An Easy 2-Step Process to Shine Your Indoor Plant Leaves


While outdoor plants are my preferred plants, I’ve had house plants for as long as I can remember.

Even in a well kept house with only one occupant, dust will find its way onto surfaces, even plant surfaces. Then, take someone like me who has a household consisting of two humans and a couple four-legged dust collectors (a.k.a. dogs), and the house can get embarrassingly dusty. Plants are no exception.

I do a [almost] weekly vacuuming and dusting of our downstairs/main level, but the dusting only gets done in the living room. Since we spend 90 percent of our in-the-house waking hours between the living room and the upstairs home office, it’s no surprise the living room gets so much dirt.

When life gets a little busy, or I choose to just take it easy, two weeks may go by before the vacuum and cleaning rags come out. That’s a scary time. When I see just how filthy the room gets in a two-week period, you’d think these dogs have marsupial pouches they cram dirt into all day long. As soon as we get home and turn our backs … that’s got to be when they reach into those DEEP pouches, grab hands paws full, and just throw it … everywhere.

I can’t imagine what our house will be like when we get a couple goats. JUST “kidding.” The goats won’t be allowed in the living room. That’s what the spare bedroom is for.

Stay focused, Holly. Shiny leaves.

Even if you don’t want to shine your plant leaves, it’s important to periodically clean the leaves. If the leaves get too much dirt on them, it can hinder the plant’s photosynthesis process.

Maybe 20 years ago, my mom told me how to get shiny plant leaves. (This is only for smooth surfaced leaves, not fuzzy leaves.)

Here’s how you shine those plant leaves:

  1. Remove the dirt from the leaves.

    There are a couple ways you can do this. Take a damp cotton rag and wipe the dirt off the leaves; or place the plant in the sink, tub, or shower, and run lukewarm water over the leaves. (I’ve heard that hot and cold water can harm some plants. I’m not sure if that’s true or not.)

    Allow the leaves to air dry, or gently wipe the leaves with a dry cotton rag.

  2. Wipe the leaves with a milky rag.

    Pour a little milk into a bowl, and dip the rag (I sometimes use a paper towel) into the milk. Ring out excess milk so that you end up with a wrung out damp rag. While supporting the bottom of the leaf, gently wipe the top of the leaf with the milky rag. Allow to air dry.

    Trust me, you won’t end up with smelly, spoiled, or moldy (from the milk) leaves.

Don’t bother with chemical shine sprays. There are healthier and cheaper ways to shine those leaves.

A couple notes:

The top photo was taken right after we received this beautiful plant as a gift. I don’t know if the flower shop shined the leaves naturally or chemically.

Since we don’t have raw milk, I’ve never used it for this purpose. I’ve only used pasteurized milk for this.

How do you shine your indoor plant leaves?

This was shared on the following blog hops and link-ups:
‘Encourage One Another’ Wednesday Link-Up
From the Farm Blog Hop
Homestead Barn Hop
Simple Lives Thursday
The Homesteaders Hop
Wednesday’s Prayer Girls & Link-Up Party

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