My first memory of artificial flowers is of not liking them. I thought they were ugly and it seemed like they were usually dirty. Since that time much nicer fake flowers are available but they still have the problem of getting dirty. Fortunately cleaning them is not that hard!
My favorite method for cleaning is to either fill the sink with warm water and a little bit of dish soap or simply use the kids bath water after they are done if it isn't to dirty. Then take your flowers (if you are doing a whole arrangement hold it carefully upside down, trying to keep everything in place with your fingers) and simply swish them gently through the water. You will be amazed at all the dirt that will come off. Then gently rinse them with plain water and shake them a little to get the water off and set on a towel to let dry. They look so much fresher after that treatment and all of the ones I have tried this on come through it just fine. A few of the flowers might fall off but you can just figure out where they go and stick them back on.
This week I took down a swag from the door in our kitchen and I hadn't cleaned it in ages, it was so grossly dirty that I thought about just throwing it away, but when the kids took there bath tonight I decided to wash it afterwards instead. It looks much better now. This swag was made primarily of dried Eucalyptus which works fine to wash too.
Now that I can get fake flowers clean I like them much better. I still prefer fresh but in the winter when they are cost prohibitive some fake flowers are nice.
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