People buy silk plants for their homes because they are so easy to maintain. But that doesn’t mean you can put your fake plants in a corner and forget about cleaning them forever. Like every other knickknack or side table in your house, a powdery layer of dust will eventually settle on your faux greenery, dulling the vibrant finish a shade or two. You may think a feather duster or vacuum cleaner are adequate fake plant cleaning tools, but these should be used to complement more thorough cleanings, every three to six months. The following are some of the most effective methods for cleaning small tabletop plants known to homemakers. Read on to learn how easy it is to keep your fake plants as gorgeous as they were the day you brought them home.
The Salt and Paper Bag Method-requires a brown paper bag and one cup of salt.
-Pour salt into paper bag
-Remove your faux plant from its container, and place it in the paper bag
-Seal the bag by rolling the top over a few times
-Shake the bag with moderate force, or as much as you think your fake plant can withstand; the salt will graze the crevices of your faux plant, removing dust and grime, during this process
-Open the bag and shake your plant out to rid it of the salt. Primp and fluff your plant to restore it to its original shape.
-Remember to store your salt and paper bag; they can be used over and over!
Cool Water Wash-requires a double sink or two large bowls, soft cloth or gloves, lemon dish detergent, cool water, and paper towels.
-Fill your sink or bowls with cool water. Do NOT use hot water, because it will weaken the glue that holds your fake plant together.
-Add a small amount of lemon detergent to one side of the sink, or one of the containers. Swish it around until suds form.
-Remove your silk plant from its container and swish them around in the soapy water. To remove stubborn grime, use soft cloth or gloves to gently rub it way. Do not scrub the plant, as it could fray or fall apart.
-Rinse soap from your plant in the clean water thoroughly—excess soap will cause residue to build up more quickly!
-Lay your fake plant on a paper towel and blot it with a dry cloth. Return your partially-dried silk plant to its container and display it, allowing the plant to air dry.
Rice Cleaning Method-requires half a cup of white rice, and one plastic shopping bag
-Remove fake plant from its container and place it, and a half-cup of white rice, into the shopping bag
-Twist the bag closed and shake it up for one minute. Static electricity will remove the dust from your plant during this process. It is similar to the salt method, but white rice is softer than salt, making this an ideal method for your most delicate fake plants.
-Open the bag and turn your silk plant upside down. Give it two or three hard shakes to remove the rice and fluff the leaves.
-Primp plant to restore it to its original shape before returning it to the container for display.
In addition to these methods, consider purchasing a silk plant cleaner from your department or home improvement store for periodic spray cleaning. Simply take your silk plants outside, spray them down, and let them dry. These solutions are non-toxic, but may have a chemical odor, so leave your plants outdoors for a day or two after spraying if you are sensitive to smells.
About Doug Hopeman