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How To Clean African Violet Leaves (3 Effective Ways)

As with all houseplants, basic hygienic procedures are required for African violets. This includes cleaning the leaves to remove dust and other contaminants. 

Soft velvety leaves can capture all kinds of dirt: dust, pets’ fur, or soil from outdoors.

This disrupts the photosynthesis process, makes breathing difficult, and creates an ideal environment for the spread of fungi and microbes, reducing the plant’s aesthetic appeal.

That’s why African violets require leaf cleaning every 1-2 months.

But, logically, how to “wash” violet leaves when the plant hates water on the leaves and water accumulation in the rosette (which causes rotting and death)?

I’m going to show you three simple methods for cleaning violet leaves without harming the plant or making a mess.

I put “wash” in quotes because these three methods aren’t typical and don’t involve a shower or a stream of water.

Healthy African Violet Leaves Are Shiny And Bright

Violet leaves should be glossy and bright green under normal growing conditions. You can tell it’s doing well by the way it looks now.

  • The ideal level of humidity in the air
  • There are no sources of dust pollution.
  • Absence of drafts;
  • Cleaning the area where the plants are kept regularly is essential.

Important: African violets don’t need special care to keep their leaves free of dust in good conditions. It is capable of self-cleaning.

Take immediate action if you find dirt on African violet leaves. Cleaning the leaves immediately is necessary for the following reasons:

  • Dust particles clog the leaf stomata.
  • In the normal process of photosynthesis, the dust gets in the way.
  • The plant is unable to get enough oxygen.
  • Violets with dirty leaves do not look good.
  • A place with a lot of dirt on the leaves is good for pathogenic infection.

African violets, like other indoor flowers, look nice when well-cared-for.

Dust-causing Factors

There are a lot of hairs on the leaf plates of African violet. As a result, some dust and water droplets can end up on them for several reasons.

Additionally, hairs can stick together and trap pollutants. As a result, the appearance of African violet is ruined, and conditions are created for the growth of disease-causing pathogens.

Take immediate action to eliminate violet leaf dirt from the leaves. So how do you remove dust from the leaves of an African violet?

First, let’s look at the leading causes of dust on violet leaves and how to avoid them.

The Room’s Humidity Level Is Subpar

Pots of African violets are commonly placed on window sills in city apartments, where the radiator is located.

Unfortunately, in these conditions, the air around the violets dries out, and the hairy leaves of your African Violet begin to collect dust. In turn, the plant’s aesthetic value diminishes.


Violets grow on window sills in the apartment, where window vents are frequently opened to ventilate the rooms.

As a result, particles of dust and soil particles enter the room through an open window sill and are deposited on the leaves of the violet.


People who live in cities are more likely to keep cats, dogs, and other animals in their homes. So there will be little bits of hair flying around your apartment.

This will happen, especially when animals shed their hair. It’s nearly impossible to remove these particles from the hairs of your African violet once they’ve landed on the leaves.

Home Renovations

People who own violets have difficulty taking care of them when they start to fix things in the room where the plants are.

In addition, during this time, the amount of dust in the air increases by several orders of magnitude, making life difficult for violets in general.

Not Cleaning The Leaves Regularly

No doubt, neglecting your African violet will result in a severe mishap when your rarely clean room, the amount of dust in the air rises significantly.

The violet leaves eventually become covered in dust that flies around the room.

Hence, you must use a soft wet cloth to thoroughly clean the leaves as soon as you notice any dirt.

It would be best if you did this as quickly as possible. Your best bet is to bathe your violet, a more powerful cleaning method.

How Do I Remove Dust From The Violet’s Leaves?

The dusting of African violets is a common occurrence: 

  • When you buy plants with dusty leaves and transport them to a new location, you’ll have to clean them up.
  • Dirt collects where the water drips on the leaves, so be careful when watering to avoid this problem altogether.
  • If you keep the African violet in a room with a high level of dust.
  • When pet hair accumulates in the hairs of the leaves.
  • During renovation work in your apartment, construction dust could get on your African violet and make it look dirty.

The methods listed below can be used to eliminate all of these kinds of contaminants.

Using A Cotton Pad To Clean

Using a cotton pad to remove dirt from violet leaves is an option for some growers. But this isn’t going to work. 

You can not remove the dust trapped in the fluffs of the leaf. In this case, some hair comes out, and the leaf is harmed.

Performing this task takes a long time, and the result is less than stellar.

Using A Soft Brush To Clean

You can not clean violet leaves with typical methods because they are puffy.  

Also, you can’t use a damp sponge to wipe the leaves, for example, because that won’t have the desired effect. 

So, you should avoid using showers unless necessary, and even then, you should exercise extreme caution.

You can clean the leaves with a soft brush instead of these methods.

Sadly, this requires the patience and time of an angel, which isn’t easy to come by. In addition, the procedure’s efficacy is less than ideal.

Brush cleaning is not recommended because it can transfer the infection from a sick plant to a healthy plant.

Bathing Your African Violet

Dirty conditions necessitate an additional step in your cleanup strategy. It doesn’t matter what caused the pollution; the dust from the violet leaves must be removed.

There’s now a question: can you wash violets in the shower? Violets, it turns out, can be washed and even bathed in water.

Bathing violets, on the other hand, differ significantly from standard practice.

First, so that the center of the rosette doesn’t get wet, it needs to be done very slowly.

You can wash it when the African violet is not yet blooming or has already entered the flowering stage.

However, in the second case, you must avoid getting water on the petals of the flowers. If you don’t, you’ll end up with unsightly spots.

When picking a time to wash violets, keep in mind that the room should be warm enough. Also, you should avoid cleaning your violets during the winter season. 

There is a significant risk that the African violet will suffer from cold temperatures and drafts.

It’s not true that you can’t wash the African violet in the winter, though. If you keep the room at 77 degrees Fahrenheit and don’t open the windows for ventilation, you can.

Violets are delicate and fragile, so you can’t wash them like you usually would. So instead, here’s how to wash African violet leaves and remove dust:

  1. To avoid damaging the leaves, you should use a gentle stream of water. You can wash in a shower or with a stream of water from a faucet.
  2. You should use water two to three degrees warmer than room temperature. Use water that is no more than 30 degrees Celsius if possible.
  3. Keep in mind that tap water is tainted with chlorine and other chemicals, so it’s best to cover the soil in your violet pot before cleaning it with a wash.
  4. Avoid getting water in the middle of the rosette when you wash it. If you wash your rosette’s newer leaves with water, you’ll damage them. It’s best to use a paper towel to remove any water that may have leaked into the middle of your rosette after the procedure is finished;
  5. Remove stains and spots on leaves by rubbing them lightly under a weak stream of water with your hands.

Important: After the cleaning process, keep the growth points, peduncles, and base of the leaves dry.

Precautions To Keep In Mind

Before you attempt to wash a violet, familiarize yourself with the procedure’s specific precautions.

To avoid wetting the plant’s growth point in the center of the rosette, place the violets on their side or cover them with your hand before running warm water over them.

So, if the growth point is wet and left that way, it will be ideal for fungal diseases to grow.

After the washing process, it is necessary to inspect the growth points. If it appears to be wet, you’ll want to take steps to dry it out.

A paper towel will do the trick. You shouldn’t return the violet to its original location until it’s completely dry.


So now that we’ve established that washing leaves will remove the dust, let’s move on to the next step: preparing the leaves for their subsequent drying process. 

You should never place a freshly washed African violet pot in the exact location. If the plant is exposed to drafts and direct sunlight, it will suffer greatly.

The African violets must be completely dry and stress-free before being placed back on the windowsills once again. 

The best place to dry them is in a partially or fully shaded area. 

As long as it’s warm enough, I usually leave it there until the following day. Please make sure there are no drafts or temperature fluctuations in the room as they dry.

As you’re cleaning up the violets, you should also pay attention to how the plant is being grown in its surroundings.

Clean the outside of the pot, clean the trays, and wipe down window sills and shelves where the plants are placed.

If you live in a particularly dusty environment, you may need to wash the violet leaves weekly.

But it’s better to keep the room clean, and then you have to wash the violets every three or two months. And that’s perfectly fine.

Even though they enjoy the water and tolerate bathing, cleaning them more frequently should be avoided, even though they are tolerant of it.

This is because, in contrast to the constant changes in the environment, violets are subjected to stress, which inhibits their normal development.

You should also avoid spraying any solutions on violet leaves due to the spots they leave.

These stains are tough to remove, and in some cases, they are impossible to remove at all.

However, new leaves will grow back in a month or more, and the plant’s ornamental value will be restored.

What Are The Consequences of Poor Plant Hygiene At Home?

Neglecting the cleanliness of indoor violets will inevitably lead to the spread of infectious diseases and pest infestations. This necessitates regular plant maintenance.

To keep your violets in good health, you must wash them with water frequently to prevent pests and diseases from spreading.

For hygiene and disease prevention, it is essential to not only clean the leaves of dirt but also to keep an eye on the plant’s appearance:

  • Cut off dead leaves and stalks regularly.
  • Please do not wait until all leaves have turned yellow before removing them.

Violets will not get sick if you give them an excellent place to live. This means you don’t have to treat them.

Watering and regulating the temperature are the most critical requirements. The right combination of humidity and light is also vital.


Keep a close eye on your African violets and remove any signs of disease as soon as you notice them.

Make sure you follow the basic hygiene guidelines. Your plant will remain healthy and disease-free, saving you a lot of trouble.

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