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Almost all offices contain artificial plants and/or flowers, yet they are one of the most neglected items in terms of cleaning attention. Most office staff ignore synthetic plants until one day the realization of being surrounded by ficus trees covered in dust sets in.  But the thought of cleaning hundreds of filthy leaves or petals may be daunting.  So how may we properly and easily clean these room decorations from an eye sore back to their original attractive state?  It’s actually a lot more simple and painless than most realize.  However, dust does not adhere the same to all fabrics.  Dust may detach easier on some fabrics and act as glue on others which means one method may work easier on some plants and not on others.

Here are some tips to making your artificial plants and flowers look like new again:

First, test a leaf and/or petal with a small amount of water.  Some fabrics and dyes may run and cannot withstand moisture.  If this is the case, follow the instructions below which do not include cleaning with water or sprays.

Methods using AIR:

  • Place your plants or flowers outdoors. For smaller plants and flowers, use a can of compressed air (what’s used for computer keyboards).  The nozzle can get to detailed and hard to reach areas.
  • Use a brush attachment on your vacuum to remove dust but remember to decrease the suction force.
  • Use a hair blow dryer set on “cool” air to knock off dust.

Methods using WATER:

  • Place plants or flowers outside. Remove brass or copper pots.  Spray the plants gently with a water hose or water spray bottle.  Shake off excess water and let air dry.
  • Spray plants with a solution of a small amount of vinegar or alcohol with water.
  • You may also place plants in a sink filled with mild dish soap. Dip the plants, swish around, rinse, and pat dry.

Other methods:

  • Place plants or flowers in a paper or plastic bag with salt. Shake well.  Dust will cling to the salt leaving your plants looking like brand new!

Final Touches:

  • Using an aerosol hairspray (cheap or expensive brands will work equally well), lightly spray clean or almost clean leaves. The hairspray will preserve the leaves and give a shinny appearance similar to when the plants were first purchased.
  • Keep in mind, your janitorial company will also be able to properly and thoroughly clean your artificial plants and flowers for you.