How to Clean Fake Plants

If you don’t have a green thumb, fake plants are the perfect way to add a nice decorative touch to any room. These plants can quickly collect dust and lose their “real” look. Clean your fake plants quickly and easily with these steps.

How to Clean Silk Plants

You Will Need:

  • Bag large enough to hold the silk plants
  • Salt
  • Nylon hose
  • Vacuum cleaner with attachments

Steps to Clean Silk Plants:

  1. Silk plants should not get wet, as it can damage them. This method removes the debris without cleaning the plants with water.
  2. Fill the bag with salt. The amount of salt will depend on the size and the amount of build up on the plant. You will need enough to cover the surface areas of the plant that are unclean.
  3. Place the plant in the bag with the salt.
  4. Shake the bag around. As you are shaking, the salt will adhere to the sticky surfaces.
  5. Remove the plant and allow the salt to absorb the debris on the surface.
  6. Cover the attachment of a vacuum with nylon hose. Secure it so the hose is stretched tightly over the end.
  7. Use the vacuum to remove the dried salt from the plant. With the salt, the debris on the plants will be removed as well.
  8. Repeat as needed until the plant is clean.

How to Clean Plastic Plants

You Will Need:

  • Sink, tub or bucket
  • Water
  • Mild detergent (optional)
  • Soft cloths
  • Towels

Steps to Clean Plastic Plants:

  1. Plastic plants are more durable and are able to get wet. This makes them easier to clean.
  2. Begin by filling a sink, tub or bucket with warm water.
  3. If the plants are especially dirty, add a small amount of mild detergent. Soap can leave a residue and should be avoided.
  4. Swish the plants around in the water to remove the dust and dirt.
  5. Use a soft cloth to clean any stubborn areas with extra build up.
  6. Rinse under clean water.
  7. Set in the sun to dry.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • To prevent sticky build up on fake plants, use a blow dryer to blow away dirt and debris weekly. Use a low, heat free setting.
  • If a shower or kitchen spray nozzle is available, they can work well for quick cleanings for plastic plants. Simply spray the plant clean and allow it to dry.


  1. Lynn says:

    You can ‘dust’ fake plants with a can of compressed air, the kind you use to clean out a computer. The long tube on the can lets you dust hard to reach parts of flower arrangements without disarranging the flowers.

  2. Lynn says:

    If you have plastic or cheap cloth flowers (don’t try it with silk!), use the washing machine to clean them when they get dingy. Put the flowers into a pillow case, fold the open top of the case over like you were folding a bag closed and use safety pins to keep it shut, then wash in cold water on gentle with no detergent. Air dry the flowers upright in a vase, and reshape them if needed while they’re still wet.

  3. Lynn says:

    I’ve tried it all, and the best and easiest way, although not the cheapest, is to get a can of silk flower cleaner. You just spray it on and the dust disappears.

  4. Lynn says:

    If your fake plants or flowers have paper-wrapped stems, you absolutely can’t clean them with anything liquid. Period. Ever.

    Ditto for plastic or cloth flowers that have been painted to make them look prettier. Brush the dust off with something soft, like a makeup brush, and try to put the arrangement someplace where it won’t get too dirty.

  5. Lynn says:

    I had a neighbor who used to do this to clean fake flowers. Put equal amounts of cornmeal and salt, say half a cup or so each, into a bag, put the flowers in the bag, and then shake the bag gently for a couple of minutes. Supposedly this gets off all the dust and won’t damage expensive silk flowers.

  6. Lynn says:

    Dad once threw our old fake Christmas tree in the back of his truck and then went through the local car wash with it. It was weird, and the tree lost some plastic needles, but it was a lot cleaner!

  7. Donna says:

    Spray leaves with Lysol till wet. Let dry–dust gone!

  8. Michelle Lowe says:

    For cheap fake silk plants, place them in the top rack of the dishwasher and run it on quick cycle. Don’t use a heated dry cycle. Silk looked great!

  9. Victoria says:

    If you have plants with dust or dirt on them, just take them outside and spray gently with a hose. Then, just lay them out in the sun to dry. It will soon have a silky feeling and a shiny look! :)

  10. Angie says:

    Take your plants in the bathroom when you take a hot shower, the steam will either sweat off the dust or loosen it up and it will wipe right off.

  11. Frances says:

    The dishwasher on the quick wash cycle first for a couple of minutes using a small amount of detergent, stop the cycle and then a rinse only cycle is working great for me! No heat, no heated dry, shaking them outside to get the extra water off.

  12. Jessica says:

    I second the Lysol. I have used this for years and always have people ask, “how do you keep your artificial plants dust-free.”

  13. Shirley says:

    These are huge silk plants. Will Lysol work on them…?

  14. Dgarcia says:

    Lysol works great on huge silk plants!!

  15. Stacie says:

    Leaf curl on a silk plant/tree left outside over night? Help.

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