7 Best Tricks to Clean Water Stains from Plants

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Worried About your houseplants looking dull and full of white spots? Don’t worry! Learn the Best Tricks to Clean Water Stains from Plants!

image showing Tricks to Clean Water Stains from Plants!

Hard water spots on your houseplants’ leaves can take away their beauty, making the leaves look dull and lackluster. It’ll also hamper the ability to absorb light, which will prevent the plant from photosynthesizing properly, stunting its growth in the process. Make your green buddies shine all the time with the help of these Best Tricks to Clean Water Stains from Plants!

Here are the best ways to clean houseplants

Best Tricks to Clean Water Stains from Plants

1. Vinegar and Water

Best Tricks to Clean Water Stains from Plants
shutterstock/Marys Poly

Vinegar is quite potent when it comes to cleaning off the watermarks from leaves. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of white vinegar in a liter of water. Pour the content in a spray bottle, mix well, and spray it on the foliage.

Let it sit there for a few seconds, and then wipe using a damp cotton cloth. Do this once in a while to keep the leaves spanking clean!

2. Soap and Water

Add 6-8 drops of any liquid soap in a liter of water and mix well. Once it lathers up, dip a cotton cloth in the solution and clean the leaves with it. Once done, wipe the leaves clean with a separate cotton cloth, damp with clean water.

3. Neem Oil

image showing use of Neem Oil to clean water strain
shutterstock/Sarayut Sridee

Combine 2-3 drops of liquid soap and half a teaspoon of concentrated neem oil in a gallon of water. Pour this mix into a spray bottle. Shake well and spritz on the leaves of houseplants and wipe away with a damp microfiber cloth.

The additional advantage of using neem oil is it will help to keep pests at bay.

4. Lemon Juice and Water

Like the vinegar and water method, lemon or lime juice mixed with water works well in cleaning the plant leaves. Combine one teaspoon of lime or lemon juice and 600 ml of water.

Stir well, pour it into a spray bottle, spray it on the leaves and let it sit for 15-20 seconds. Wipe off with a damp cotton cloth. 

Like vinegar and water, the acid in lemon juice will help break down the mineral deposits present in hard water. 

5. Distilled Water 

Best Tricks to Clean Water Stains from Plants 2

Use plain distilled water to wipe away the plant leaves’ water stains gently. Pick a cotton pad or swab or a gentle damp cloth for best results. However, this will only work if the stains are slight and minor. 

Remember to use only lukewarm water and do not use hot or cold water to avoid causing any shock or stress to the plant’s root system. 

6. Milk 

Best Tricks to Clean Water Stains from Plants 3
shutterstock/Anastasia Gubinskaya

Combine milk and water equally and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Now, spritz the leaves with this mix and let it sit for 5-8 mins. Wipe with a damp cotton cloth. 

Milk can be used as a mild pesticide due to its potential to attack aphids and cut down the mosaic leaf virus. Milk is sometimes also used as an antifungal solution to stop the case of powdery mildew.

Check out some awesome milk uses in the garden here

7. Banana Peels

image showing use of Banana peels  to clean water strain

Banana peels can help you get rid of the water stains from the surfaces of plant leaves while helping them to have a healthy glow. 

Use the inner wall of the banana skin to wipe down each leaf gently on both sides. It will wipe away the stains while leaving behind a sheen on the foliage!

Have a look at some amazing banana peel uses here

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  1. I get so annoyed when my patio plants get stained from the rain! I’ve used vinegar and water but never would have thought to use banana peel. How interesting! I’ll give it a try!


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