Cleaning Silk Flowers
Cleaning Silk Plants
Insider Reports: Ask the Maid
Does anyone have a good and easy way to clean/wash silk plants and/or silk trees? I have bought the spray that the silk plant stores sell and it doesn't work that great. Any ideas? Thanks.
Rice Is Nice
Try rice. Take a paper bag and place a cup or two of white rice (uncooked of course). Place the plant inside and shake. Give it a few good shakes and the rice will dust the plant off. This works great with wreaths and dried flower arrangements too. For the tree this may be harder, maybe you could do a section at a time. It has always worked for me.
Chris T. of Sylvania, Georgia
New-Fangled or Old-Fashioned
Take your silk plants outside, where you have an electrical outlet available (or can use an outlet from inside easily ) and take your blow dryer with you. Put the blow dryer on "low" speed and simply blow the dust away! If any dust remains, use one of the new 'Pledge' or 'Swiffer' cloths to gently wipe off the flowers and leaves. This works incredibly well for me.
An older method is to again take your items outside and sprinkle them all over with cornmeal. Place a plastic bag over the item and turn them upside down, shaking them. The cornmeal works as a "scrubbing" effect to remove the dust from the flowers/leaves. When you turn the item upside down and shake, it is supposed to remove the dust by the scrubbing and also remove the cornmeal from the item.
Here's a good tip that my mom shared with me years ago. I've been using it ever since. Fill your sink about 1/2 full with warm water and 2-3 tsp. of Dawn dish detergent. Take your silk flowers/plants and swish them in the sudsy water several times. Lay on a dishtowel to dry. This method has allowed me to use the same silk flowers for years. They still look great so when I tire of one arrangement, I just save the flowers to use later. They still look new even when they have been used in 2-4 arrangements over a period of about 8 years.
To clean silk plants and silk trees, I use a mild solution of dish washing soap (1/2 teaspoon or less) mixed with water in a 16 oz. spray bottle, and my garden hose with a showering nozzle. Pick a warm or hot day with a mild wind and move the silk plants and trees to the back patio or shaded area of the back yard. I usually clean them one at a time. Gently mist the plant or tree with the soap solution and then gently shower it with the garden hose until the dirt and soapy solution are removed. My most fragile silk plants come out looking like new. I don't recommend exposing them to sunlight. The warm breeze will dry the plants, trees, baskets or other containers in an hour or so.
Carolyn of Richardson, Texas
The very best way that I have found to clean silk and even dried arrangements is by putting them in a plastic bag with a few tablespoons of salt and give them a shake. The dried arrangements do better if they have been gently sprayed with an acrylic coating previously (before they begin accumulating dust) so that they are more durable during this cleaning method. A little bit of salt does often stay even after shaking them out later but it shows up a lot less than the dust. Do be careful so as not to shake them right out of the setting!
Your shower is the best source for cleaning silk plants. I do my hanging plants and trees the same way about once a month. There is no need for soap or any other household products. Just turn on your shower with a warm gentle spray and let it do the work. All the dirt and dust just rinses away and the "plants" look like new.
Robin of Apple Valley, CA
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