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Thread: Cleaning silk flowers

  1. #1
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    Cleaning silk flowers

    My neighbor is moving and gave me three large silk/plant flower arrangements. They are quite lovely but dusty. Is there an easy way to clean the flower pedals and leaves besides wiping each individual pedal and leaf? I've never owned artificial plants before so I have no idea where to start.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I just cleaned mine before I moved by lightly spraying with the sprayer on my kitchen faucet in sink and they cleaned them up nicely. Mine are all leaves and hearty floral, nothing that looks delicate. Laid them out on the towel to dry. Then I went back with a wet paper towel and a little bit of dishwater soap to get the small sections the water missed. There use to be product sold at Costco but it was a tad expensive for my budget. Mine are outside plants since I wasn't born with a green thumb!!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I put mine in the shower ( warm water and low pressure) about every 6 months... I was a bit scared at first but got tired of trying to dust each leaf and petal. Too my surprise and delight that came out like new!

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I do mine like Lori S. If they're really forty I spray them with a diluted cleaner, then rinse. I do it outside in the summer time so I can spray all the surfaces.

  5. #5
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    I put mine in dish soap and water, gently swish, then put in rinse water, gently swish, then gently spray, then put on a towel to dry.

  6. #6
    Super Member Billi's Avatar
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    I was always told never use water to clean silk plants and flowers. I put mine in a paper bag with course salt and shake it up it knocks the dust and cobwebs off. I then shake them off outside.
    Billi
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  7. #7
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    I clean mine with an air compressor. Works well on lampshades too!

  8. #8
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    I'm another who pops them in the shower. Works great and haven't had any adverse effects yet. Will sit them outside in the shade to dry most times.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackie Spencer View Post
    I put mine in dish soap and water, gently swish, then put in rinse water, gently swish, then gently spray, then put on a towel to dry.
    This is how I do mine too.
    Julie
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  10. #10
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    I use the salt and shake method too. Instant satisfaction.

  11. #11
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    Two of the plant arrangements are in woven straw baskets, and I can't remove them. Will putting these in the shower ruin the baskets? They're too big to put in my kitchen sink. Maybe the air compresser is the best option?

  12. #12
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have had/have lots of arrangements, wreaths and such. I vacuum mine with the dust brush and wash them with the sprayer in the kitchen sink. I use a very soft spray. I let them drain through the baskets and moss they are planted in. I arranged them but I know I could never duplicate the arrangement. I have had them for probably 15 or so years.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anniedeb View Post
    I clean mine with an air compressor. Works well on lampshades too!
    OK I thought I was the only one who cleaned with an air compressor LOL. I have a small one for my long arm and thought I wouldn't use it that much. Well I use it all the time - works great to dust blinds, I can get the dust bunnies out from under the furniture, if I need to do a quick clean (in between quilts) I can blow all of the lint from under and away from my machine. Who Knew - I actually got this idea from a friend's husband, she was in the hospital and I went over to help clean before she cam home and he was in the house doing all of the floors with a leaf blower.

  14. #14
    Super Member Pollytink's Avatar
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    This isn't about cleaning them but just in general. Last fall I decided that since it was almost impossible for me to get out and water hanging plants, I'd hang a pot of silk flowers.....just stuck them in a hanging pot in which the plants had died. Believe it or not, they've lasted through all this winter storms and still look reasonably good! and it's been so nice to have some color I can see out my window by the desk. Will get more this spring!

    And thanks for all the great info about cleaning them for inside!!

  15. #15
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltstringz View Post
    OK I thought I was the only one who cleaned with an air compressor LOL. I have a small one for my long arm and thought I wouldn't use it that much. Well I use it all the time - works great to dust blinds, I can get the dust bunnies out from under the furniture, if I need to do a quick clean (in between quilts) I can blow all of the lint from under and away from my machine. Who Knew - I actually got this idea from a friend's husband, she was in the hospital and I went over to help clean before she cam home and he was in the house doing all of the floors with a leaf blower.
    What a great guy! That is so funny. Good idea though about the air compressor.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltstringz View Post
    OK I thought I was the only one who cleaned with an air compressor LOL. I have a small one for my long arm and thought I wouldn't use it that much. Well I use it all the time - works great to dust blinds, I can get the dust bunnies out from under the furniture, if I need to do a quick clean (in between quilts) I can blow all of the lint from under and away from my machine. Who Knew - I actually got this idea from a friend's husband, she was in the hospital and I went over to help clean before she cam home and he was in the house doing all of the floors with a leaf blower.
    LOL.....it was my husband that got me using the air compressor when he saw me gently cleaning the plants! Now I fire it up for tons of cleaning jobs!!

  17. #17
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    I would try dusting with compressed air first, a vacuum second, a damp cloth third, and running water as a last resort. Some of the higher quality silks are more delicate.

  18. #18
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    I put mine in the kitchen sink, suds up the water, put the flowers in the water and let them sit a minute or so, swish them around, empty out the water and rinse them until the suds are gone and then I hang them out on the line with a clothespin on the stem. Have done this for years and they still look like fresh flowers. Edie
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  19. #19
    Super Member duckydo's Avatar
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    I have heard the same thing to clean them in a sack with salt

  20. #20
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    I have used the salt method (using cheap table salt), the sink spray, and the sink dunk method to clean silk flowers. They all work. I prefer the salt method for larger arrangements, unless I want to mop the floor!

    Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and I would guess JoAnn's sell a silk flower cleaning spray. It works, too. The dirt just fizzles away. Where does it go? I don't know, but it is gone. The chemicals are a bit of a concern to me.

  21. #21
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    I love the idea of fake flowers in hanging baskets outside! Did that last year after investing $$$$ in lovely hanging baskets that lasted about a month then died...I went to goodwill bought a lot of their artificial flowers and stuck them I the pots...lovely for the rest of the summer and now in garage waiting for this years debut! Silk flowers....really silk or the cloth feeling ones that are all over?

  22. #22
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    I have some silk flowers that are so dusty .. now I know !! Thanks for the tips !!
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  23. #23
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    I use the JoAnns silk cleaning spray, the dust disappears with no wiping. I always do this outside due to whatever chemical is in it. I let it dry outside. That's it.

  24. #24
    Super Member wendiq's Avatar
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    I use the compressed air, too. There use to be a spray that you could buy that was made specifically for cleaning silk flowers. I got it in the Plant Section of JoAnn's. Have no idea if it's still available, but maybe....

  25. #25
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I put mine into the tub as I have a hand held sprayer. Worked for me and some of my silk flowers are over 20 years old. Yes, they're not sun faded as I keep them away from the windows. Sure beat cleaning each petal individually which I used to do. What a chore.
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