How to Clean House Plants


Taking care of indoor plants is very much like caring for your garden, but on a smaller scale. Houseplants require feeding, watering and pruning to stay healthy. Cleaning the foliage is an important part of houseplant maintenance and should be routinely performed. Too much dust on the foliage clogs the pores and prevents the sun's energy from reaching the plant.

Step 1

Wipe the leaves of large plants with a soft, damp cloth or moist sponge. Begin wiping at the point where the leaf joins the main stem and gently wipe to the tip of the leaf.

Step 2

Dunk the heads of small plants into a bowl of water. Hold the pot at the soil level so that the plant and the soil don't fall out, tip the plant over. and place the leaves in the water. Gently swish the plant in the water, remove and allow to air-dry.

Step 3

Clean fuzzy foliage with a soft infant's toothbrush. Gently run the brush over the leaves to remove the dust.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Bowl
  • Infant's toothbrush or other soft brush


  • "Foliage Houseplants"; James Underwood Crockett; 2001
  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service: Indoor Plant Care
  • Colorado State University: Winter Is A Good Time To Groom Your Houseplants
Keywords: clean houseplants, clean houseplant foliage, houseplant foliage cleaning

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.