Weekend Projects

Your Houseplants Need Dusting—So Here’s One Way to Clean Plants That’s Fun for You, Too

updated Jan 30, 2020
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Credit: Chinasa Cooper

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

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Dusting plants is what I like to call a “wow, must be nice to have that kind of time” chore. We know, for sure, that we should be dusting the leaves of our plants. Clean leaves help plants breathe and photosynthesize. But dusting each and every leaf is a task as tedious as they come, especially because plant leaf dust rarely comes off with a gentle brush of a duster—you usually have to wipe those emerald pretties by hand, leaf by leaf.

But this weekend, we’re going to get our plant leaves sparkling clean, and doing it is going to be fun for you, too. (Or at least, way less monotonous.)

This Weekend: Take a shower with your plants.

Showering with your plants allows you to “dust” them without ever having to deal directly with the dust. And your plants will be thrilled not only because their leaves will be clean, but because they’ll feel as if they’re out in the rain and getting a thorough soaking, too.

Here’s how to do it: Gather all of your house plants and bring them into the shower. Make sure they’re in well-draining pots; if any of your plants are planted in containers where the shower water won’t drain through, you’ll have to clean those by hand the old-fashioned way. If you have more houseplants than shower floor space, break up your houseplant shower into two different sessions. Enjoy your jungle shower and the happy, happy plants you’re about to have.

If for some reason you love the idea of well-watered, dusted plants but don’t want to take a shower with them, you can put them in your bathtub and use a shower hose for a plant spa day. Seeing all your plant babies in one spot will bring a smile to your face and your plants will thank you for your care just the same.

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You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.