Most people in our society today opt for artificial Christmas trees because they do not cause allergies and they stay in good condition throughout their lifespan. But these trees do collect dust and dirt from being on display throughout the holiday season and in storage afterwards as well. The best way to care for your beloved tree and get rid of the accumulated dust is to start a cleaning ritual a couple of days before it is time to set it up for Christmas.
Remove the tree from its box or storage container; making sure that you spread out all the branches, place the tree where you want the final position to be – it is easier to work like this as it keeps everything together. Place a large sheet or even a big plastic bag if available around the bottom of your tree to catch the debris that falls off. This will also make cleaning up after the tree-cleaning a bit easier.
Before you start the actual cleaning check to ensure that the tree stand is secure and won’t topple over while you do your cleaning. Pre-assembled trees tend to be sturdier than sectional trees and will normally give you better results. You can assemble the sectional kind as you clean.
A Vacuum is Your Friend
Once you have your tree up and ready to be cleaned you will require a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum that you use should be cleaned beforehand as the dust that comes off the tree is very fine and you want to avoid getting any into the air. You should also test a small part of your tree to make sure your vacuum isn’t so strong that it might damage the tree. It is preferable to use a brush attachment and it is also recommended to use a handheld vacuum, as these tend to be less powerful than their bigger counterparts.
Remove any lights on the tree if possible; if your tree has lights attached, make sure they are unplugged. Start vacuuming, being careful to stay at least 1 inch away from the branches to avoid pulling them into the hose adapter. Work your way up and down the tree, and avoid tackling the branches head on as they will be sucked in much easier this way. Try working on the branches from the side while vacuuming in a horizontal motion.
A Little Water And Soap
Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and a little bit of dish soap. These will help clean off the remaining dirt and give your tree a nice clean smell. Use a washcloth to wipe your tree down on all the branches and the trunk, trying to collect all the dust and debris that the vacuum cleaner did not catch.
You don’t want the cloth to be too wet as it will leave your tree and your branches too wet and this might damage or discolor your tree. Allow your tree to dry properly before you plug the lights in or start decorating. It is a good idea to leave the sheet or plastic bag under the tree until you have finished with cleaning and decorating, as it will make the clean up afterward so much easier.
Take the sheet or plastic bag away and fold it onto itself to avoid spilling all the debris and dust that fell off the tree. This is why it’s a good idea to put the sheet or plastic bag around the base instead of under the tree as suggested above, as the tree with all its decorations can be very heavy and it will be a difficult task to lift it up to remove the sheet or plastic bag.
You are now ready to enjoy your tree all clean and fresh for the holiday season. You may also consider doing a shortened version of the cleaning process with just the dish soap, water, and cloth before you store your tree away again, to make your next cleaning session a shorter affair. When it comes to repacking your tree, you should cover it with plastic before putting it in its box, as this will minimize the dust and dirt it will accumulate in storage.