How to Clean and Dust Houseplants

Keeping Houseplants Clean and Healthy

Houseplants can enhance the appearance of your home and keep the air that you breathe pure by removing nasty toxins like ammonia and carbon monoxide.  They also tend to make you feel calmer and happier.  In fact, many studies show that people that care for houseplants have a tendency to be more resilient and recover from illnesses faster.  Last but not least, plants like ferns, ivy, and peace lilies have a tendency to improve creativity and productivity in workplace settings.  That is why it is so important to keep your houseplants clean and free from dust.

Just like your collection of knickknacks on the mantel, houseplants need to be cleaned from time to time.  This allows them to be their healthiest and look their best for years and years.  A thick layer of dirt and grime can harm a plant and keep it from cleaning the air around it.  This is counterproductive as most people know that houseplants purify the environment that they are in.

Use a Sponge Soaked in Tepid Water

Use a soft sponge or clean rag to remove build-up off the leaves of your plant.  If you have not cleaned them in awhile, you may have to wash each leaf several times to remove dirt and grime from its surface.

It is important to use tepid, not hot or cold water.  This can cause the plant to go into shock and cause it to wither up and die.  You also want to stay away from milk, vegetable oil, and leaf shine products.  These items clog your plant’s pores and prevent them from producing oxygen.  A nice looking plant isn’t always productive.

African Violets cannot be cleaned with a sponge.  You must use a cosmetic brush on these because their leaves are so fragile.

Add a Few Drops of Non-Detergent Soap To the Water

If a little bit of elbow grease hasn’t gotten your plant looking its finest, consider adding a few drops of non-detergent soap to the water.  The cleaning agent will help remove caked on dust and leave your plant looking brand new and healthy.  Ivory is a good brand to try because its formula is very gentle.

Support the Leaf With One Hand

It is important to support the leaf with one hand and clean with the other.  This will prevent you from damaging your plant’s fragile stems.  The last thing that you want to do is destroy the ficus that you were trying to spruce up.

Clean From Top to Bottom

Leaves should be cleaned from top to bottom.  This thorough method will ensure that you remove all particles of dirt from your ferns and peace lilies.  Remove all dead leaves before putting you plant back in its respected place.  Don’t forget to wash the outside of the planter as well.  This will remove any loose soil or unwanted pests from its surface.

Give It a Shower To Really Remove Build-Up

Sponge cleaning has its benefits but a shower is a necessity for your plants from time to time.  Here is how you can wash them thoroughly:

  1. Take your plants to the bathroom and set them inside the shower on a stool or small table.
  2. Adjust your shower head until the water is lukewarm.
  3. Position yourself in a location where you can reach every part of your plant.
  4. Close the shower door or curtain around you.
  5. Start spraying the plant thoroughly.  Pay special attention to the underside of each leaf.
  6. Rotate your plant and continue cleaning it with the shower head until there is no sign of dirt left on it.
  7. Carefully remove the plants from the shower and sit them outside to dry.  This will take at least an hour.
  8. Rinse out your bathtub and mop the floor.  You do not want anyone to slip and fall.

Remember to ask for help moving larger plants.  An easy way to transport these is by placing them on a towel or a blanket and having two people pull them out of the bathroom.

A good cleaning from time to time will help your plants look their best for years to come.  You can keep a spray bottle next to your plant stand for instant relief.  You can also set aside one afternoon a month to give your ferns and ivy a shower.  This truly is a treat for them and can be one for you, too, with the right frame of mind.  Plants have proven health benefits.  So, what are you waiting for?  Show your houseplants some love today!

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