How to Clean the Leaves of Houseplants

24 November, 2020
Have you every cleaned the leaves of your plants? You should. It could be a factor that hinders your plant from growing.

Is it important to clean the leaves of houseplants?

Yes, it’s important. Keeping leaves clean and healthy helps plants breathe. The dust, or pollutants in the air, can accumulate on leaves and significantly reduce the amount of light that plants receive.

As you all may know, less sunlight means less chlorophyll, which in turn, results in a sick plant. If the situation gets to that point, not only will the plant start to yellow and stop growing, it could even die.


Therefore, cleaning indoor plants that don’t receive occasional cleanses from rain, is extremely important. You should clean them at least two times every month.

We recommend that you read: 7 Benefits of Having at Least One Plant in Your Home

Cleaning methods for plant leaves

1. Water as the primary resource

Of course, you don’t have to be an expert to consider water as a good resource for cleaning leaves.

You can try putting the plant in your shower and washing it gently with warm water. By doing so, your plant can receive gentle drops of water instead of an intense stream that could damage leaves. Using a hose or a spray are also good methods.

If you find the plant to be too dirty, you can mix a liter of water with a little shower gel. Gentle wash the leaves and wash off with clean water. People who recommend soapy water suggest covering the substrate or laying the plant gently on its side so that the mixture stays only on the leaves.

2. Natural shiner

Using a natural shiner is effective, except for plants that have curled leaves or small hairs; avoid use on such plants. Use a sponge and soapy water to gently wipe leaves for a healthier shine; you can also try using olive oil. Both options will give your plants a nice shine.

3. Clean plant leaves with milk or beer

As unbelievable as it might seem, milk is the perfect product to get a healthy-looking plant. It’s simple: dip a cloth in milk and wipe the leaves that you want to clean. You’ll immediately notice the results. You can also use a little beer instead of milk.

Clean plant leaves with milk or beer

4. Banana peels for clean plants

Wiping leaves of houseplants with the inner part of a banana peel will leave them clean and shining. Just as with the milk, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in the plant’s appearance. It’ll be greener and radiant.

Also see: 10 Plants that You Can Grow Easily in Your Garden

5. Clean plants with a toothbrush

Above, in the second method we mentioned on our list, we talked about being careful with velvety plants or those with small hairs. In order to clean these kinds of plants, you can use an old toothbrush.

It’s very simple: take the leaf in the palm of one hand and gently brush it with the toothbrush. Start at the base of the leaf and work your way up carefully towards the tip. Remember to rinse off the toothbrush every once in a while and make sure it’s completely dry before you clean the leaves.

Several other objects that you can use to clean leave are soft-bristled paintbrushes or pipe cleaners. To add on, you can even use a plant’s own leaf to clean off the dust from the others.

Other recommendations

Going beyond cleaning a plant’s leaves, you also have to take care of them in other ways as well. An example, which may very well be the most important, is eliminating the unhealthy areas of the plant. 

If a plant has leaves that are withered, dried, yellowing or weak, you should remove them. Removing them will enable the plant to dedicate all of its resources to conserve and grow its healthier parts.

Be aware of the plant characteristics to be able to properly care for it. For example, you shouldn’t wet the leaves of certain plants. Some examples of these are cacti and succulents.  You should clean these plants without water.

Cleaning your plant’s leaves will only require a few minutes of your time. However, it’ll have wonderful effects for their health. If you use plants for home decoration, bright and healthy plants will completely change the atmosphere of your space.