Yes, this is a post about how to clean artificial flowers: I shall make no apology for the amount of housekeeping posts which I am publishing at the moment: When I’m rushing in and out of the flat between meetings, trips, and errands, it’s hard to focus on the minutiae of cleaning. However it turns out that there is nothing like being stuck at home to make one view one’s surrounding with a jaundiced eye.
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I’m trying to set aside an hour a day for proper deep-cleaning, as opposed to the usual dusting, vacuuming, floor washing et cetera. That means taking magic sponges to the scuffed paintwork, feeding all my brown furniture with beeswax, taking photos out of frames and washing the glass, cleaning the silver, slowly emptying out the Kilner jars which live on the open kitchen shelves and putting them through a hot cycle to get rid of accumulated kitchen grease, emptying out and cleaning inside cupboards, and today’s task, which was to find a way to clean all the multitude of faux flowers in my flat.
Because my flat is in the basement, or the lower ground floor, of my building it doesn’t have a lot of natural light. Each room only has windows on one side, either east or west, and this means that each side of the apartment is in darkness for half of each day. (Without the very good LED ceiling lights all round the house I would be living in Stygian gloom.)
That lack of natural light, especially in the hallway, bathroom, and guest loo, none of which have windows, means that keeping plants alive is almost impossible. And, of course, in normal times, I travel frequently so I only buy fresh flowers when I know I will be home for at least a week.
I realised quite some time ago that artificial flowers and plants were a very practical solution for me. It also occurs to me that, as buying sprays of flowers presents quite the challenge at the moment, that an investment in some pretty artificial blooms might be quite a good idea. (If you need to send flowers online however, I do have a guide here.)
In my old flat I always had white hydrangeas in the kitchen on top of the drinks cupboard (above), and I decided to emulate that in my hallway here with very pretty white faux hydrangea blossoms which I bought from Homesense in Brent Park.
In the bathroom I have white faux peonies, also from Homesense, there are pretty pink faux ranuncului from IKEA by my bed, and a big jug of faux eucalyptus and apple blossom from Rtfact Flowers (press sample) goes on the dining table in spring. (At the end of the post, I recommend some online flowers worth checking out.)
Of course, unlike fresh flowers and plants, faux flowers get really, really dusty. And there’s also the hygiene issue if you keep fake flowers in the bathroom or the loo: they really need to be cleaned at least once a week. I’ve tried sucking the dust off with a hoover nozzle, and with my handheld Shark Vacuum (press sample), but it doesn’t really work because the flowers start getting sucked up the tube. So I mainly resorted to spraying them all with Dettol on a regular basis, but this doesn’t deal with the dust issue.
Today I decided that I would put them through the dishwasher on a long cycle – 45°, to see if this would work. And a huge success! nothing melted or dissolved and, after an afternoon in the sunshine in the garden, they are now dried out and back in place.
If you are looking for good faux flowers then in non-lockdown times, I highly recommend Homesense and IKEA. Online at the moment, John Lewis also has a really great selection – I rather covet these branches of artificial cherry blossom, and these very pretty pink old fashioned roses which would be lovely next to the bed.