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Home Care

How to Clean Your Artificial Christmas Tree Before Putting It Up

It takes more than just dusting!

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Photography: Shutterstock

It's finally time to bring your artificial Christmas tree out of storage—but don't set it up just yet! Dust, mites, and molds are just a few of the possible things that have accumulated on those faux pine branches, and now more than ever, it's important to make sure that everything in your home is spic and span. That means, you'll need to do a full-on tree-cleaning session.

It's honestly not that complicated. Here's a quick guide.

Note: These tips are only for artificial trees that do not have any internal electronic connections or built-in lighting. Please double check your tree pior to following this guide to avoid accidents. 

1. Air it out

If your tree smells musty after opening the box, then there may have been mold or mildew growth during the time it's been kept. Allow it to air out first before starting the process.

2. Take out clumps of dust

Either shake each branch out, or use a feather duster or a brush to get rid of any dust bunnies or cobwebs that may have attached to your "leaves". A small hand-held vacuum cleaner can also work, provided that the setting is low enough to keep plastic greenery from getting sucked in.

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3. Soak each branch in warm, soapy water. 

Pick a gentle laundry soap for this (no bleach, please). Allow each branch to soak for 30 minutes, or until the water becomes murky. Depending on how dirty your tree is, you might want to do this step several times.

RL Tip: Do this outdoors just in case your artificial tree's tint bleeds out to avoid "mantsa" on your floors.

4. Rinse

You can shake each branch in clean water, or use a garden hose with a fine spray jet nozzle to make sure that you've gotten all the soap out.

5. Dry

Use a rag or an old towel to pat your tree dry, then hang them out under the sun. Don't forget to take them down once the water has evaporated to keep the pieces from getting brittle and cracking up!

RL Tip: Keep your tree smelling nice by spritzing it with the pine fragrance.

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H/T: All Things Christmas, The Spruce

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