Skip to Content

How To Clean House Plant Leaves? [ See Our Step By Step Process ]

How To Clean House Plant Leaves? [ See Our Step By Step Process ]

When a homeowner develops an admiration towards the greenery, the individual wants to add some houseplants in the household. Indoor plants add a touch of nature, even in high-rise apartments.

But taking care of them is so important. It is because houseplants have a weak connection with nature directly. So, if you provide an apt atmosphere to the herbs, they will grow smoothly.

Also, keeping the leaves of the indoor plants clean is vital. Often dust or several polluted particles clog the stomata of the leaves. So, cleaning them often helps the plants stay healthy. Here we have discussed the procedure in detail.

How to clean houseplant leaves?

You can clean the foliage of the houseplants in several ways, like dusting, wiping, rinsing, or spraying. There is no specific method to clean all indoor plants since the cleaning process depends mainly on the type of the herb and the nature of the polluted particles on the foliage.

So, based on these two factors, you can wipe the leaves, brush them, rinse the foliage, or you can even wash the plant with soap water. The procedure will vary from one plant to another.

So, go through the entire article to know which method will be the best for you. You can even follow all processes one after another to get the optimal result.

Here we will share some popular procedures for cleaning houseplant leaves step by step.

Depending on the nature of your indoor plant and the type of debris, you will need to follow one or more than one step to keep the herb shiny.

1. While dusting the house, clean the plant leaves too

If you notice your houseplant has been covered by a thin layer of dust, clean the foliage with the help of a soft feather duster.

Since the leaves of your elegant indoor plant are delicate, you need to select a puffy and comfy ostrich feather brush.

They will clean the leaves without hurting the plant.

While removing the layer of dust from the foliage, you need to be as gentle as possible. Otherwise, you might end up snapping off the stunning foliage or tearing the graceful leaves from the stem.

After the completion of the dusting procedure, bring the duster outside of the adobe and clean it.

Cleaning the brush is mandatory, else the debris can again harm the plant during the next brushing session.

Also read:

  1. See the plants poisonous to dogs

2. Wipe the dirt from the plant

You can follow the wiping method after the dusting procedure or only do it. Wiping the herb with a wet cloth will be the apt method for a houseplant with gigantic leaves.

But, if you own a lot of indoor plants in your household with infinite tiny leaves, then washing them with a cloth will not be a brilliant idea. It could be a tedious job then.

However, cleaning the plant leaves with fabric is another straightforward process, as it requires only two items a soft cloth and lukewarm distilled water.

Here, you have to be extra careful while choosing the rag. You can opt for a wash towel, hand cloth, delicate muslin fiber, or any cloth with microfiber material.

Long story short, the rag needs to be soft, else you can end up scratching the gorgeous leaves of your plant. Now, soak the cloth in the lukewarm water.

Then gently wipe both sides of the leaves thoroughly with the help of a damp or semi-wet towel. Lastly, wipe off the excess water from the foliage with a dry and soft material.

3. Rinse the plant thoroughly

The rinsing part always comes last. Washing the houseplant with water will be an apt and effective method for small indoor plants with millions of leaves.

To do it successfully, you can dunk the houseplant in a bath of lukewarm distilled water. Firstly, fill a tank with sufficient lukewarm water.

Then carefully overturn the tub of the plant. Now, quickly dunk the tiny houseplant in the water and swirl that slowly.

In that way, you can remove even the microscopic debris from each leaf. Also, letting the plant dry up after the bath is mandatory as wet foliage becomes prone to pest attacks.

Also read:

  1. Plants for office with no windows

How often should you clean plant leaves?

Since cleaning the leaves of your indoor plant is not a laborious job, you can perform the task once a week or two. Removing the dirt from the plant leaves is a swift task, and even a newbie gardener can do that smoothly. As it can be puzzling for a beginner to make a perfect schedule for cleaning houseplant leaves, the individual can add the task to the weekly or bi-weekly home cleaning schedule.

Since most homeowners clean their household at least twice a month, it will be best to clean the foliage of the indoor plants on those days too.

Also, as brushing a few plants is not a time-consuming job, you will not have to spend a lot of time cleaning.

But, if your household resembles a forest, then cleaning all plant leaves can seem like a tedious task.

So, then we suggest focusing on one plant each day.

If you still feel confused about how often you need to clean, we advise examining the foliage during every watering session.

If they look dirty, clean them following the apt method. Thus you only need to spend a few more minutes on your daily plant care session.

Why Should You Clean Your Houseplant Leaves?

Plant leaves tell a lot about the health of the herb. On the other hand, if a houseplant feels sick or dying, it shows the symptoms through withered leaves and droopy foliage.

Also, the clean, shiny leaves of a houseplant indicate the optimal health of the shrub. Often big chunks of dirt and polluted particles clog the open pores on the leaves.

As plants breathe through those pores or stomata, the layers of dust on the leaves can hinder respiration.

Also, foliage with clogged stomata fails to perform photosynthesis smoothly. Below, we have shared all the reasons to keep the leaves of your indoor plants always shiny.


  1. When should you put plants outside in spring

You will not be able to check the plant’s health

Whenever our body undergoes any health issue, our face shows some symptoms. In that way, leaves tell the world whether the plant is healthy or sick.

If a gardener notices the glossy green foliage of the houseplants, then the plants are healthy. But, withered leaves, crooked leaf borders, droopy yellow foliage, pale or discolored leaves- all of these announce that the plant is crying for help.

That is why seasoned gardeners consider leaves as the mirror of a plant.

They also advise the newbie caregivers to keep the leaves of indoor plants clean.

Thus it will be easier to spot anything absurd appearing on the foliage. In that way, it will also become a lot simpler to take care of your houseplant.

As insects, pests, and fungus often create a colony on the leaves, regular cleaning will ensure no such bacteria reside on the leaves. Also, the clean leaves will help you spot any abnormality, which can be a sign of any potential problem.

Regular wiping destroys the colony of the pests

Keeping the leaves clean also comes with the advantage of lesser pest invasion to the plant. Washing the foliage not only brings back the lost shine of the leaves but also ensures no insect stays on the plant. Millions of pests, fungus, and bacteria start residing on the plant, especially on the leaves.

So, the insect invasion leads to countless health issues for the plants.

No gardener wants that to happen to their gorgeous indoor plants. So, regular brushing or wiping the leaves prevents the pests from residing on the plant permanently.

Maybe you cannot see any harmful living beings on the shiny foliage of the plant, but there are still some microscopic fungi.

So, if you even spray the plant with clear water, the situation will not get out of control. Frequent cleaning of the leaves helps the houseplant thrive rapidly.

Cleaning encourages the photosynthesis process

The function of the leaves is not only showing the symptoms of any unusualness the plant is enduring.

Their main job is something else. Leaves keep the plant alive through performing respiration.

Like us, houseplants also need to breathe to stay alive, and the foliage does the job. Houseplant leaves feature microscopic pores or stomata that are responsible for respiration.

Leaves also exchange moisture through the stomata.

If debris and dirt cover the leaves of your houseplant, then how can it be able to breathe? So, to enhance the efficiency of respiration, you need to keep the foliage clear from any debris or dander.

Also, the layers of dirt and dust prevent the leaves from performing respiration and photosynthesis properly.

It is because the clogged stomata cannot receive enough light, air, and moisture. As the plant fails to get the required sunlight through the foliage, it lacks energy.

All the phenomena lead to the weakening of the herb, and lack of photosynthesis can make the plant die.

Plus, when a layer of debris blocks the stomata, the plant uses its reserve resources to survive. As a result, the plant decreases its growth rate and becomes prone to insect infestation.

Can you clean plants with milk?

Yes, shocking but true, a gardener can use milk while cleaning the leaves of the plants. Maybe you have a bottle of stale or expired milk in the refrigerator, and you are thinking of putting that in the trash. But, hold on a second before doing that. Even if you cannot consume that milk, your plant can drink that happily.

You can use any milk in a diluted form to wipe the plants.

In that case, pour milk into half of the container and fill the other half with water.

Then secure the bottle with a spray nozzle. Mixing the milk with water tones down the potency of milk and makes it beneficial for the houseplants.

Now, you can spray the mixture on all of your indoor plants randomly and give them a time of approx 30 minutes to absorb the solution.

After half an hour, if you still notice any residues of the mixture, you can wipe that with a muslin cloth. By doing it regularly, you will see a noticeable reduction in pest invasions.

Since most houseplants are prone to catching fungal diseases, the milk mixture can reduce the rate of fungal infection.

If you can clean the foliage of your indoor plants frequently, the herbs can grow fast due to fewer pest infestations.

End thought

Cleaning the leaves of your houseplant takes only a few minutes. Also, if you do it frequently, you only need to brush or wipe the foliage to bring back the shine.

But, if your plant cleaning session occurs once in a while, then you will need to go to the step of washing the houseplant.

Wiping plant leaves is vital as the dust can hinder the leaves from performing efficiently. Plus, closed stomata prevent the foliage from doing photosynthesis. So, keep your indoor plant clean to offer it optimal health.