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How To Clean Orchid Leaves: [ A Step By Step Process ]

How To Clean Orchid Leaves: [ A Step By Step Process ]

Orchids are the tokens of beauty in the form of tiny and graceful flowers on this earth.

They are the natives of the tropical regions of Australia and Asia, for example, the Philippines and the Himalayas, and vary in color and size and sometimes even in shape.

The orchids may be of a single color, such as pink, red, yellow, or orange.

At the same time, some may bless your vision with the most triumphant mix of vibrant colors.

But, no matter what their color, shape, or size is, each of the orchid species and types radiant equal exemplary grace through their heavenly appearance.

There are about 18 different types of orchids on the planet and plenty of species. The number of species of orchids ranges from 25000 to 30000.

However, there is always a price for beauty. Similar is the case for these pretty little flowers.

A great deal of care and delicacy is necessary for nourishing and growing the orchids.

There are various aspects of the orchids that need to have the utmost attention of the one who is raising the graceful tokens of beauty in their gardens.

Just like every beautiful and expensive item in a house has a treatment with supreme delicacy and concern, the orchids, too, being gorgeous items of Mother Earth, need the same attention and care.

How to clean orchid leaves?

The orchid leaves are the integrations and the components that add up to form the ultimate gracefulness of the flowers.

Therefore, they require care and cleaning. You can clean the leaves of an orchid plant by removing the mineral deposits layered on top of the trees and during or wiping away the coating of dirt and dust deposits present on them. However, there are elaborate methods to clean the leaves of the orchid. The methods are present in detail in the following list.

1. Simply wiping

Wiping is the simplest method to keep your orchid leaves clean. The method includes spraying water (which sometimes may be mixed with the juice of a lime) on the leaves.

And then, wipe off the coating of dust and other layered unnecessary substances with a cotton pad or wipe.

It is a delicate and straightforward method to clean the leaves of an orchid. There is an assurance of no harm on the leaves with this cleaning method.

2. Apply lime juice

It is yet another simple method of cleaning the orchid leaves.

It requires squeezing lime or lemon in water, thereby making a diluted juice of lime or lemon. And wiping the leaves of your orchid plant with the DIY dilute lime (or lemon) solution.

Applying lemon juice to clean the underside of orchid leaves is one of the only approved techniques.

The acidic nature of lemon juice is dilute enough and does not harmfully close the stomata or cause damage to them.

Additionally, the dilute acidic nature of the lime or lemon juice dissolves away the mineral deposit and cleans the orchid leaves with absolute precision.

Also read:

  1. Should you use orchid fertilizer on other plants?? Know more here

3. Apply Mayonnaise

This technique of cleaning orchid leaves may sound strange.

However, it is one of the best methods for cleaning orchid leaves. However, homemade mayonnaise is the best to clean orchid leaves because you can restrain the content of salt in it.

It is better not to use salt while cleaning the leaves of the orchid.

The acidic properties of the mayonnaise from the lime or lemon juice helps to dissolve the mineral layers from the leaf surfaces and, therefore, clean them.

Although, it would be best if you did not use mayonnaise to clean the orchid leaves underneath. It is a heavy substance, clogs the stomata, which will have adverse effects on the plants.

4. Dilute Detergent Solution

It is yet another strange but effective technique of cleaning the orchid leaves.

Ensure that the solution consists of 90% water and not more than 10% of detergent powder.

It effectively cleans the leaves of your orchid plants. Additionally, you may use the solution to clean the underside of the orchid leaves. The dilution is harmless and, instead, effective.

5. Alcohol

The main objective of cleaning orchid leaves with alcohol is to remove insects and bugs from them. The alcohol to use is Isopropyl Alcohol.

The pests and insects that attack the orchid plants are incredibly minute and almost impossible for the naked human eye to notice.

Also, invisible spider webs from all around the plant gain our attention when it is too late.

The pests and insects’ harm do appear only in dark spots or holes in the orchid leaves.

And lastly, bacteria, which are invisible to the naked human eyes, also cause considerable harm to the plants.

But, the use of Isopropyl Alcohol is the ultimate solution for all these mentioned problems for the orchid plants.

Also read:

  1. Does your orchid flowers wilting? Here’s why

6. Shampoo for babies

Babies are the most delicate creation of nature, and all the products related to them are designed with advanced skills to ensure optimum delicacy.

Similarly, the orchid leaves and flowers too need tender care and concern.

Thus, baby shampoos are the perfect fit.

Its delicate formula does not require excess dilution, unlike the use of detergent powder or lemon juice; and clean the leaves of your orchid plant quickly and carefully.

7. Dilute Vinegar Solution

When you use vinegar as a medium to clean the leaves of an orchid plant, the dilution and ph value of the solution should have impeccable precision.

The ph value varies with different brands, and different types of orchids prefer different ph values.

The incorrect value of the ph in the solution may cause the death of the plant.

Thus, check and research which type of orchid you have and what level of ph value it is comfortable.

Moreover, an effective way of using vinegar on orchid leaves is to use the solution on one leaf and wait to see if the plants react adversely or not.

Based on the results, proceed or abstain from using the solution on the other leaves. Also, vinegar solution is not fit for supplication on the underside of the orchid leaves.

Also read:

  1. Saving an orchid leaves: Here’s a to-do list

How do you clean sticky orchid leaves?

To give an uncomplicated answer to this question, using alcohol or certain types of oils, such as neem or horticulture oil, effectively cleans the stickiness on the orchid leaves. Many reasons can explain the formation of a sticky substance on the orchid plant leaves. Some of the reasons are positive and not harmful, while the other reasons are pretty concerning.

Sometimes, the flowers of the orchid plants produce sap.

The sap helps to draw in the pollinating insects towards them.

Thus, this is a natural sap and does not cause any harm to the plant. Instead, it has the other name of the “Happy Sap.” But, the sticky substance on the leaves of your orchid plant may also be because of certain pests and insects.

Your plant may be in danger of ants or specific dangerous bugs, such as mealybugs or aphids.

Their effect on the leaves remains unnoticed because they are too minute to see with naked eyes.

But they come under supervision only when it gets too late. Thus, a close and regular inspection is necessary for keeping your orchids safe and healthy.

Now, talking about the remedies for treating the stickiness on the leaves of your orchids. The following points are thereby present:

Use of Alcohol

By alcohol, the indication is to make use of Isopropyl Alcohol. They are the best remedies for cleaning the sticky substance on the orchid leaves.

It is because it is the best treatment for the insects, pests, and bugs that tend to leave on the orchids.

Dabbing the leaves with alcohol is the method to apply it for removing the sticky sap, and the most crucial aspect is that the alcohol must be a dilute solution.

Use of oils

Horticulture oil and Neem oil are the two types of oils you may use to remove the sticky sap from the leaves of your orchid plants.

If you find any signs of pest or unnecessary sap, immediately and carefully wash all the tissues of the orchid with horticulture oil.

And, for preventing any further attacks of the insects and pests, you may use neem oil at a specific interval of time.


If your orchid plant is giving out the natural sap, causing the leaves of your orchid plants to have sticky leaves, water is the perfect solution.

Apart from being the ideal remedy, it is also the simplest.

Moreover, you do not need any other substance like alcohol or any other oil to clean the “Happy Sap” because it is harmless for your orchids.

Therefore, wet a cotton pad or cloth and gently rub off the plant sap from the leaves of your orchid and make it sticky-free.

What is the best thing to clean orchid leaves with?

Numerous substances can help you clean the leaves of your orchid plant. The most effective ones are alcohol, diluted lemon or lime juice, mayonnaise, and baby shampoo. Along with the names of the things that can impeccably help you clean the orchid leaves, brief descriptions are in the following list.

  • Isopropyl Alcohol: As mentioned earlier, alcohol is the best remedy for cleaning your orchid plant leaves and getting rid of pests on your orchids.
  • Dilute lime or lemon juice: Dilute lemon or lime juice has subtle acidic properties that help dissolve away the coating of mineral residue. Its acidic nature is dilute enough to be harmless for the leaves of the orchid plant. Also, it is an effective cleaning substance for the underside of the orchid leaves.
  • Mayonnaise: The lime content in it carries out a function similar to the dilute lime or lemon juice. Applying mayonnaise on the leaves of the orchids for the cleaning purpose has an additional benefit. It adds an extra shine to their leaves and makes the dull-looking leaves radiant and healthy.
  • Baby Shampoo: It is not just efficient but delicate enough for cleaning the leaves of your orchid plants.
  • Dilute detergent Powder: It does the same quality of work in cleaning the orchid leaves as the baby shampoo. The only difference is that the detergent powder is more concentrated than the baby shampoos and requires more dilution than the baby shampoos.

How to keep your orchid leaves shiny?

Dull and shine-less leaves of your orchids are mainly due to the coating of mineral residue and dust on them. Mayonnaise is the best solution if you want your orchids to have shiny leaves. It is because the mayonnaise contains lime or lemon properties, and they carry a subtle acidic nature.

The acidic nature dissolves the layer of mineral residue form on the surface of the leaves of your orchid plants.

The chemicals that it dissolves are magnesium and calcium.

Also, if the mayonnaise is homemade, ensure the omission of salt in the list of ingredients.

And, if there is dust on the leaves, then the use of water is more than enough to bring shine to them. Also, the dullness in the leaves of the orchid plants may result from dehydration and watering issues.

Therefore, in such instances, ensure regular watering of the orchids and use the correct watering techniques.


Orchids genuinely are the most exotic and exquisite examples of flowers on this planet.

Their endless varieties leave you wondering which one to take for ornamenting your home or garden.

They are gorgeous pieces of aesthetics that inevitably embellish your gardens, or anywhere you tend to raise them.

But, as you receive the showers of beauty from the orchids, you have to pay back to them with your delicate and consistent manner of taking care of them.

There are many ways to ensure their proper growth and nourishment, and many factors determine the health and appropriate development of the flowers.

Regular watering, optimum temperature, and protection from pests are essential for raising the perfect orchids.

Choose the substance that is perfect for the type and species of orchid you own and enjoy the lovely vision of the colorful orchids.