Artificial bamboo plants can be a beautiful alternative to living bamboo, but it can be quite unsightly if your faux bamboo plant is collecting dust, dirt, or grime. Though they generally require little care, artificial bamboo plants do need a little cleaning every now and then to keep them looking like new.
How you clean your artificial bamboo plant depends on the type of material it’s made out of. For most artificial bamboo plants, you can dust regularly or deep clean by wiping with a wet cloth or even giving the leaves a shower. By contrast, silk artificial bamboo differs from polyester or plastic plants, and requires gentler cleaning methods.
In this article, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions for all the different ways you can clean your artificial bamboo plants. Artificial bamboo can be large and challenging to move around, so which method will work best depends on how your artificial bamboo is set up. Let’s dive in!
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Why should you clean your artificial bamboo plants?
Like anything in your home or outdoor space, dust or dirt can quickly build up on materials, impacting how long those materials remain in good condition. While artificial bamboo plants need much less maintenance than a living, breathing plant, it isn’t exactly something you can let sit for years without looking at it.
That is, unless you don’t mind it looking unsightly or potentially causing other problems in your home.
Not only can a dust-covered artificial bamboo plant look terrible, but it can also become an irritant if you or someone else in your home suffers from a dust allergy.
Allergies and respiratory conditions, including asthma, can become a concern when there is excessive dust in the home.
How often should you clean your artificial bamboo?
The longer you wait between cleaning your faux bamboo plant, the more effort will be needed to clean it.
If you dust your home each week, you can easily incorporate your artificial bamboo into the routine.
Even if you dust frequently, we recommend deep cleaning your artificial bamboo plant every 3-6 months.
Some variables may require you to clean your leaves sooner, depending on how quickly the dust accumulates in your home (which often happens faster if you have pets) or if you are keeping your artificial bamboo plants outdoors where they are exposed to the elements.
How to clean artificial bamboo plants (non-silk)
There are two main kinds of artificial bamboo plants: those with leaves made from woven or cut plastic (usually polyester) and those made from silk. Not surprisingly, the ones made with plastic tend to be more durable, making them better for outdoor use and easier to clean.
To dust your artificial bamboo plants, all you need is a microfiber cloth or duster.
Run it across the leaves to capture the dust, making sure to work top-to-bottom to avoid dust settling on already-dusted areas. If the leaves are tiny, you can use a paintbrush or a makeup brush to dust the leaves gently.
Another fun hack is using a dryer sheet, which will remove the dust and leave your bamboo with a fresh smell! Make sure to vacuum the floor afterward to capture any stray dust particles.
If you keep up with dusting your artificial bamboo plant regularly, you’ll have a much easier time keeping it clean. Not to mention, it will look much more vibrant and life-like!
Deep cleaning with a hose or shower
To deep-clean your artificial bamboo, you can actually give it a wash with a hose or shower. This method works best for polyester or plastic artificial bamboo plants, not silk bamboo plants (which we’ll cover below).
All you need is:
- A shower or a hose that can dispense room-temperature water
- A plastic bag such as a garbage bag
Step 1: If your faux bamboo is easy to move, take it into the shower or outside where you can use a hose to spray it down.
Step 2: Wrap a plastic bag or a garbage bag around the portions of your artificial bamboo plant that you’d prefer to keep dry, such as the pot or the medium holding the plant in place. Seal the top of the bag to ensure the water doesn’t leak through – you can use tape or an elastic band.
Step 3: Using room temperature water, spray the leaves down gently. Rinse the leaves, stems, and wherever dust, dirt, or pet hair has collected.
Step 4: Allow your faux bamboo plant to dry outdoors in the shade or in an area with plenty of airflow to prevent water from sitting on the leaves. Set it on a towel to catch additional water if it is dripping wet.
Wiping the leaves
If your artificial bamboo plant is difficult to move around or you don’t want to get it soaking wet, you may want to clean it by hand instead.
This process tends to be a bit more time-consuming, but you may find it enjoyable to spend some time shining up your artificial bamboo leaves by hand!
You will need:
- A microfiber cloth
- A spray bottle
- Room temperature water
Step 1: Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe all areas of the leaves and stems where dust and dirt have collected. You may need to rinse your cloth a few times if it is particularly dusty!
Step 2: Use a spray bottle filled with room-temperature water to get into harder-to-reach areas. As with dusting, work top-to-bottom to allow any excess moisture to drip down.
Step 3: Allow your faux bamboo plant to air dry, and enjoy its clean, shiny leaves!
Optional vinegar spray
If plain water doesn’t help remove stubborn grime from your artificial bamboo, you can try making a vinegar cleaning solution. Mix 1 part water and 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle and give your artificial bamboo a good preliminary spray before using either the shower/hose or wiping method to get it all off.
If your artificial bamboo is extra grimy, feel free to spray it with the vinegar solution and let it sit for 3-5 minutes before removing it. This is particularly helpful if you keep your artificial bamboo outdoors.
Another hack is using hairspray to clean dust off your artificial bamboo plant. The alcohol dissolves the dust, and the holding chemicals will leave a coating that gives the leaves a bit of a shine.
Make sure to test this method first on a few leaves in an inconspicuous area of your artificial bamboo plant to make sure you’re happy with the results.
To use hairspray to clean your faux bamboo plant, apply a liberal amount of hairspray to the foliage. Make sure to do so in an area that is well-ventilated, preferably outdoors.
Keep the nozzle about 8 inches away from the plant and apply an even coat. Ideally, use a hair spray product that is paraben-free with a fine mist. We also recommend going with a fragrance-free one so you don’t have to deal with the smell of hairspray in your space.
How to clean artificial silk bamboo plants
Some artificial bamboo plants are made with silk, usually for the leaves. This results in a beautiful, life-like artificial bamboo plant, but the normal cleaning methods can be harmful to the delicate silk.
Some types of silk bamboo can tolerate getting wet, but depending on the material and manufacturer, the colors can bleed or run when they get wet.
If you’re unsure whether the colors might run, test clean a small portion of your artificial bamboo plant that isn’t visible.
Luckily, running tends to be more of a problem with flowering artificial plants, but it is better to be safe than sorry!
Homemade silk leaf cleaner
For silk leaves where running is a concern, you want to avoid getting the plant wet at all costs. Instead, you can clean your artificial bamboo with table salt or cornmeal.
Step 1: Place half a cup of either salt or cornmeal into a plastic bag large enough for your silk leaves. Place the portion of the leaves in the bag and seal it with some tape or a rubber band. You may have to tip over your artificial bamboo plant if it has long stems to make this step easier.
Step 2: Gently shake the bag with foliage in it for a few minutes. The salt or the cornmeal is an abrasive material, so while you shake the bag, it will pull any dirt or dust off the silk leaves.
Step 3: Remove the bag, preferably outdoors. Shake the leaves again, allowing any loose salt or cornmeal to dislodge. Then you can use a hairdryer (preferably on the cool setting) to gently blast away any additional cornmeal/salt, dust, and debris from the leaves.
Step 4: Repeat with other areas of your faux bamboo plant until the whole plant is clean.
Other ways to clean artificial silk bamboo plants
You may find the above method doesn’t work too well if you have a particularly large artificial bamboo plant or a plant that you cannot easily tip over.
In that case, you can just use a hairdryer or an air compressor to blow away any dust or debris from your plant. Alternatively, wipe it clean with a dry microfiber cloth.
You can also find specialty silk plant cleaners online or in hardware stores.
With that said, we recommend testing any new product on an inconspicuous leaf before completely spraying down your bamboo plant.
FAQ about artificial bamboo plants
Can I use a vacuum cleaner to clean my artificial bamboo plant?
Yes, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from your artificial bamboo plant if you’re careful. Make sure that the vacuum isn’t so strong that it could also catch the foliage or other parts of your artificial bamboo plant, which could cause a lot of damage. Some vacuums have an option to set it on a lower-power setting, such as for curtains.
Should I remove my artificial bamboo from its pot before cleaning it?
Most of the time, you don’t need to remove your faux bamboo from its pot to clean it. If you can easily remove your faux bamboo from its pot, you can certainly do that if it is more convenient. Most of the time, however, artificial plants are glued to a substrate or a pot. If you’re worried about getting the pot or substrate wet, you can simply cover the base with a plastic bag during cleaning.
How do I prevent dust from accumulating on my artificial bamboo plant?
A little dust is unavoidable, but the best way to minimize dust building up on your artificial bamboo is to keep a tidy household by regularly vacuuming the floors and cleaning all surfaces. Dust tends to breed more dust, so spending a little time here and there will make a huge difference.
Another way to prevent dust from building up is to invest in an air purifier to reduce any contaminants in the air.