How to Clean Silk Flowers

Silk flowers and other types of artificial blooms and greenery can enhance the look and feel of a room. Like other accessories, there is a need to clean silk arrangements from time to time in order to keep them looking vibrant and new. The process takes relatively little time, making this an ideal weekend project.


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    Determine the materials used in the creation of your silk arrangements. Many will include a combination of silk blooms, plastic stems and sometimes even velvet or polyester leaves. While there are commercial products for cleaning artificial plants, the ingredients may be too strong for cleaning silk blooms. Using common products found around the house can aid in cleaning the silk flowers without fading the color or causing the blooms to fray around the edges.
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    Start with a quick dusting. Going over each of the elements in the silk flower arrangement with a feather duster works very well when the arrangements have been cleaned recently and only a light accumulation of dust is present. To maximize the benefits from the dusting, hold the arrangement at an angle in one hand while using the duster with the other hand. The dust particles will fall harmlessly to the floor rather than settling deeper into the arrangement.
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    Use a can of compressed air. Make sure you spray away from the stem and not upwards into the bouquet. Put the nozzle on the petal where it connects to the stem and spray lightly. This should clean the petal very well without damaging it.
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    Consider a salt bath. If the dust layers are considerable, remove the elements from the arrangement and place in a paper grocery sack with a cup or 2 of table salt. Fold the top of the bag to create a tight seal, and then shake the bag vigorously. The salt will dislodge the accumulated dust and pull it away from the silk flowers and leaves with relative ease.
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    Try a quick spritz. A particularly heavy layer of dust on silk flowers may call for using a liquid to clean the elements. Combine equal parts of white vinegar and warm water into a sprayer. Then lightly spray each flower. Pat dry immediately with a clean cloth for best results.
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    Go for a wet bath. Run warm water into a sink or tub, adding a small amount of dish washing liquid to the water. Gently swish the silk flowers in the water, allowing the dirt and dust to dislodge with ease. Pat the flowers to remove excess water and prepare them for drying.
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    Allow the silk flowers to air dry. Before reassembling the arrangement, place the individual elements on a towel and allow them to dry away from direct sunlight. This will help to minimize the incidence of fading and allow the elements to retain their vibrant colors for years to come.


  • Use tepid or warm water for silk flower baths. Hot water may loosen adhesives used in the construction of the flowers.
  • Always pat and air dry silk flowers rather than rubbing them dry. This will minimize damage to silk products that are somewhat delicate and allow the flowers to retain their original appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper sack
  • Salt
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Liquid dish washing detergent
  • Feather duster
  • Compressed air

Article Info

Categories: Flower Arranging and Floral Art