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A Guide to Cleaning Interior Planters

March 20, 2024

Cleaning interior planters is often overlooked but can make a huge difference. In interior design, plants are more than just decorations; they’re living, breathing elements that bring life, color, and vitality to indoor spaces. However, interior planters can accumulate dirt, mold, and worse, despite their beauty. To keep your indoor garden thriving and your living space looking its best, it’s essential to give your planters regular cleaning and care.

Why Cleaning Interior Planters Is Important

Healthier Plants

Cleaning interior planters promotes healthier plant growth by preventing the buildup of mold, mildew, and pests that can harm plants. This applies not only inside the planter but also outside. Decontaminants that begin outside a planter can quickly move to the inside.

The Plants Look Better

A dirty planter can detract from even the most captivating plants, while a clean can make common household plants look more pleasing to the eye and complement your home décor.

They Don’t Stink

Over time, organic matter attaches to the outside of most planters. It can happen when you replant, water, or add fertilizer. It might not even be visible, but it’s there. The decomposition of organic material doesn’t have a pleasant odor. Regular cleaning helps eliminate these odors, creating a fresher indoor environment.


Planter Quick Clean

Our go-to quick planter clean at my home starts with Bar Keepers Friend MORE Spray + Foam. Whether your planter is stainless steel, brass, bronze, copper alloy, aluminum, ceramic, porcelain, or glass, More Spray + Foam is safe to use and works. The product has the same ingredients as the original powder without micro-abrasives. A bonus is that the foam setting is excellent on planters since the foam doesn’t run off but adheres to horizontal surfaces.

You can quickly clean a houseful of planters with a can of Spray foam and two soft cloths, one to rub it in and another to wipe it off.

What About Outdoor Planters? 

I replant and clean outdoor planters every spring, although I sometimes let them slip. For example, “I must tell you in this cleaning session I broke some rules. I cleaned materials not always recommended for Bar Keepers Friend, such as a wood camping table, and some things I wasn’t sure about, like clay flowerpots. So, before I attempted to clean something I was unsure about, I tried a small out-of-sight spot first, and you should do the same.

First up were flowerpots. I tried both BKF Powder and Soft Cleanser. These clay and plastic pots had been out in the weather next to my workbench in the woods for several years, and they’d seen better days. They’re not perfect, but after some BKF magic, they’re much more presentable. Pretty flowers in an ugly pot doesn’t work for me.” — Using Bar Keepers Friend Outdoors

Is it Time for a Replant?

Is it time to replant? If so, start by carefully removing the plants from their containers and emptying the soil into a separate container or bag. Then, disassemble any parts of the planter, such as saucers or drainage trays, for thorough cleaning.

Use a soft brush or sponge to scrub the interior and exterior surfaces of the planter. I use MORE Spray + Foam. However, I prefer the original BKF Powder Cleanser for stubborn dirt or mineral deposits. Another reason to use BKF products is that even a tiny residue of harsh chemicals can harm plants. Unlike many cleaning products, ours do not contain bleach, ammonia, or VOCs.

Next, thoroughly rinse the planter with water. Pay attention to crevices and drainage holes to ensure they’re free from obstructions. You might also consider disinfecting the planter. Once clean, allow the planter to air dry completely before reassembling and repotting your plants. Ensure that all moisture has evaporated to prevent mold or mildew growth.

Interior Planters Are a Game Changer

Interior planters not only play a vital role in making your interior space more attractive, homey, and inviting, but they can also enhance the air quality of indoor spaces. Regular cleaning can help your plants thrive and your living environment stays fresh and inviting.

Do you have any before and after photos of cleaning your planters with BKF products? If so, we’d love to see them! Please drop us a note on the Bar Keepers Friend Facebook Page.



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