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How to Revive Artificial Flowers

Revive silk flowers by cleaning them.
Mimi Haddon/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Artificial flowers appeal to many because, unlike real flowers, they will last a long time and do not require a lot of care. However, as with other decorative accessories, they will collect dust over time, which will mar their appearance. There are several methods for cleaning dust off artificial flowers, and they range from the traditional to the modern. Each method requires few supplies and can be completed in a short amount of time.

Things You'll Need:

  • Artificial flower spray
  • Salt
  • Paper bag
  • Cloth
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Towel
  • Hair dryer
  • Vacuum cleaner


  • Do not wash or soak artificial flowers in hot water. The heat will melt the the glue used to hold the flowers together.

Clean the flowers with a chemical spray for artificial flowers. These sprays are designed to dissolve the dust off the flowers and stems. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for best results.

Pour half a cup of salt into a paper bag. Place a bunch of silk flowers into the bag and hold the open end shut. Shake the bag for about a minute and then remove the flowers. The salt will scrub the dust off the flowers and leaves to make the bunch look fresh again.

Wipe the flowers and leaves with a damp cloth. If the dust remains, then dip the flowers in a mixture of water and dish soap. Swish them around gently to loosen the dust, then rinse them in cool water and lay them on a towel to air-dry.

You can also blow-dry them with a hair dryer on a cool setting. It is important to test a small portion of one flower or stem for color fastness before dipping the bunch in water.

According to Ardith Beveridge in “Fabulous Faux Florals: 50 Easy, Extraordinary Projects with Silk Flowers and Permanent Botanicals,” some stems can lose their color when dipped in water.

Take the dust off the flowers with a vacuum cleaner. Use an attachment that is small enough to go over the leaves and flowers without sucking them up. You can also blow the dust off the flowers with a hair dryer. If you choose this option, it is best to do it outside.

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