Easy ways to clean artificial flowers

Updated June 27, 2017

Artificial flowers are a great way to brighten up the office or household, but after a few months, dust and dirt can settle and collect on the plants, making them appear dingy. Fortunately, there are several remedies to clean dust, dirt and debris from your artificial flowers; each method is easy and quick. To keep your artificial flowers pristine all year, clean them as each season changes or approximately four times a year.

Salt Shake

The salt-shake method works well for artificial blooms or silk flowers that may not be colour-fast. All you need is a paper bag and approximately a cup of regular salt. Empty the salt into the sack, put your artificial flowers inside, secure the top of the bag and shake for a couple of minutes. Salt acts as a non-toxic abrasive, scrubbing the dust off in all those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of the plant. Remove the flowers, and remember to give them a good shake outside the bag to knock off any remaining salt crystals.


For larger flowers and plants, a quick misting with aerosol hairspray removes dust, but this should be done either outside or in a large open area with plenty of air circulation. A regular hairspray will do the job, but don't use pumps that spritz the hair; you need the fine mist action powered by an aerosol can, otherwise large droplets could be left behind on the delicate plant fabric, staining it.

Suds Swish

For cleaning, nothing beats soap and water, but first, you should do some pre-cleaning and colour testing. A quick all-over motion with a feather or a nylon duster will take off the top level of dust. Before a soapy deep-cleaning, take one petal or leaf and get it wet to test for colour fastness. If the colour runs, then use the salt shake method. If the colour stays, then prepare a lukewarm bath for your plant with a sink full of room-temperature water and a tablespoon of either liquid dish soap or powdered dish detergent. Agitate the water with your hand to activate the suds, hold the flowers by the stems and give them a quick swish through the bath. Rinse them in cool water, and either pat dry with a microfiber cloth or air dry upside down.

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About the Author

Beth Bartlett has been freelance writing for nine years, and her work has appeared in such publications as "Meetings South," "Angels on Earth," "American Profile," and "Mental Floss." She also writes a weekly humor horoscope column for print and the Web.