Why You Should Be Cleaning Your Indoor Plants

When your house is a disaster, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is cleaning your plants, but you should. That’s because houseplants get dirty and dusty just like anything else in your home, even if cleaning them requires some specialized know-how. Many cleaning products (and even gentle soaps) can damage a plant’s leaves and roots, so it’s worth knowing how to spruce them up without causing lasting harm. You’ll need to use different tactics for different types of plants. Smaller plants can be carefully dunked into a sink to remove light coatings of dust. Be careful when turning the plant over so as not to displace it from its container or tear it from the roots, and lightly swish the leaves back and forth. Most of the time, you can wipe down the leaves of larger plants with a microfiber cloth dampened in lukewarm water, beginning with the top- and innermost leaves and moving gently from stem to tip, but that is difficult for, say, a cactus. In these cases, a feather duster works well. Make sure to clean the underside of the leaves, where insects like to lay eggs, and use a different cloth for each plant so you're not spreading any contaminants to other plants in your house. Once you're done with the leaves, brush the stems and give the pots a quick wipe as well. Avoid using chemicals and soaps, which can harm the leaves and roots of your plants. If you want to keep bugs at bay, gently rub the leaves with a banana peel, which will remove the dust and leave behind a film that can effectively repel aphids.