How to Keep Fake Plants Looking New

How to Keep Fake Plants Looking New

I can’t keep anything alive. I’m not talking about children or pets, thank goodness, but my succulents, fresh-cut flowers, fully grown lemon trees all last an embarrassingly short time. I know rubber plants are notoriously difficult to keep alive, but when my snake plant went south last year—while I was working from home every day, no less—I knew I had a problem.  

how to clean fake plants

How to Clean Fake Plants

The good news is that fake plants—or faux foliage, as I prefer to call them—have come a long way in the last few decades. In fact, my monstera plant is so believable that when friends stayed at my apartment for two weeks, they watered it faithfully, completely ignorant of the fact that the soil wasn’t real, either. I credit the fact that I know the right way to clean a fake plant. (And yes, there is a right way.) 


There are a few ways you can go about it, and it’s all personal preference. If your plant is as light as mine is, throw a towel or a sheet underneath it, then run a feather duster over it to remove any initial grime. If you hate the idea of dust in the air, skip this step and grab a microfiber towel to gently remove the dust from each individual leaf. If it’s been months, wet the cloth with a gentle cleaner, like our All-Purpose Cleaner.  

Add Some Gleam

If you want your plants to look alive, here’s the one step you can’t miss: Once the dust is sufficiently removed, grab a dry rag or a disposable towel and dab a bit of Leather Cleaner on it. Condition all of the leaves, taking special care of the leaves on top. The canola and orange peel oils in the Leather Cleaner will leave it shiny—but not greasy. Plus, it might even smell better than the real deal.  

Keep up with it by dusting it once a week, and re-oil it monthly to keep it in perfect shape. In the meantime, is anyone open to starting a faux plant support group?  

xx mlk