By Kelly O’Roark
For those of us who were born without a green thumb, silk plants are a perfect alternative to live indoor plants, but finding a silk plant cleaner and a cleaning method that’s easy and effective isn’t quite as simple. While silk plants and flowers are maintenance-free for the most part, just like everything else in the house, they gather plenty of dust.
While there are cleaners on the market that are designed specifically for silk plants, they’re usually hard to find. (They’re typically found in specialty stores or online.), And to boot, they can cost up to $10 for one bottle.
So what’s a cheaper, simpler, and just-as-effective alternative? This two-ingredient silk plant cleaner can be made with items that you already have in your home, and only costs about 20 cents to make.
Step 1: Grab Your Supplies (Without Leaving the House)
You’ll need only four items for this project:
- A spray bottle
- A microfiber cloth
- 2 ounces of water
- 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol
Step 2: Make Your Silk Plant Cleaner Solution
Now it’s time to mix! You’ll want to mix equal parts water and rubbing alcohol, and since a little goes a long way, 2 ounces of each is really all you’ll need, and it’ll be enough for several silk plants.
First, pour the water into the spray bottle.
Then pour the rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle.
Gently shake the bottle, grab your microfiber rag, and head outside with your silk plant or tree (you’ll want to do this on your deck or in your backyard to avoid getting the cleaning solution on your hardwood floors or carpet).
Step 3: Spray, Wipe, Repeat!
When cleaning your plant, start at the top so that any excess dust that falls on the lower branches will get removed as you work your way down. Now spray a section of leaves so that you can clean several leaves at once. (None of this “one leaf at a time” business. You’ve got places to go and people to see!)
After you’ve sprayed a fair amount of cleaning solution, put one hand under that section and take your microfiber cloth in the other hand, and then wipe down the entire section. Start from the inside and work your way out toward the edges, pulling the rag toward you. Continue to do this until the entire plant has been cleaned.
Depending on the size of your plant or tree, this will take about 5 to 15 minutes.
You should be able to see the difference right away, as the leaves will appear glossy and life-like after the dust has been removed. After you’re done, be sure to give the plant or tree a once-over to wipe off any individual leaves that you may have missed.
Step 4: Enjoy Your Freshly Polished Foliage
Place your plant back in its usual spot, and admire the shine!
Now that your plant has been restored to its former glory, you realize once again why you’re on “Team Silk Plants” for life. Just a quick polish once a month with your new cleaner keeps the leaves shiny and new, and eliminates the need for a watering can. Hallelujah!
Do you have some extra dusty silk flowers, plants, or trees that now look brand new after using this homemade silk plant cleaner? We’d love to see the “before” and “after” photos in the comments below!
Images used with permission, courtesy of Kelly O'Roark