How Do You Clean Indoor Plant Leaves?
A growing number of homeowners are using indoor plants in their homes for a wide variety of reasons. They bring a sense of nature and greenery into the house. To keep your plants looking their best and ensure that they thrive, you should clean indoor plants’ leaves occasionally.
Clean indoor plant leaves depend on the types of plants, leaves and dirt. The best ways to clean indoor plant leaves are determined by each of the three. It is recommended to wipe them with a cloth, duster, or brush, to rinse them with water, to spray them with a dilute solution of soap, or to use compressed air to remove dirt.
These methods are simple and use items you already have around the house. They are great for cleaning indoor plant leaves. Plants will not be harm or injured by them, and they’ll be healthy.
Methods for Cleaning Indoor Plants
Whatever level of cleanliness we strive for in our homes, there will always be trace amounts of dirt and dust floating around in the air. Plant leaves and other surfaces are covered with this dust over time, making a layer of dirt that must be removed.
Taking care of your indoor plants’ leaves is mostly a straightforward process, though sometimes not an easy one. Cleaning your plants can be done several different ways, with many requiring only common household products.
Most people use the following seven methods to clean their indoor plants’ leaves. Some of them work better in certain conditions, depending on the plants’ size, the type of leaves they have, and the level of dirt they have in general. Choose a method that is suitable for the type(s) of plant to be cleaned, as well as how much time and effort you want to devote to the process.
First, we’ll look at some easy, general-purpose methods that work well on plants that aren’t overly dirty before we get into more detailed and in-depth methods.
Dust Leaves With A Feather Duster
Dust accumulations only consist of a fine layer of dust, so you can easily remove them with a feather duster or similar product.
It’s best to use down ostrich feather dusters; these feathers trap dust much more effectively than any other kind, with black plumage even better than grey. Make sure to brush over the leaves gently to remove any dirt and to avoid snapping the leaves off the stem. After you’ve finished, shake the duster vigorously on the ground to “empty” the dust from the feathers.
In spite of the fact that this method doesn’t always get rid of all the dirt, it will at least keep your plants from suffering buildup between cleanings. In addition, you will have an easier time when you attempt a more extensive clean-up of your indoor plants’ leaves next time.
Wipe The Dust Off The Leaves
It is also possible to wipe the dust off your indoor plants’ leaves. This method works best on plants that aren’t overly dirty or have just a few leaves or big leaves.
This method is not efficient for plants with numerous, small leaves because it is time-consuming, but it is effective if you are prepared to expend the time and energy. This method does not leave spots on the leaves, which makes it better than other methods, such as rinsing off plants.
The only things you need for this are a cloth and some warm or tepid water (distilled water should be used if available). It doesn’t matter if it’s a microfiber rag, a washcloth, or a hand towel; the cloth needs to be soft enough to prevent scratches on the leaf surface. Use old t-shirts to wipe down your plants! Cut up the pieces of cloth and use them to clean up!
Use your free hand to hold the underside of each individual leaf as you wipe it down to avoid damaging it or snapping it off the plant’s trunk. Wet your cloth with clean water and carefully wipe the underside of each leaf.
Whenever possible, do not use hot or cold water, and rinse the cloth periodically to remove dirt and grime. You can use a second, dry cloth to remove any excess water that is left behind on the leaves.
Dunk The Plant In Water
Here are the methods that use water. The smaller the plant or the more leaves it has, the better the chances of it growing well. Fill a sink or wash basin with lukewarm water to remove a light coating of dust. Invert carefully the containers, holding the soil and plants with one hand inside the pot, and gently dunk/swish the leaves while the water is still tepid.
Turn the plant over so it is upright and let it drip dry before relocating it to the original location. For a lot of moisture on the leaves, gently blot them dry using paper towels or a soft cloth. As a result, you avoid water spots forming on the leaf surface, thereby avoiding the need to clean the leaves again.
When inverting containers, if you’re worried about leaving a mess, here are some tricks to make the process easier. If you are inverting containers, either water the soil thoroughly beforehand so it holds together in the container or wrap the top in plastic wrap to act as a barrier to hold the soil in.
Rinse Off In The Shower
The indoor plants you have might be too large to tip over in the sink or bathtub, so you might prefer to give them a quick shower instead.
Then, place the plants in the bathtub and use warm water to wash off all the dust or grime. Avoid spraying the plant too forcefully as this could damage the leaves or snap them from the stems.
Before returning plants to their homes, allow them to air dry well, or gently blot them dry with paper towels or soft cloth if water is accumulating on their leaves.
When plant food is used to fertilize the soil, salt will build up on the surface of the soil (in the form of a white crust). This method can clean this salt out of the soil and out of the bottom of the container.
It’s not recommended to use water on plants with fuzzy or furry leaves because the tiny hairs on the leaf surface can be damaged. You can clean plant leaves with soft brushes like a small paintbrush, a soft-bristled toothbrush, or even a mushroom brush.
It is especially effective on plants with fine pubescent hairs, including African Violets. These fine hairs are attracted to dust and dirt, but are vulnerable to damage if water gets on the leaves. Brushing between the hairs unclogs the pores and cleans it without damaging it; the bristles gently brush dirt and debris away from the hair.
Brush the leaves from the base to the tip, moving from the highest point of the plant to the lowest point. Blow out the dust periodically with a paper towel or some other surface to knock the debris loose.
Use Compressed Air To Clean Cactus And Succulents
The “leaves” of cacti and other succulents, however, require a little more attention than other houseplants because their arid environment has left them with a waxy coating.
Plants with this protective coating are able to resist drought conditions because they prevent evaporation, which keeps water within the plant tissue. The coating on cacti and succulents becomes disintegrated when they are dunked or sprayed with water to remove dust and grime. Instead, if you want to clean them, use compressed air instead of water.
Use compressed air to clean succulents or cacti by holding the can about ten to twelve inches away from the plants, and gradually spray in short bursts while brushing to dislodge dust and dirt. In order to avoid blowing dust inside your home, this project might be best done outside. It is important to not spray for too long as the cold air can damage plant tissue.
A clean houseplant may need more than just a simple dunk or spray of water. To effectively clean plants that are excessively dirty, it’s okay to mix up a gentle soap solution.
Then mist the entire plant with the solution made out of a tablespoon of dish soap mixed with a quart of lukewarm water. Place it in the sink or bathtub to soak.
Once the plants have been sprayed with soap solution, rinse them thoroughly under lukewarm water to remove any soap residue. Let them air dry or pat them with a clean paper towel before placing them back on their windowsill or other favorite location.
You should keep three things in mind when cleaning leaves of your plants – regardless of the method you choose:
Cleaning your indoor plants is determined by the conditions within your home and surroundings. If you live near windy areas, dirt roads, or construction sites, you must clean your plants more frequently than those who live in “cleaner” conditions. In addition to filtration systems, the frequency of cleaning is influenced by the quality of the filters purchased and how often they are changed.
The underside of the foliage, the stems, and the stalks should not be neglected when it comes time to clean the plants. They need tender loving care too once in a while. Although dust might not accumulate on them as much as on leaves’ top surfaces, it can still accumulate.
When choosing one of the following methods that use water, stick to lukewarm or tepidwater. Cold water leaves water spots on the leaf surfaces and water that is too hot or cold may shock the roots, which can damage the plant. Tropical plants have no adaptation to extremely cold or extremely hot rainfalls; they prefer water that is in the range of room temperature or lukewarm.
If your indoor plant develops these telltale spots because of the release of mineral salts as water evaporates, there are methods to remove them.
Watermarks on leaves can be easily removed by dampening a rag with distilled water or rain water (neither must contain problematic minerals) and gently wiping them down, similar to the process described above. When difficult deposits are present, mix one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar with one gallon of pure distilled or rainwater and dab this solution gently on the leaves. Let sit for one minute and then wipe or rinse with pure distilled or rainwater.
Why Is Cleaning Your Indoor Plant Leaves Important?
It’s a good idea to explain why your indoor plants need to have their leaves clean after we’ve covered how to do it.
Plant leaves are not just for aesthetic purposes. They are important for plant growth and health, and dirty leaves inhibit growth and overall plant health. You should keep your plant leaves as clean as possible just as you would keep your own body clean.