How to Clean the Leaves of Houseplants

Cleaning the leaves of houseplants is also important. This is because keeping them in good condition and cared for helps with their respiration. How do you do it? We'll outline some methods below.
How to Clean the Leaves of Houseplants

Last update: 15 December, 2022

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.


Cleaning methods for plant leaves

According to information published in Smart Garden Guide magazine, the ways to clean the leaves of plants can vary according to the type of leaves and the nature of the soil. In general it is a simple task, but not always quick. Let’s look at some options:

1. Water as the primary resource

Water is a good resource for cleaning leaves. In fact, it’s the most commonly used.

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. Gently dampen 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 houseplants 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. They are more fragile and can be more easily damaged. 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 dry before you clean the leaves.

Several other objects that you can use are soft-bristled paintbrushes or pipe cleaners, or for example a squeegee. You can even use a plant’s own leaf to clean off the dust from the others.

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

Other recommendations

Going beyond cleaning a plant’s leaves, you also have to take care of them in other ways as well. For example, removing the unhealthy parts of the plant is very important. 
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 conserving and growing its healthier parts.

Be aware of the characteristics of each plant so as 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 houseplant’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.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.