How to clean houseplants (and why you should do it)

People shower daily, even animals groom themselves regularly so it makes sense that houseplants also need to get clean. We all know too well that dust collects way too quickly and not just on books and cupboards, your plants get covered in a layer of dust as well. If you ever wondered why you should clean your houseplants and how to fulfil this task, then scroll down to find the answer!

Why should you clean your houseplants?

We believe that plant parenthood starts when you buy your first plant, no matter how big or small the plant may be. Cleaning your plants is a part of taking care of them. Why you might ask? Dust on the leaves of your plant makes it harder for them to take in sunlight, which is vital for their development. Besides, it makes your home look better (instagrammable even!). Not sure if you already need to dust your plants? Then simply try to blow the dust off the leaves. If this is not working, it’s time to clean!

how to clean houseplants

Ways to clean your plants

If trying to blow off the dust isn’t working, it is high time for some additional measures:

  • Spray – Move your plants to the sink or bathroom and spray them off with lukewarm water. If you do this regularly, it will prevent the dust from landing on your beautiful plant’s leaves. Make sure to let them drip dry before they turn back to their homes.
  • Dip/rinse – Alternatively to the above-mentioned, you can fill your kitchen sink with tepid water and give your smaller plants a quick dunk. Make sure to hold the plant and soil inside the pot and gently swish the leaves in the water. Have you got large plants? Use the bathtub to give them a dunk or simply give them a gentle shower.
person holding fern plant in water
person holding monstera
  • Wipe – Another method for cleaning large plants that are difficult to move around the house is wiping them with a damp cloth. We get that this can be time-consuming but once you’re done, you can keep the dust from building up by simply using a soft duster on them. Make sure to support the leaves with your other hand while wiping to decrease the risk of bruising the leaves.
  • Brush – Avoid getting fuzzy-leaved plants wet, as the water will damage the tiny hairs on the leaf surfaces. Use a soft toothbrush (or soft-bristled paintbrush) instead to gently brush the dust of the leaves. The same method applies to plants that don’t like to get their leaves wet. For example African Violets and Begonias.
  • Tidy up – Keeping your plants clean is not limited to just dusting off the leaves. Removing dead leaves and withered flowers is also very important to encourage further growth. Picking up dead leaves from the soil prevents mould and diseases
clean houseplant

Special treatment: Cacti & Succulents

When cleaning your houseplants, you should treat your Cacti and Succulents a little bit different than the rest. These plants have a special waxy coating, which prevents them from evaporation in their natural environment. Spraying water on the plants will ruin this and that is why you should use another method instead. Like compressed air, for example.  Top tip: if you don’t want to blow dust all over your home, this job is best done outside. Don’t use the compressed air spray too long, as the air will get too cold and possibly damage the plant tissue.


Now you know how to clean houseplants it is time to head over to your local florist to add another plant to your plant family. Our local Florist Finder helps you to find an Independent Florist near you who will be able to tell you more about the specific care instructions of your newest plant. 

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