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Seasonal Cleaning

Cleaning Artificial Christmas Trees and Wreaths

Thanksgiving has come and gone, ushering in the holiday season. Now it’s officially acceptable to pull out your Christmas decorations — without getting the stink-eye from neighbors. But those trees and outdoor artificial Christmas wreaths have likely been in storage for several months, so you’ve got some work to do first.

Learn how to clean an artificial Christmas tree and wreath. Then, find some tips on how to store your synthetic holiday greenery so that decorating next year is just a bit easier.

How To Clean an Artificial Christmas Tree

Cleaning outdoor artificial Christmas wreaths and trees is a must before displaying them or packing them away for the year. If your plastic greenery isn’t that dirty, you can gently vacuum the branches or wipe them down with a microfiber cloth. However, a more thorough washing is in order for filthier faux firs. 
Note: These instructions are not for flocked trees or trees that have built-in lighting or electrical components. 

You’ll need:
  1. With the tree disassembled — and any lights or ornaments unplugged and removed — clean each of the branches with a handheld vacuum. Take care not to knock any needles off.
  2. In the bucket, mix water with two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid.
  3. Spread the towels out on the floor so you have a workspace and an area to set branches while they dry.
  4. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the soapy solution and — over a towel — gently wipe a branch down.
  5. Once the limb has been washed, set it on a towel to dry. Make sure it’s not folded closed, as this could prevent it from drying properly.
  6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until you have cleaned the entire tree, replacing the soapy water or switching to a clean cloth as needed.
  7. Let the tree dry completely before packing it away or decorating it.

Taking Down Christmas Trees

Regardless of whether your tree is faux or Fraser fir, taking it down can be the worst part of the season. Unless you want to leave it up all year and become “that” friend or family member, you have to properly disassemble the tree before you store it. This post has the instructions you need to tackle the task without losing your Christmas cool:

How to Store an Artificial Christmas Tree

The first mistake that many people make when trying to figure out how to store an artificial Christmas tree or wreath is keeping the original box. Years of pulling decorations out of cardboard boxes and stuffing them back inside will undoubtedly tear the container to shreds. Toss that box in your family recycling center and rely on the following pointers to help keep your plastic evergreens from falling apart: 
  • Invest in a storage bag. There are several styles to choose from, including those that lie on their sides and others that have wheels and stand upright.
  • Fold with care. Follow the disassembly instructions to the letter. After all, the manufacturer created them to help the product last longer.
  • Treat packaged trees kindly. A lot of jostling or moving about can damage trees and outdoor artificial Christmas wreaths. Make sure you stow them in a place where they can remain largely undisturbed.
  • Be selective about storage spaces. Extreme fluctuations in temperature or humidity can damage or discolor artificial Christmas trees and wreaths. This is especially true if you have a flocked tree.
Need more cleaning inspiration to make sure your holidays are merry and bright? Check out these post-holiday cleaning tips and take a look at these DIY cleaners that can make your home smell like a candy cane!