Cleaning Silk Plants

N1ghtFire

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Jun 17, 2016
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I am going to pick up some fake plants today at walmart, hobby lobby, or the dollar store. They will probably be silk unless I can find something better while out. I would like to thoroughly clean the plants before using them in my cage, so what would be the best way to do so that is safe for Ts? I've read soaking them in plain water for a week, washing with soap a few times, soaking in bleach then rinsing with water.... What would be the best way to make sure that the fake plants will be safe for my Ts? I know to avoid ones with perfume or glitter, but have also read some fake plants have other chemicals on them as well. I want to make sure to get anything harmful off before use.
Does anyone here use silk plants often and if so how do you make sure they are safe to use? All advice and tips appreciated!

If anyone is wondering, these plants are going to be used for 5 different species of Avics to climb and web on.
 

sdsnybny

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A lot of people stick to all plastic but I don't care for the look/feel of them so I buy silk plants from a craft store like Micheal's. To make sure there is no manufacturing contaminants and or perfumes left I first wash/soak in very hot water and a de-greaser dish soap like Dawn. After rinsing very well I put them in a pot and pour over boiling water which will gas off the perfumes/smells, one last rinse and they are good to go. I haven't had any problems using this method.
When done let your nose tell you if it smells clean or not, just be thorough.
 

viper69

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I have found it's far easier to clean Avic POOP off a plastic surface than a fiber such as silk etc. But maybe SD has had better success there.
 

N1ghtFire

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Just got back from the store. So here are some pictures of the plants I picked out. I'll try your method to clean them @sdsnybny. The green one with small leaves is plastic, so I'll probably use it more at the top of the cage where they'll be webbing and hanging out. They'll go in either a 32oz deli container or a (i think 16oz) beta fish container along with some coco fiber and a water bowl.
The tarantulas I am getting will all be around 1/2"-3/4", so the 32oz container may be a bit big for the little guys, but I'd be able to put in more subtrate to help with humidity and more plants for them to web on. What do you guys think? 32oz or 16oz for some little avics?
 

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cold blood

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Well its actually more intensive and time consuming than just rinsing them and cleaning them off. These type of plants don't just have dyes, but very often subtle perfumes and other additives to keep them looking nice. When I use this type, I soak it...but not like over night...I soak them for WEEKS, changing the water daily. For the first week there's definitely a residue, almost soap-like coming off of them. I soak them for weeks after I stop seeing this just to be safe. I then hang and dry them back out before using.

Truthfully though, plastic is just a better way to go, and you can find them pretty cheaply actually. This big clump which will be dissected and used in many enclosures was $3.68, and that was at a Petsmart with jacked up pricing.
 

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viper69

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Well its actually more intensive and time consuming than just rinsing them and cleaning them off. These type of plants don't just have dyes, but very often subtle perfumes and other additives to keep them looking nice. When I use this type, I soak it...but not like over night...I soak them for WEEKS, changing the water daily. For the first week there's definitely a residue, almost soap-like coming off of them. I soak them for weeks after I stop seeing this just to be safe. I then hang and dry them back out before using.

Truthfully though, plastic is just a better way to go, and you can find them pretty cheaply actually. This big clump which will be dissected and used in many enclosures was $3.68, and that was at a Petsmart with jacked up pricing.
Never seen a petstore with such cheap plastic plant prices, IF that's a large size?
 

Chris LXXIX

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Never seen a petstore with such cheap plastic plant prices, IF that's a large size?
Here in Italy are pretty cheap as well. I use only Exo Terra plastic ones and a 30 cm plant will cost 3.80 Euro (more or less $4.46)
 

Trenor

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Jan 28, 2016
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I do my silk plants similar to @sdsnybny. I place them in a bucket with hot water and some dawn dish detergent and leave them a few hours. If there is dye in the water I repeat till there isn't. Then place them in a dish drainer till they are dry. Then I cut them up as needed to glue them to cork or just add them into the enclosure in the soil.
 
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