How to Clean and Care for Artificial Plants
Preserve the beauty of your faux florals and fake plants
Many of us have discovered the benefits of decorating with low-maintenance artificial plants in lieu of living greenery that requires time and effort to grow. No longer the cheap-looking plastic plants of the past, artificial arrangements made these days are so realistic, it’s difficult to tell them apart from their real counterparts. Unless that is, their leaves and petals are covered in a layer of dust and grime. The build-up of dust distracts from the beauty of these decorative accents. It can also trigger allergic symptoms, defeating the purpose for why indoor allergy sufferers ditch real flowers and plants in the first place.
Luckily, it’s easy to care for artificial plants and floral arrangements. With a little periodic cleaning, you can keep your artificial plants dust-free, spotless, and looking their best for years to come. Here’s some tips for keep your plants pristine.
Routinely dust artificial plants
Keeping your fake plants dust free goes a long way towards making them look more natural and helps reduce airborne allergens from becoming a problem. If your artificial plant is fairly new, a light weekly dusting with a feather duster or electrostatic duster is all you need. Remember to work your way from the top to the bottom of the plant as you clean because gravity will carry the dust downward.
For silk flowers, you can also place the flowers in a resealable bag with a few spoonfuls of coarse salt or cornmeal. Close the bag and shake gently for about a minute. The grains of salt or cornmeal will act as a mild abrasive and loosen the dust and debris from the petals. When done, remove the flowers from the bag and shake off any remaining residues before replacing them in the display container.
Vacuum artificial plants to keep them clean
An alternative to feather dusting is to use your vacuum to clean away dust and loose debris from your artificial plants. To vacuum them safely, slip a nylon sock over your machine’s hose attachment or crevice tool before moving it over the leaves and flowers of the arrangement. The nylon barrier allows the vacuum to suck up dust without pulling the leaves and petals apart.
Use a mild cleaner to remove built-up grime
Sometimes plastic plants and silk flowers get coated in grime that even regular dusting will not remove. To remove this more stubborn build-up, you will need to do a more thorough cleaning. For plastic plants that can be removed from the container, you can remove the plant stems from the pot and swish them in a sink full of water and mild liquid dishwashing soap to remove the debris. Rinse them in fresh water after cleaning, shake them gently to dislodge any water droplets, and then let them air dry.
If you cannot or prefer not to remove the plants from the pot or vessel you display them in, you can spritz them with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water mixed in a spray bottle. After spraying the leaves, you can wipe them down with a damp cloth to ensure you remove all traces of dirt.
Avoid spraying silk flowers directly as their colors may run when wet. Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of water and rubbing alcohol. Very lightly mist the flowers so as not to soak them or spray a microfiber cloth just until it is slightly damp and gently wipe the flowers instead to prevent the dyes from bleeding.
How to keep silk flowers from fading in the sun
If you keep silk or fabric flowers in a particularly sunny location, the colors can fade over time from exposure to ultra-violet rays. To prevent this, you can spray the flowers with a SunGuard UV-protectant spray which you can find in most fabric or craft supply stores, or you can use WD-40 spray. Either will help the colors in your artificial flowers stay beautiful and vibrant longer. Using WD-40 will also help repel water from rain or sprinklers for flowers used in outdoor locations such as on patios, porches, or even at gravesites.
If you are looking to add artificial plants and faux florals to your home’s décor, check out the great selection of low-maintenance plants from Riverbend Home. You’ll find a wide variety of trees, potted plants, topiaries, wreaths, and floral arrangements from top brands such as Nearly Natural, T&C Floral, Creative Displays, Vickerman, and many more.