INSIDE : It’s time for some Spring (or any other season, really) Cleaning and that counts for your plants, too. Learn how to clean your Houseplants to remove all the dust from the leaves.
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Best way to clean plant leaves :
No matter how careful you are, with time plants get dirty and dusty, just like everything else in our homes. And the larger the leaf on your plant, the more dust and grime will eventually build up and accumulate. Ew, look at that dusty leaf of mine, below!
The main way to keep your plants leaves looking their best is with an occasional sprucing up. About once a month, you should go around to each plant and remove any dead or yellowing leaves with a pair of pruners or sharp scissors.
I typically use a damp paper towel after tidying up the leaves, to do a light cleaning on each leaf. However, while a paper towel and water do not remove all the dust or leave those leaves sparkly clean it is a good quick in-between clean option.
Leaf Cleaning Mixture :
I filled a disposable plastic container with warm water and just one single squirt of dish soap for my cleaning solution. Be sure to use luke warm to warm water, as this won’t shock your plants like cold water might.
Next, grab a soft microfiber cloth to help get all that pesky dust off your plant leaves. Microfiber cloths are made from very small fibers. Wash cloths and other soft clothes may just push the dirt and dust around, but the split fibers of a microfiber cloth helps latch onto dirt, dust and even some bacteria.
How to clean dust off plant leaves :
Now that you have your soap and water solution, let’s talk about how to clean the plant’s leaves.
Dunk your microfiber cloth in the cleaning mixture and then squeeze out any excess liquid. Gently wipe both sides of all of the leaves to remove any dust and grime.
Next, supporting your leaf with one hand and use your other hand to gently wipe down the leaf with your microfiber cloth.
Be sure to wipe the tops and undersides of the leaf. This will remove any grime and also keep any pests from living on your plants.
Just like when you dust a bookcase in your home, it is important to start the cleaning process with your plant’s TOP leaves first and then work your way down. With larger plants like mature Rubber Plants or large Fiddle Leaf Figs, this can be more difficult. I recommend getting out a small step ladder or stool to reach those top leaves first.
You can see the huge difference below when I cleaned just half of this Fiddle Fig’s big leaf using a microfiber, soap and water solution. Wow.
Rinsing off your clean leaves
Just because your leaves are sparkly, don’t quite stop yet! Rinse out your soap and water container with clean fresh water only. Get a new microfiber cloth if you need to and do one final wipe down of all the leaves with pure water. This will remove any of the little soap that is still left on the leaves, to ensure the leaf can breathe and function properly.
Honestly, I was shocked at how sparkling my plant leaves were after spending just about 30 minutes on this huge over 6′ tall Fiddle Leaf Fig. I think from here on out, I am going to do this on a quarterly basis, so 4 times a year.
I think doing a quicker damp paper towel cleaning would be more than sufficient in-between the microfiber and soap cleaning!
What are other ways to clean your Houseplants?
During the summer months, I love bringing all the houseplants I can carry outside into the shade for a little summer hose shower time! During the cooler months, putting your houseplants in the shower or bath works, too.
The gentle rain from a hose or shower will help remove dust from the leaves and give them some additional moisture.
SOFT PAINTBRUSH –
For some plants that don’t have big smooth leaves, using a microfiber cloth might be very difficult. If that is the case, using a soft paintbrush to remove dust from plants works well. Gently brush any dust off the leaves with your brush.
COMPRESSED AIR –
Some plants may have fine hairs or even spines and spikes and using a cloth or even a brush might not work at all. In that case, lightly spraying your plant with compressed air is a great option. Spray air from an air compressor can blow away dust and dirt. Also using an air-compressor can from a hardware store or a plant nursery works just as well.
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What methods should you clean indoor plant leaves with?
- Damp Paper Towel
- MicroFiber Cloth + Water
- Cheese cloth + Water
- Soft Paintbrush
- Shower Method
- Compressed Air
Easy solutions to clean plant leaves :
- Microfiber Cloth + Water + Dish Soap
- Paper Towel + Water
- Lime Juice OR Lemon Juice + Water Solution
- Milk + Water solution
- Dunking Plant in Water or Shower
- Light Compressed Air
How to Clean your Houseplant Leaves
It’s time for some Spring Cleaning and that counts for your plants, too. Learn how to clean your Houseplants to remove all the dust from the leaves.
- Disposable Container to hold cleaning mixture
- Microfiber Cloth
- 1 squirt of Dish Soap
- Disposable Container to hold water to rinse
- Fill a disposable plastic container with warm water and one single squirt of dish soap for the cleaning solution.
- Next, grab a soft microfiber cloth to help get all the pesky dust off the plant leaves and dunk into the cleaning mixture. Squeeze out any excess liquid.
- Supporting your leaf with one hand and use the other hand to gently wipe down the leaf with your microfiber cloth. Wipe both sides of all of the leaves to remove all dust and grime.
- You will see a dramatic difference after cleaning the leaves using this microfiber, soap and water solution.
- Dont' stop quite yet. Get a new microfiber cloth and fresh water to do one final wipe down of all the leaves. This will remove any of the little soap that is still left on the leaves, to ensure the leaf can breathe and function properly.
- Repeat this process about 4 times a year.
- Be sure to use luke warm to warm water, as this won’t shock your plants like cold water might.
- It is important to start the cleaning process with your plant’s TOP leaves first and then work your way down. With larger plants like mature Rubber Plants or large Fiddle Leaf Figs, this can be more difficult. I recommend getting out a small step ladder or stool to reach those top leaves first.
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My Happy Houseplants ebook talks about how to not kill all the plants and also includes:
– A helpful checklist for the 6 steps to keep your plants alive + thriving.
– A deep dive on 7 trending “it” plants (like that finicky Fiddle Leaf Fig!)
-5 plant printables to hang in your home.
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Love plants like I do? You might like some of my other Plant Care + Tip posts.
Need some more plant care posts? You’ll love these :
11 Hard to Kill Houseplants
Best Plants for your Bathroom
Best Sunlight Levels for your plants
Best Indoor Plant Pots
How to clean your Houseplants
Best Online Houseplant Shops
Water Propagation for Plants