Artificial flowers can really brighten up a room and are a quick way to switch out your seasonal décor. Although they last longer than fresh flowers, silk and plastic varieties love dust bunnies, don’t they? Dirt and dust will dull the vibrancy of the florals, which will trap allergens, too. Yuck. Luckily, we pulled together some cleaning tips to keep your bouquets, topiaries and wreaths from looking drab.
If you can remove the flowers from their container:
Try giving them a shake with coarse salt in either a large brown paper bag (for large bunches) or plastic bag (for more delicate flowers). Add some coarse salt — a few teaspoons to as much as a cup, depending on how many flowers you have — to the bag and place the flowers inside. Roll the bag opening and hold it closed with your hand as you gently shake the flowers with the salt. The salt will help to remove the dust from the flowers. As you take the flowers from the bag, continue to give them a little shake to get rid of any remaining salt.
If they need to stay in their container:
Secure a piece of pantyhose over the end of your vacuum cleaner’s detachable hose and turn the vacuum on its lowest setting and run the tip of the hose over the flowers. The pantyhose will stop the vacuum from sucking the petals up, but the dust won’t stand a chance.
If they’re washable:
Try spritzing the plants with a mixture of equal amounts of distilled vinegar and water, and then let them air dry. Or you can also swish them in cold sudsy water (hot water may loosen the flowers’ glue). Rinse them gently and pat with dry paper towels. Hearty silk flowers can withstand a sink bath like this, but avoid this on very delicate varieties.
If you’ve got fragile florals:
Give the plants a light once-over with a feather duster or try spraying them with “air-in-a-can,” which is just compressed air that works like an aerosol. This is also effective for removing dirt and dust from your computer keyboard, too.