Updated February 26, 2022 by Mark Marino
Houseplants can be a beautiful addition to any home, and for the most part, they are usually pretty low-maintenance. That doesn’t mean they are completely maintenance-free, though.
You can keep your houseplants happier and healthier in addition to keeping them looking pristine by simply cleaning them every now and then. You don’t need to clean them every time you water them, but a quick dust-off or rinse-down a few times a year will make a world of difference in the vitality and beauty of your houseplants.
Here are 4 simple ways to clean your houseplants. Start by dusting the leaves off gently, then use a spray bottle with diluted dish soap to spray the leaves. Gently wipe them with a soft cloth or give them a rinse-off in the shower. Then, for a shiny finishing touch, use a paper towel to polish the leaves with olive oil or coconut oil.
Why Should You Clean Your Houseplants?
Dusty and dirty houseplants can be unsightly and make your home look neglected. Excessively dusty plants can collect unwanted pests and fungal matter, promoting plant illness and infection.
Cleaning your houseplants keeps your home looking cared-for and keeps your plants healthy. After cleaning your houseplants, a quick polish to the leaves of your plants will make them shine.
Polishing plant leaves with a natural oil like coconut or olive oil also helps protect the leaves of the plant from illness or infection and helps prevent excessive dust collection.
4 Best Ways To Clean Your Houseplants
1. Dusting And Dry Cleaning Of Houseplants
Dusting off your houseplants is a great way to keep dust from accumulating. It also keeps the plant’s leaves looking healthy and prevents plant disease and infection.
Start out by dusting your houseplants with a soft feather duster or a soft microfiber cloth. You can also use cheesecloth for a gentle but more thorough dusting.
For large and very hardy plants, sometimes a vacuum cleaner hose with a brush nozzle can be used to dust the leaves. Be careful that the vacuum cleaner does not damage or injure the plant.
2. Spray Cleaner And Towel
After your houseplants have been dusted or had a thorough dry cleaning, it’s time to use some soap and water. For an easy at-home plant cleaning solution, simply mix a little bit of dish soap with warm water and pour it into a spray bottle or mister.
Spray the plant’s leaves with a moderate amount of the solution. Next, gently wipe the soapy solution off of the plant’s leaves using a soft microfiber cloth, a sponge, or a soft paper towel.
Leaves that have dirt or debris stuck to them can be gently scrubbed with a microfiber cloth or sponge, but always be careful to not injure or damage the plant.
3. Give Your Houseplants A Shower!
Whether or not you choose to use a soapy spray solution on your plants, one excellent and hassle-free way to clean your houseplants is by giving them a cool shower. Gather your houseplants and place them directly into your bathtub or shower.
Point the shower head so that it will spray most or all of the plants. Turn the shower on and make sure the water is cool but not cold. If you have adequately-draining planters, you can leave the shower running over the plants for a few minutes to give them a thorough rinse-off.
If you are worried that your planters may not drain adequately or could become oversaturated with water, you might want to consider reducing the pressure of the water coming from the shower head. It may be necessary to rinse off the plants one at a time if you are trying to avoid over-watering them.
4. Polishing Your Houseplants
The final step in cleaning your houseplants is to polish their leaves. Wait until the plants have dried or dab excess water off the leaves with a soft microfiber cloth or a paper towel. Don’t scrub the leaves; you simply want to blot away any excess water from the leaves.
Using a moderate amount of olive oil, coconut oil, or another similar natural oil, polish the leaves of your houseplant. You can apply the oil to the leaves with a dry paper towel or a soft cloth.
Additional Tips And Tricks
One way to reduce the workload of keeping your houseplants clean is to take steps to prevent them from becoming dusty or dirty in the first place. Pay attention to where your houseplants are placed.
Are your plants sitting on a shelf that tends to collect a lot of dust? Try moving your plants to a spot in your home that is less likely to collect an excessive amount of dust.
In the same way, you may want to avoid keeping your houseplants in locations of the home that collect excessive amounts of dust, you also may want to avoid keeping your houseplants in high-traffic areas of the home.
For example, houseplants sitting near the kitchen sink in a home with a lot of activity in the kitchen are more prone to being splashed or accumulating spills or debris. This can attract pests and mold to your plant, which is both a hazard to the plant and to your health.
Make sure your houseplants are kept out of high-traffic areas to avoid the collection of pests and mold and to keep the plants from accidentally being damaged or injured.
Get The Air Moving
To reduce excessive dust buildup in your home and to keep your plants happy, you can increase the flow of fresh air in your home. This is healthy for your houseplants and for you, as well. If possible, open your windows daily and turn on ceiling fans to get the air moving through your home.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Fake Houseplants?
Cleaning fake or artificial houseplants is much simpler than cleaning real houseplants. The best way to keep your artificial houseplants clean and polished is to spray them with a special homemade cleaning solution and then wipe off the excess cleaning solution with a soft cloth. The simple and easy cleaning solution can be made by mixing a 1:1 ratio of water and distilled vinegar in a spray bottle.
What Are Some Natural Ways To Clean Houseplants?
If you want to clean your houseplants but prefer to avoid the use of dish soap and other unnatural cleaners, you can mix your own homemade plant cleaning solution that is completely natural and will not harm your plants.
Combine one teaspoon of vinegar with a gallon of water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Use the spray on your plants just like you would use a soapy cleaning solution.