How to make a plant leaf shiny

New houseplants many times have leaves with a high gloss. This is because the leaves are very clean. In addition, florists and nurseries sometimes use a commercial leave shine solution to achieve the high shine. Over time, dust and especially kitchen grease can dull the shine on houseplant leaves. You can return your houseplant leaves to the state of a high gloss by cleaning then polishing them with household items or a commercial solution.

Dampen a clean, soft cloth and fold it wide enough to cover the leaves of the plant you want to shine. Hold one leaf in one hand and very gently wipe the surface with the cloth in the other. Start at the stem and wipe toward the tip to remove dust and grease. Turn the cloth if you need to wipe a second time. Do not wipe the underside of the leaves. Rinse the cloth often to always have a clean cloth to wipe each leaf. Sometimes cleaning leaves in this way is enough to make them shiny again.

Spray each leaf surface with a commercial leaf shine preparation. Apply a light mist to evenly coat the leaves. Follow the label directions of the spray you use.

Apply a small amount of mineral oil or vegetable oil to a clean, soft cloth if you prefer not to use a commercial solution. Wipe the top of each individual leaf from stem to tip with the cloth to shine the leaf.

Use whole milk or a small amount of mayonnaise on a soft cloth to shine houseplant leaves. Wipe an even coat from stem to tip gently on the top of each leaf.


Do not wipe or spray plants that have fuzzy leaves. Avoid applying any kind of shine substance to edible plants, flowers or buds. Never apply shining substances, especially mineral oil, to rubber tree plants. Clean houseplant leaves on a regular basis. Shining agents attract dust. Removing the dust will bring out the shine again without your having to reapply the shining substance. Houseplants near or in a kitchen will become dull more quickly than those located in other areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Leaf shine spray
  • Mineral oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Whole milk
  • Mayonnaise
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.