Silk plants and flowers are a great way to keep your house looking bright and beautiful year-round, and this is especially the case for those of us who lack an eco-friendly thumb! (hmm, that would be me!) However, they quickly build up dust and this can make them look dull and shabby. Fortunately, there are lots of how to easily and quickly remove any build-up and refresh the ‘life’ in your silk plants. Some cleaning options are made for plants that are easily removed from their base while others permit you to keep refreshing the arrangement as-is and take away the dirt, without having to dismantle everything.
Cool Water Wash cleaning method for artificial flowers
For this you’ll need a couple of large bowls, or a double sink if you happen to have one. You’ll also need soft clothes or gloves, some washing up liquid, cold water and some kitchen roll or paper towels to finish.
Fill the two sides of your sink or two large bowls with cool water. Do not use heated water or it will weaken the glue and cause your plants to break apart.
Add a tiny bit of washing up liquid to one of your containers of water and swish around until bubbley. The other water will be your rinse water, so don’t add anything to this one.
Remove your silk plant from its container, or you are cleaning an arrangement, remove one stem at a time.
Swish the plant around into the soapy water. When there is greasy or extra build-up you may want to carefully rub off the dirt aided by the soft cloth. A simple way to achieve this is always to wear soft gloves and employ those to wipe from the dirt. Try not to scrub the flowers because you might find that the edges will fray. Also, watch the leaves, they truly are only glued together and certainly will easily break apart.
Rinse the soap by swishing the plant in the clean water. Make sure you remove most of the soap or perhaps the residue may cause the dirt build-up to go back more quickly.
Lay the plant on a soft cloth or paper towel and carefully blot to dry. If it is almost dry (it could finish drying when you reassemble it), pop it back in its container or put the stem back within the arrangement. By replacing each stem before you get rid of the next one, the arrangement will stay in tact.
Salt Shaker cleaning method for artificial flowers
For this method you’ll need a large bag (e.g. brown paper) and some salt. Pour about a cup of salt in to the brown paper bag. Take away the dusty plant or flower from its container or vase and put it into your bag. Roll the top of the bag down several times to shut. Shake the bag as vigorously as you think your plant or flower can withstand, without falling to bits. The salt will take away the dust through the leaves and petals, giving you a nice fresh flower or plant once more. Open the bag and shake the plant to eliminate any remaining salt. The salt and bag can be stored and used over repeatedly.
Here’s a great video that explains how to use the salt shaker method – here, the demonstrator uses a plastic bag which works just fine too: