10 Pro Tips | How To Clean Plant Leaves

Houseplants not only enhance the aesthetic of a space, but studies indicate that they also improve emotions, promote creativity, decrease stress, and remove contaminants, resulting in a healthier and happier you. Cleaning indoor plant leaves regularly can help them look beautiful and thrive.

With a glimpse or a finger swipe, you can tell when your plants need to be cleaned. It’s probably time to clean if you can see or feel the dust between your fingertips.

The best way to clean indoor plant leaves varies depending on the type of plant, the type of leaves, and the dirt. The methods below are basic ways to clean indoor plant leaves using largely materials found around the house. They will not hurt your plants and will help them stay healthy.

Benefits Of Cleaning Plant Leaves The Right Way

yellowish-green color rubber plant leaves
yellowish-green color rubber plant leaves

Cleaning your houseplant leaves on a regular basis is crucial, despite how tedious it may appear. A layer of dust on the plant leaves will obstruct sunlight and impair the plant’s capacity to photosynthesize, which is the plant’s primary source of nutrition.

A healthy plant that is clean and photosynthesizing at optimal levels is less susceptible to illnesses and can prevent pests as well. Cleaning dust from your houseplants’ leaves regularly saves you time and improves the plants as well as your interior environment.

Who Can Benefit From Cleaning Plant Leaves

Biophilia design // photo by Tatiana Buzmakova

Clean plant leaves are of great benefit for both homeowners and commercial businesses. Not only indoor plants can help to enhance the air quality in a variety of ways, but time spent outside in green environments has also been shown in studies to reduce mental tiredness, boost relaxation, and even improve cognition.

There are several ways that indoor plants can help to improve indoor air quality. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis, while they release moisture vapor and increase humidity through transpiration and evaporation.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, we spend nearly all of our time indoors—around 90%. Indoor plants might help you out in this situation. Even brief exposure to nature, such as touching genuine leaves, has been proven in studies to have an unconscious calming impact.

Workplace productivity is also boosted, and employee satisfaction improved when the number of ill leaves decreased.

Take a look at How Having Office Plants Affect Your Home Business!

10 Pro Tips | How To Clean Plant Leaves

Indoor plants that are covered in dust are not only unsightly and hide the display of colorful foliage, but they also make it harder for the plant to photosynthesize.

Here are 10 basic tips for Cleaning Your Houseplant Leaves to ensure that they always look their best and remain healthy!

1. The Right Time

Good luck plant near window

Houseplant leaves collect dust, especially if they are placed near a window or entryway. Your plants will be covered with dust regularly if you live in a dirty environment.

Feel the plant’s leaves with your fingers every 5-8 days to see whether it needs to be cleaned. If you want to increase the photosynthetic rate – basically the plant’s ability to feed itself, it’s a must!

2. Using A Spray Bottle

Woman gardener in orange overalls spraying banana palm houseplant, moisturizes leaves during the heating season, selective soft focus // photo by DimaBerlin

Giving plants like aloe and crown of thorns a shower bath using a spray bottle is the simplest way to clean them. Keep an eye on the water pressure because it can wash the growing media out of the pot.

Also, make sure that all excess water drains through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot.

Cleaning the plant’s leaves in the morning and then leaving them in direct morning sunlight for 3-4 hours is a good idea.

If you are not sure about drainage holes for potted plants, check out our article on it!

3. Remove Dust Using A Feather Duster

Feather duster on the wood // photo by Haris Sudrajat

A feather duster can be used to remove dirt from your houseplant. This should be done every 3-4 days to prevent the dust from covering the plant’s leaves.

Ostrich feathers are the greatest because they capture dust far better than any other similar product, especially for delicate leaves.

4. Use Pressure Air

opuntia bunny ears
Opuntia bunny ears // Photo by Emily Frost

Dust particles are easily removed from plants with dense foliage, such as cactus and succulents, using pressurized air. To clean the sensor, use compressed air or a camera sensor air cleaner. Construct an air compressor from a plastic bottle.

5. Dunk The Plant In Water

Heart-shaped green leaves // photo by Listy Dwi

Plants with fewer blossoms are more likely to be drained in warm water. Fill your kitchen sink and wash the basin with hot water to remove the light dust. Slowly invert the container, one hand holding the flower/ground inside the container.

When you’re finished twirling the plants in the boiling tepid water, flip it over and let it dry before returning. If your plant’s leaves have too much water on them, gently wash them with a clean paper towel.

6. Wipe The Dust Off The Leaves

An elderly woman wipes dust from large monstera leaves with a napkin // photo by ninaveter

Wiping the dust off the dirty leaves of many popular plants is the best option. Indoor plants with fewer and larger leaves, such as fiddle leaf fig, dieffenbachia, and snake plant, can be cleaned using just a piece of a soft cloth.

Carefully wipe each individual leaf with a damp cloth and support it from the bottom.

7. If Your Plants Are Too Dirty, Use A Mild Soapy Mix

Close-up of basin with soapy water, hands in protective rubber gloves with sponge // photo by VH-studio

If your plants appear to be dirty or infested with mites. Directly spraying a diluted soap and water solution on the leaves and wiping them clean is an excellent way.

To prepare soapy water, combine 1 teaspoon dish soap with 500 mL RO (Reverse Osmosis) water.

Ensure that all of the soap solutions have been taken from the entire plant.

8. Prune Yellow And Brown Leaves

yellow and rotten leaves of monstera monkey mask, problem of overwatering // photo by Jus_Ol

While cleaning your plants, remove any brown, yellow, dead leaves, or loose leaves and stems. Using a pair of clean, sharp scissors, snip them away. As a result, the plants will be tidier.

If you are not sure how to prune your houseplant leaves properly, check out our guide!.

9. Clean Your Pots

Cleaning the pots while cleaning the plants is a good idea simply because a clean plant will not look nice in a filthy container!

Use a bleach and water solution to clean the pots, along with a soft brush to provide a good massage.

Check out our article on Preparing Your Planters!

10. Keep The Soil Clean

Gardening Scoop and soil

Remove any unwanted weeds from the soil surface, and continue to remove any excess from the top layer of soil by gently rotating it every now and then to promote air circulation and help your houseplant breathe.

Cleaning Plant Leaves FAQs

Why Is Cleaning Houseplant Leaves Important?

philodendron lacerum after heavy rain
Philodendron lacerum after heavy rain // Photo by Maylene Cabansi

Why should you bother keeping soil off of plants’ leaves while they are grown in it? It doesn’t take long for dust to accumulate, as anyone who has been gone for a few weeks can tell. Your plant won’t be able to photosynthesize as well if there is a covering of dust on its foliage.

The plant feeds itself through photosynthesis. You’ll have a stressed-out plant without it. A clean plant that is photosynthesizing at its highest potential will be healthier, and a healthier plant is less susceptible to disease and pest infestations than a stressed plant.

In the long term, it actually takes less work for you to occasionally clean the leaves of your plant. And your house will look much better as a result.

Is It Good To Clean The Houseplant Leaves With Commercial Plant Cleaners?

Eco/green cleaning supplies with green leaf around spray bottle white background // photo by B. Iva’s photography

People frequently make the mistake of cleaning their indoor plants with these items, which should be avoided. Ingredients in these commercial treatments plug the leaf stomata, preventing gas and water exchange and negating the objective of cleaning plants.

For the same reason that commercial cleaners aren’t recommended, commercial leaf shine products should also not be used. Many of these items contain oil or waxes, which can clog the stomata.

Even if the leaf shine product states to be clog-free, its residue may draw in more dust and dirt, leaving you with a plant that isn’t particularly shiny in the end. You find yourself in a continuous cycle of cleaning and re-shining as the plant grows and becomes more difficult to clean.

Can You Put Olive Oil On Plant Leaves?

Top view of glass bottle with olive oil and olives isolated on white // photo by LightField Studios

Fatty acids, vitamins E, A, and K, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron are all found in abundance in olive oil. These components might encourage you to use them to clean plant leaves. Olive oil should not be used on plant leaves, however. It can damage leaves, accelerate the dust buildup on them, and draws more pests.

Use neem oil, milk-water mixtures, or horticultural oil as an alternative. To ensure that your plant’s leaves can easily feed and release oxygen into the air, regularly clean and shower them.

What Oil Can I Use To Clean My Plant Leaves?

While commercial leaf shine products and commercial cleaners are popular options but don’t really help the plant, you can take into consideration cleaning your plant leaves using these plant-friendly suggestions, but beware and don’t go overboard.

1. Neem Oil

neem oil
Neem oil

The ideal gardening companion is neem oil. Because the unclarified form contains substances that are dangerous to humans, unfortunately, it has a negative reputation.

It works wonderfully at preventing pests and giving your plant’s leaves shine. To reduce the oil, adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s strong and might burn the leaf, so don’t apply it too frequently. Always use gloves and a mask when handling it.

2. Horticultural Oil

Close up of finger and yellow jar with vaseline balm on white background // photo by Andreas_Bergerstedt

Pest control and pest prevention are the main functions of horticultural oil, a petroleum-based substance. However, petroleum has a high sheen (like Vaseline) and can give your leaf some vitality. These products, as opposed to using olive oil to clean plant leaves, are made expressly for use on plants and won’t burn or harm the leaf.

How Can You Make Your Plant Leaves Shine?

Making your own homemade leaf spray allows you to clean and intensify your plants safely. Deter dirt, dust, bugs, and hard water marks will all be wiped away with this mixture. Once the plant’s natural beauty is shown, it will provide a tiny gloss to your leaf.

Recipe For Indoor Plant Leaf Shine & Cleaner

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar
  • 2 drops of Castile/dish soap (we’re fond of Dr. Bronner’s)
  • 2 drops coconut oil (optional: if you want that shiny leaves)

After combining the ingredients, you may use a spray bottle to apply it to the leaf or just dip a cloth into the mixture. In any case, make careful to protect the leaf with a soft towel (such as a microfiber cloth).

Another approach is to use a disposable paper towel for each individual plant to reduce the danger of pests or disease spreading between them. (Or, between uses, thoroughly rinse the cloth in hot water).

Keep in mind that this spray is only effective on specific types of foliage and should not be used on leaves with a fuzzy texture (like African Violets and Cacti). Keeping your plants clean and tidy can help them grow, live longer, and thrive. So, keep up the good work with your cleaning houseplant leaves!

Final Thoughts

If you want an aesthetic backyard and clean plant displays to be proud of, the most important thing to look for is durable, reliable, and beautiful pots.

Our planters, made from lightweight yet durable fiberglass, are perfect for planting trees, bushes, and simple flower displays both indoors and outdoors.

Offered in a wide selection, there are many styles and colors to suit your business or home design needs.

If you are worried about the longevity of your investment, do not. Our planters withstand diverse weather conditions, from frosty winters to scorching summers.

All our planters come with an industry-leading warranty emphasizing the commitment and value of our fiberglass planters.

Contact us today to learn more about the exciting opportunities we offer. Or better yet, give us a call and our sales consultants will be more than happy to walk you through any outstanding questions or requests you might have.

If you’re ready to shop, simply visit our online store!

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