Should I Clean My Houseplants? | Maid4Condos
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Should I Clean My Houseplants?

Should I Clean My Houseplants?
May 3, 2021

You’ve got enough to worry about when it comes to cleaning your condo. Do you really want to add another cleaning job to the list? The truth is, cleaning houseplants might sound ridiculous but it really helps keep them healthy.

Is It Necessary to Clean My Houseplants?

Clean houseplants look greener and healthier. However, they actually are healthier because they aren’t smothered in dust. Here’s why you should clean your houseplants with tips on how to keep them green and thriving.

Why clean houseplants?

Your houseplants have a ton of unwanted residue on them from the moment they arrive in your home. Unfortunately, most greenhouses use all kinds of things to keep their plants “healthy” until they go to the retailer. This includes pesticides and “cleaners” but even something as simple as dirty hard water that might drip on them from condensation or leaks in the greenhouse roof.

So why is this a problem? The hard water contains tons of minerals that lead to those spotty whitish marks on your plant’s foliage. A good wipe of the leaves removes that gunk and allows your plants to breathe.

Once your plants settle in, your own home contributes to their tribulations. The biggest culprit is dust. Dust makes it difficult for your plants to “respire”, their form of breathing shall we say. Also, indoor plants can still get infested with bugs such as aphids and white flies. These nasty little creatures secrete a sticky substance that usually contains eggs. You really want to wipe this away or else your home will be a mess of tiny flying insects that will drive you insane. But most of all, clean plants just look prettier, greener and happier.

DIY Houseplant Cleaner

Now that you know why you need to clean your houseplants we can get to the how. We recommend using this DIY houseplant cleaning concoction that is healthy and won’t cause harm to you or your plants:

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 gallon water (around 8 cups)
  • 5-10 drops of non-toxic dish soap

Shake it all up in a clean spray bottle and you are ready to go.

Steps to Cleaning Houseplants

Here is all the love and attention your plants need to look their best:

  • Dusting: Yes dusting! Your plants get a dusty build up just like the other surfaces in your condo. The good news is you can actually just use a microfiber duster to keep the dust under control. A light touch makes short work of the dust or, if you’re feeling extra tender towards your plants, you can use a soft damp cloth to wipe the dust away.
  • Shower: Well, not exactly a shower, but a nice spray of water will do. You can put your small plants right in the sink and give them a gentle spray once or twice a month. It takes off the excess dust nicely. Let the plants rest in the sink for a while before putting them back in their place.
  • The Cleanse: Using your spray bottle filled with DIY houseplant cleaner, spritz your plants and let it drip from the leaves. This removes the dirt. You’ll also want to lay down paper towels to catch the drops. If you have a balcony, place your plants out there and spray away.
  • Wiping Down Large Leaves: For plants with big leaves, soak a soft cloth in your DIY mixture and wipe each leaf down individually when they’re looking dusty.
  • Trim and Pluck: While you’re cleaning, give your plant a nice trim and pluck to remove dead, dry leaves. This encourages new growth while getting rid of the ugly yellow or brown leaves. Don’t forget to remove dead leaves from the soil.

One more tip: Always just let the leaves air dry when using water or your DIY spray cleaner.

How to Avoid Damaging Houseplants

There a few mistakes people make when cleaning houseplants that can lead to damage including:

  • Putting Wet Plants in the Sun: It might be tempting to move wet plants into direct sunlight to help them dry faster, but this can actually burn them.
  • Using Commercial Cleaners: Even if the product says it is good for “leaf shine” always stick to your own DIY cleaner. Otherwise, the commercial cleaners will clog your leaves’ pores so they can’t respire. You’ll also make your plants look like they are plastic which kind of defeats the purpose of having real plants.
  • Adding Shine: If your indoor plants don’t have a natural shine to them, avoid using tips you might find online like coconut or olive oil or mayo! It might work but honestly, this would never occur in nature, so it’s best to just stick to the regime we’ve covered here and let the leaves keep their natural look.
  • Fuzzy Leaves: Plants with fuzzy leaves, like African violets, don’t react well to spraying. Only dust these plants with a dry microfiber duster.
  • Night Cleaning: Although you have more spare time at night, avoid late-night cleaning for your plants. This is when they respire so you want to let them respire in peace.

How often should you clean your houseplants?

A good rule of thumb is to get into the habit of spraying your smaller plants regularly. For larger plants take a look when you’re doing the rest of your dusting and fit in a wipe down when they look like they need it. The good thing about houseplants is that you can usually do one good cleaning and then keep them pretty clean with regular dusting.

Remember, the whole soak in the sink thing is like a spa day for your plants, so it’s a nice treat for them once or twice a month. You can even place them in the shower for a nice natural “rain”, but only if you have a light flow adjuster so they don’t get pelted. Leave them in there to drain and enjoy the nice humidity. This is not recommended for cacti though!

Need help? Contact Maid4Condos

To learn more about professional cleaning in Toronto, call Maid4Condos at (647) 822-0601 or contact us here.

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