Not to offer up more work, but there’s another item you should add to your “to dust” list at least once a month: houseplants

You know the routine … You dust the coffee table, bookshelves and mantel only to look at them the next day and, you guessed it, there’s the dust again. Dust, pet hair and cobwebs just accumulate overnight. It seems we just can’t catch up on our dusting no matter how hard we try.


Not to offer up more work, but there’s another item you should add to your “to dust” list at least once a month: houseplants. Certainly, your plants will look better if you remove the dust and grime that’s settled onto the leaves, but you’ll also improve the health of your plants. They absorb sunlight through leaves, and if those leaves are covered in a dusty film, they aren’t getting enough food (remember, fourth-grade science and something called “photosynthesis?”)


Houseplants are also prone to gnats, mites and other little bugs that don’t get washed away in the rain like your outdoor plants. So taking a few minutes to wipe the leaves will make you aware of any unwanted creatures and give your indoor ivy or spider plant a little extra TLC.


Here are a few tips for cleaning houseplants from and

    • Take the plants outside or put them in the shower and simply spray them clean (be sure to use lukewarm water so you don’t damage the leaves with drastic temperatures).
    • You also can use soapy water to dislodge the grime, but just be sure you thoroughly rinse the plants so soap residue doesn’t clog the leaves’ breathing pores.
    • Wipe off each leaf if your plants are too big to move or you’re limited on time.
    • Use a soft brush to clean plants with fuzzy or sticky leaves, such as African violets.
    • Give the plant an overall trim; cut off any dead leaves or flowers.
    • Wipe down the pot and the surrounding area. It’s easy for some dirt to spill or blow out the pot. And if the plant is sitting in the corner, it’s not uncommon for dust, dirt or little cobwebs to gather in the space behind the pot.

    Plants are a great addition to your home. They not only brighten up the space, but they absorb toxins and cleanse the air. But they can’t do their job if you don’t do yours and give them a dusting every now and then.