Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cleaning Dried Flower Arrangements

How many times have you walked past a dried flower arrangement in your house and cringed at the dust on it? I love dried flowers but they're a lot of trouble to clean. Before I found this shortcut I would spend way too long picking out the dust clumps and strands of dog fur (who knows how those floated up in the air and landed on the arrangements) and then I'd take a damp paper towel or rag and wipe each petal of the flower clean. If it was a silk-flower arrangement I'd take it apart and soak the flowers and greens in a tub of soapy water--but when I tried to put the arrangement back together I could never get it to look like it did before.

A friend passed along this incredible tip for cleaning silk or dried-flower arrangements. Take the arrangement out to the garage--make sure the garage door is up or if your back porch or patio has an outlet take the flowers out there. Check which way the wind is blowing ( I learned this the hard way after I got a face full of dust) Use the medium /cool setting and blow dry the arrangement. Most of the dust will fly right off and be carried away by the wind. Next use a silk-plant cleaner (Hobby Lobby sells a silk flower spray--sign up for their internet e-mails and you'll receive a 40% off coupon once in awhile) The spray will clean the rest of the dust off and make the flowers smell nice.

Marin Thomas
Samantha's Cowboy (August 2009)


Lisa Ruff said...

Well, my answer has always been to just not touch them and maybe the even coating of dust will look like it's natural (similar to my furniture when I'm in a writing crunch). Yours is a much better one.

Christa said...

yup those arrangements never look the same when I try to put it back together.
Got any advice on how to dust a 3 ft ceramic Christmas tree with like 50 pegs for lights, other than taking each of the pegs out?

Marin Thomas said...

Lisa--I'm guilty of letting the house go when I've got a writing deadline, too. I've been known to walk by a table and drag my sweatshirt sleeve across it to dust it :-)

Christa--hmmm, a ceramic tree? Okay, I'm going to be cheeky here with my advice :-) Instead of a blow dryer try anchoring the tree to a porch rail outside the next time there's a tornado warning in your area--maybe sustained winds of 60 miles an hour will do the job :-)


Christa said...

heehee great advice Marin expt 3 thing 1) I live in Canada and I don't know if I ever recall a tornadoe warning here (I think they just call them high winds)2) I live in an apartment and don't have a porch. Have a balcony, but doesn't get super windy there (depending what way wind is blowing 3) The tree has a crack already(think it broke) my sister glued it then covered it with silver sparkle glue to cover crack so afraid to move it, besides it's super heavy.
if it's just the tree I can take the damp cloth to is but it's those silly pegs. sigh Guess I'll keep taking pegs out then dusting it and then putting pegs back in. BTW I am NOT creating a diagram to tell me where the pegs go back into. I don't care if 2 reds are near each other :-)

Marin Thomas said...

Christa--I guess you do have a problem :-) What about doing what your sister did with the crack--each year add another layer of silver glitter to cover last year's dust :-)

Good luck with your tree--you deserve a special medal for having that kind of patience!


Christa said...

I figure it's a good trade off to trying to trying to put up a atificial tree where I had to try to figure out where branches go(most of those color paper bands had come off), rearrange furnature so tree fits, run around apartment hunting down extesion cords and power bars, untangle lights, test lights (they work fine till I get them on tree), crawl under desk to turn lights on and off, sweep up artificial pine needles, do it all in reverse 3-4 weeks later and wonder why tree won't fit back in box, it came out so it should go back in :-)

Cindi Myers said...

I need to find some of that silk flower spray. Thanks for the tip, Marin.

Wind Chimes said...

I've found a great product call dry splendor. You just spray it on and then let it dry, it brings back the original luster they had and will help repell dust in the future. So far so good for my dried flower arrangement. The only place I know that carries it is:

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