Tips and Tricks

Do I have to dust it?

What is the answer to that age old question of “How do I clean my silk plants and flower arrangements?” Search the
web and you will find many answers, some I think to be a bit out there, but never the less you’ll find many ideas.
Since I am not above adding in my two cents worth, here is my approach.

Visit your local dollar store and pick up graduated sizes of soft paint brushes. The different sizes allow you to get into smaller areas, and it’s the dollar store for crying out loud, it’s not like it’s a major investment. Carry your silk plant or arrangement outside and gently brush off the accumulated dust. This technique works great on removing loose dust. Next, using a can of compressed air, blow the air into hard to reach centers of flowers [i.e. calla lilies] and areas the paint brushes weren’t able to reach. Now, while this method of blasting dust away with a powerful burst of directed air works, be aware that a hurricane blast of air may loosen or dislodge glued parts. Oh, and canned air doesn’t last long. As the can gets colder the less compression you have, so have two cans handy and you’ll be able to complete this step much faster.

Now, you should be done, but if you aren’t satisfied with those two steps, try going a couple steps further.

Drag out your vacuum cleaner, hopefully one that came with attachments, and carefully, very carefully remove the dust the first two steps weren’t able to do. This step can be challenging unless your vacuum has a power control setting. If it does, put it on the lowest setting BEFORE you begin. Trust me, there is no sound worse than that of a silk flower being sucked into your vacuum hose.
Worse yet, you now know you have to dig it out of the bag. Yuck!

Last but not least, if you want to get your leaves all shiny and purdy [yes, it’s suppose read that way], use a cleaning product that is formulated just for silk plants. Make sure you follow the instructions on the can, and do a test patch. These products are great, but they can leave unsightly marks on leaves and flowers, causing your arrangement to live a life of shame. 😦

So, why so many steps, and why can’t I just jump right to the silk plant cleaner? Well, that would be like waxing your floors without sweeping up the dirt first. Duh! Be warned though that silk flower cleaning sprays don’t always work as expected — they may seal the dust and dirt onto the fabric instead of removing it. Better to have gotten rid of the majority of the dust/dirt before you apply these products. While they are capable of removing dust and even grime, you wouldn’t load your dishwasher up with a bunch of plates full of dried egg-yolk without at least trying to loosen it up….would you?

Hey, bottom line – follow the steps and you’ll get a better finished product in the end and you’ll be much happier.

4 thoughts on “Do I have to dust it?

  1. You must be reading my mind or something, Peggy. Since I just moved, I’ve been setting up the new apartment and noticed my silk flowers are dirty. Thanks for the entry and your perfect timing!


    1. Ahhh, so my psychic powers are working! Please tell how the silks turned out, and if you have can add any more tips, let me know.


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