Good As New
Tips for cleaning permanent and dried flower arrangements and plants.
When it comes to cleaning dust and dirt from permanent, dried and preserved flowers and plants, you may have heard about — or even used — lots of “home remedy”-type techniques, including those involving feather dusters, dryer sheets, vacuum cleaners, blow driers, salt or corn meal in a paper bag, rubbing alcohol, vinegar and water — and on and on.
Unfortunately, some of these nonprofessional cleaning methods can damage fabric flowers and plants or leave a sticky mess on top of the dust. And, without using a product specially formulated for cleaning permanent botanicals, it is difficult to get into all of the nooks and crannies.
Cleaners are available in several formulations as well as in aerosol and/or pump spray (see “‘Silk’ and Dried Cleaners,” below). Some are sprayed on and “magically” clean with no wiping. These types are best for delicate silk and dried arrangements. Other formulations require wiping or washing after applying, and they are best for sturdy large-leaf plants. Some claim to be environmentally friendly, and some don’t.
Regardless of the product(s) you choose to use in your store — or sell to consumers — be sure to follow these suggestions. And if you sell fabric flower cleaners in your store — or give them away with large orders and purchases — print copies of these tips to give to consumers.
• Be sure to choose the right product for the job; products that require wiping are not ideal for arrangements of delicate botanicals.
• Test the product on an inconspicuous spot before spraying the entire arrangement or plant.
• Always move the arrangement or plant to a good workspace or outdoors before cleaning. Furniture and tablecloths could be damaged or soiled by cleaning products and displaced dust.
• When using pump sprays that require wiping, have paper towels and water nearby. Placing the arrangement or plant outdoors or in a sink is recommended.
• Spray the arrangement or plant thoroughly, covering the top and bottom of petals and leaves.
• Don’t wait to clean arrangements or plants until they are heavily soiled. Preventive maintenance is much easier and helps flowers last longer.
• Protect arrangements and plants from dust and grime during heavy house/office cleaning or remodeling by covering them with lightweight plastic bags such as dry-cleaning bags.
“Silk” and Dried Cleaners
Here are 14 top cleaning products for fabric, dried and preserved botanicals. Many are available at wholesale florists; check with your favorite supplier.
Chrysal Silk & Dried Flower Cleaner
Design Master Silk Flower Cleaner
Design Master Color Tool
Dri Splendor Dried Floral Cleaner
FloraCraft Silk Plant Cleaner
Newlife Artificial Flower & Plant Cleaner
Natural Decorations, Inc. (NDI)
Nu-Leaf Artificial Plant Cleaner
Nu-Dell Manufacturing Co., Inc
Panacea Silk Flower & Foliage Cleaner
The Flower Depot
QCI Silk Plant & Flower Cleaner
QCI Clean / QCI Direct.com
Silk Flower & Artificial Plant Cleaner
Silk ’N Splendor Silk Plant Treatment
Silk ReNu Artificial Flower Freshener
Plant Marvel Laboratories, Inc.
Silk ReNu Artificial Plant Cleaner
Plant Marvel Laboratories, Inc.
Simply Silk - Silk Plant Cleaner
Spring Dried Flower Spray
The John Henry Company