The Definitive Guide on How to Clean Artificial Plants

For those who love the aesthetic of greenery in their home but haven’t got the time, the patience or the skill to keep plants alive and thriving, artificial plants are the perfect solution.

Some may see artificial plants as “cheating”; however, we here at Garden Comforts simply see them as a way of enjoying the beauty of foliage without the constant and sometimes tricky upkeep of real plants. That being said, whilst you can enjoy not having to water, feed, prune, and re-pot your artificial plants, there’s still a bit of maintenance that you’ll need to carry out. 

Although low maintenance, going faux doesn’t mean that you can leave your artificial plants untouched all year round. You’ll want to keep your artificial flowers and plants looking sparkling new and fresh to maintain a look that will fool even your green fingered guests.

Alongside the aesthetic benefit of keeping your artificial plants clean, good maintenance will also help to prevent triggering dust allergies. This blog post will fill you in on all the tips and tricks on how to clean your artificial plants so that you can keep them looking beautiful and dust-free without causing any damage.


Artificial plants can be delicate, so when cleaning the leaves you’ll want to be as gentle as possible to prevent any surface or structural damage. If your artificial plant is relatively hard-wearing and has large leaves, a feather duster will do a perfectly good job of dusting them off. If your artificial plant is delicate or has smaller leaves, a small paintbrush is ideal for reaching those trickier areas.

You’ll want to make sure you start your dusting at the top of the plant – this may seem like common sense but it’s a regular mistake made when cleaning artificial plants. Always work your way from the top down; this way you won’t need to go over what you’ve already done due to debris falling onto the already clean parts of the plant.

If you hate cleaning small fiddly areas, you can use a can of compressed air for a quick fix. The powerful burst of air from the can will do a thorough job of ridding your artificial plant from excess dust. This can be a messy task so you’ll want to do this outside to avoid having to get the vacuum cleaner out afterwards


Be Wary of Chemical Use

Most artificial plants won’t need the use of chemicals when cleaning, however, if you’re keen to use them, be extra wary of what you’re using. Certain chemicals could cause damage to the colour and material of the plant so ensure that you do a preliminary check online to see if the cleaning chemical could be corrosive. You’ll want to be careful if your artificial plant is held together with glue as some cleaning chemicals could cause your artificial plant to fall apart!

Certain chemicals may sometimes be positive and beneficial for the maintenance of artificial plants with plastic compositions. Spray your artificial plastic plant with a window cleaner containing Ammonia D and then leave it out in the sunshine for 30 minutes. You’ll notice afterwards the vibrancy of your artificial plant’s colours.

cleaning products in bucket

Wipe with Warm Water

If you notice stubborn dirt on your artificial plant, don’t be afraid to give it a wipe down with a wet cloth that’s been soaked in warm water. This will help to get rid of the grime on which a duster won’t work.

If you have silk flowers, you’ll want to check colourfastness before applying any water. Silk is delicate and there’s a risk that the colours could run when water is applied, ruining your beautiful display. To check colourfastness, apply a small amount of water to a part of the plant that isn’t highly visible. If you notice a change in the colour, then don’t use this method.

If your silk flower passes the colourfastness test and appears to comfortably withstand moisture, you can spray it with a mixture of water and white vinegar. The solution should be made up of half water and half white vinegar for an even mix. You can then use this to spray your flowers and any dirt will be absorbed into the  solution which will naturally drip off your artificial plant.

bucket of water with wet cloth

Cleaning Silk Plants without Water

If you establish that using water on your silk plant is a no-no, you can clean your artificial plant using salt. Get a plastic bag and put your silk flowers inside, then pour salt inside the bag – the amount you need depends on the size of your plant.

Seal the bag shut and then shake the bag for two minutes – the salt in the bag will work in a similar way to a scrubbing technique. If you open the bag and your plant is still dirty, repeat shaking the bag until your artificial plant is clean. Flick the plant gently to remove any remaining salt that may have got lodged in its folds.

Spilled salt shaker

Drying your Plant

Depending on how you prefer your artificial plant to look, you can use different methods to dry it. If you prefer a more natural look, using a soft cloth to dry your plant will get rid of the artificial shine it can develop after cleaning. If you don’t mind this shine, simply leaving your artificial plant out to dry in the sun will do the job.


Keep on Top of your Cleaning

Like with all cleaning jobs, the more often you get it done, the easier it’ll be each time. Give your artificial plants a light dusting on a weekly basis to avoid stubborn grime that requires a deeper clean. If you keep on top of cleaning your artificial plants, they’ll keep their fresh and realistic look for longer.

artificial plant close up

Have you got any tips on how to clean artificial plants that you swear by? Help out your fellow home makers and let us know in the comments!

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