Spanish moss is an air plant. It subsists on sunlight and extracts moisture from the atmosphere and morning dew. Most commonly, it is found hanging from tree limbs in the South. It was once harvested for use in furniture and automobile upholstery. Use became obsolete with the invention of synthetic substitutes and the inflation of vegetable fiber costs. Today, Spanish moss is used in craft projects and decor. Spanish moss is a living plant that only requires an occasional soak, making it ideal for decorative items. A common application is in plant arrangements for appearance and moisture retention. Before creating an indoor vignette or arrangement, it is prudent to take steps to remove insects and debris.
Spread the Spanish moss on a newspaper or paper towel. Inspect it for insects and plant debris. Remove any visible debris. This step can be completed outdoors if desired.
Place the moss in the microwave. Set the microwave on medium heat and set the time for 20 seconds. This will kill any small insects that are invisible to the eye.
Remove the Spanish moss from the microwave. The moss will be very hot to the touch. Lift the moss using wax paper.
Carry the moss to a solid surface and allow it to cool.
Shake the moss over the wax paper to remove any extra debris. Remove and discard the wax paper.
Rinse the Spanish moss under the faucet to further remove debris and to hydrate the plant.
Spread the moss on an absorbent towel.
Allow the moss to air dry. When it is no longer shedding water and is just slightly moist to the touch, it is ready to use. If the moss is used inside upholstery, further drying is recommended.