to enhance your space for years to come. 

How to Clean Large Artificial Plants? 

Large artificial plants can be a focal point in any room, but their size can make them challenging to clean. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you effectively clean your large artificial plants: 

  • Dust the Plant: Begin by dusting the plant to remove surface dust. Use a feather duster or a soft cloth to wipe the leaves gently. You might need a stepladder and a long-handled duster for higher or hard-to-reach areas. 
  • Use a Handheld Vacuum: If the plant is significantly dusty, use a handheld vacuum with a brush attachment. Be gentle to avoid damaging the leaves or flowers. 
  • Wipe Down Leaves: Use a damp cloth for a more thorough clean. You can use a mild, soapy water solution if the plant is plastic or rubber. Wring out the cloth well to ensure it's only slightly damp, gently wipe each leaf and stem. 
  • Cleaning Silk Plants:  Avoid using water to clean delicate silk flowers and plants. Instead, opt for a dry method like a hairdryer on a cool setting to blow the dust off or a soft-bristled brush. 
  • Spray with Cleaning Solution: Use a spray bottle to apply a cleaning solution for stubborn grime. You can mix a bit of mild dish soap in water for plastic plants. Spray lightly and then wipe with a soft cloth. 
  • Shake It Out: If the plant is too large to handle, take it outside on a dry day and gently shake it to loosen the dust. 
  • Rinse If Possible: For very sturdy, waterproof artificial plants, you can rinse them with a garden hose. Do this only if you are sure that water won’t damage the plant. 
  • Dry the Plant: Let the air dry completely before bringing it back inside or in its original spot. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources during drying. 
  • Spot Cleaning: Use a toothbrush or cotton swab dipped in your cleaning solution for small, stubborn spots to scrub the area gently. 

How Often Should You Clean Fake Plants?  

The frequency of cleaning your artificial plants largely depends on their environment and their exposure to dust and dirt. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine an appropriate cleaning schedule: 

  • Every week: In environments where dust accumulates quickly, such as near open windows, basements, or specific industrial settings, you might need to clean your artificial plants more frequently. In these cases, a weekly dusting is recommended.
  • Every 1-2 weeks: For artificial plants in typical home or office settings, a light dusting every 1 to 2 weeks is usually sufficient to keep them looking fresh. This prevents dust from building up and makes the cleaning process more manageable.
  • Once a month: You can extend the cleaning interval for artificial plants in areas like guest rooms or certain formal areas that are used less often. A thorough dusting once a month should suffice. 
  • Every 3 to 6 months: Regardless of their location, all artificial plants benefit from a deeper clean every 3 to 6 months. So, how to deep clean these artificial planets? Deep cleaning involves dusting and wiping down with a suitable cleaning solution to remove any grime or sticky residue. 

Some people find aligning their cleaning schedule with seasonal changes helpful. For example, doing a deep clean as part of a spring or fall cleaning routine. 

Clean These Plants On Special Occasions 

If you are expecting guests or hosting an event, it’s always a good idea to quickly clean your artificial plants to ensure they look their best. The best indicator of your plants needing cleaning is their appearance. If they appear dull or dusty, it's time for a clean. 

How Do I Keep Dust Off My Artificial Plants? 

  • Regular Dusting: Regular dusting is the most effective way to prevent dust build-up. Use a feather duster, microfiber cloth, or soft brush to remove dust from the leaves and stems gently. Doing this weekly can significantly reduce the dust that settles on the plants. 
  • Strategic Placement: Consider the placement of your artificial plants. Keeping them away from high-traffic areas, air vents, and open windows can reduce the dust they collect. 
  • Use a Hairdryer: A hairdryer on a relaxed, low setting can quickly blow dust off the plants. This method can extend the cleaning interval beneficial for delicate plants damaged by hands-on dusting. 
  • Protective Sprays: Commercial anti-static sprays are available that can help reduce the dust that settles on artificial plants. These sprays create a protective coating that repels dust. 
  • Humidifier in the Room: A humidifier can help reduce static, minimizing dust is effective in dry climates or during winter when indoor air tends to be drier. 
  • Gentle Cleaning: For more thorough cleaning, use a mild soap and water solution to wipe the leaves. This not only removes dust but also helps to prevent dust from sticking in the future. 
  • Cover During Renovations: If you’re doing any home renovations or activities that generate a lot of dust, cover your artificial plants with a light cloth or plastic sheet to protect them. 
  • Use Silk Plant Cleaner: For silk plants, use a silk plant cleaner, which is specifically designed to reduce static and repel dust. These cleaners often come in easy-to-use spray bottles. 
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Harsh chemicals can create a sticky residue that attracts more dust. Stick to gentle, natural cleaners or those specifically designed for artificial plants. 

Know About All Cleaning Materials For Artificial Plants 

Choosing suitable cleaning materials is crucial to clean fake plants. Because using inappropriate cleaners can damage your plants, while the right tools and solutions can make maintenance a breeze. Here's a guide to the best cleaning materials for different types of artificial plants: 

  1. Cleaning Tools:
    • Feather Duster: Ideal for regular, light dusting of all types of artificial plants.
    • Soft-bristle paint brush or Makeup Brush: Perfect for getting into small, intricate areas, especially on delicate plants like silk flowers.
    • Microfiber Cloth: Great for wiping down leaves and stems without leaving lint behind.
    • Toothbrush: Useful for scrubbing small, hard-to-reach areas on sturdier plants. 
  1. Cleaning Solutions:
    • Water: The simplest and safest cleaner, suitable for most artificial plants. Use a spray bottle for a gentle application
    • Mild Dish Soap: Can be mixed with water for a deeper cleaning. Ideal for plastic or rubber plants
    • White Vinegar: A gentle, natural cleaner that can add shine to your plants. Mix with water and use sparingly
    • Commercial Artificial Plant Cleaner: These are specifically designed for cleaning artificial plants and often include anti-static properties to reduce dust accumulation. 
  1. Special Considerations for Delicate Plants:
    • Silk Plants: Avoid harsh chemicals or heavy water exposure. A light misting with water or a gentle vinegar solution is best
    • Paper Plants: Should only be dusted lightly, as they cannot withstand moisture. 
  1. DIY Cleaning Mixtures:
    • For General Cleaning: Mix a teaspoon of mild dish soap in a quart of warm water
    • For Adding Shine: Mix a part of white vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle. 
  1. Drying Artificial Plants:
After cleaning, let your plants air dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources, which can warp or fade the plants. 
  1. Regular Maintenance:

To reduce the need for frequent cleaning, keep your artificial plants in less dusty areas and give them a quick dust-off regularly. 


By using the appropriate cleaning materials and methods, you can ensure your artificial plants continue to brighten up your space without worrying about damage or excessive wear. Regular, gentle cleaning will keep them looking as fresh as the day you bought them. 


Q1: Can Silk Plants Get Wet?

Silk plants are particularly delicate and can be damaged by water. Getting them wet is not recommended, as the fabric may lose its shape, color, and texture. If you need to clean a silk plant, a light dusting or a gentle wipe with a slightly damp cloth is the safest method. Always allow them to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area. 

Q2: How Do You Shine Artificial Plants?

You can use a homemade mixture of water and a little white vinegar to add shine to artificial plants, especially those made from plastic or rubber. Gently wipe the leaves with this solution using a soft cloth. For commercial options, artificial plant cleaners can be sprayed directly onto the plants, giving them a fresh, glossy appearance. Always test any solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn't damage the plant.

Q3. Can You Put Fake Flowers in the Dishwasher?

It's generally not advisable to put fake flowers in the dishwasher. The high temperatures and intense water pressure can damage delicate parts of the flowers, especially if they are made of silk or paper.  

For plastic or rubber flowers, if you decide to try this method, place them on the top rack, use a gentle cycle, and forego heated drying. However, handwashing is always the safest and most recommended method.

Q4. How do you sterilize artificial plants? 

To sterilize artificial plants, you can use a mild disinfectant solution. Mix a small amount of mild detergent with water and add a few drops of disinfectant (like a household bleach diluted with water at a ratio of 1:9). Gently wipe the plant surfaces with this solution using a soft cloth, ensuring that all parts are covered but not soaked.  

Afterward, rinse the plants with a cloth dampened in plain water and let them air dry completely. This method is suitable for plastic and rubber plants, but should be used cautiously on silk or fabric plants due to their delicate nature.

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