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How to Dust House Plants

By Ann Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Everything in the home gets dusty, even house plants. Removing the dust from the leaves of house plants will not only improve the appearance of the plants, but it also will be beneficial to their health. Some horticulturalists take dusting a step further and suggest occasional bathing of smooth-surface leaves in warm, soapy water to help control pests.

Support the leaf being dusted in one hand. Be gentle.

Wipe the dust from the leaf, using a soft cloth dampened with water. Continue to support the leaf with one hand. Do not wipe hairy-surfaced leaves, such as those on an African violet.

Dust a hairy-surfaced leaf by gently sweeping it with a clean, soft artist’s paintbrush.

Cover the soil with a plastic bag and set the pot in the shower, if your smooth-leaved plant needs a heavier cleaning.

Bathe the leaves and stems with mild, soapy water, keeping the water between 90 and 100 degrees F. Follow steps 1 and 2, yet use mild soapy water instead of just water.

Rinse off the soap, using a light and gentle spay from a hand-held shower head. Gently shake off the excess water and allow the plant to dry overnight.


Things You Will Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Paintbrush
  • Plastic bag
  • Mild soap

About the Author


Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.