Cleaning Guides

How to Clean and Take Care of an Artificial Christmas Tree

Tatiana Buzmakova /

Unlike their real counterparts, artificial Christmas trees are a sustainable and eco-conscious option, an aspect that resonates well with environmentally aware individuals, especially here in Australia. Fake trees not only provide a reusable and durable alternative to real ones, but they also eliminate the need for yearly chopping or disposal. This not only saves trees but also reduces the overall environmental impact.

However, dust and debris accumulate over time and postponing cleaning your tree may lead to respiratory issues, especially in dust-sensitive family members. Regular maintenance not only produces a healthier indoor environment but also enhances the tree’s appearance. By now, it’s clear that you need to learn how to clean a plastic Christmas tree, isn’t it? If you:

  • Wonder how to clean a plastic Christmas tree without damaging it;
  • Wonder how to store the tree so next year it’s not as dirty out of the box as it is now;

Then read along…

When should you clean a plastic Christmas tree

As you already know, when stored away during the off-season, the plastic Christmas tree will quietly accumulate dust on its branches and needles. This buildup dulls the tree’s original vibrancy and shine, affecting its overall visual appeal. Additionally, when stored in attics or basements, artificial trees may attract allergens and pet dander, particles that cling to the tree’s surface.

This accumulation goes beyond aesthetics, as dust and allergens on the tree can trigger respiratory problems, causing discomfort for those sensitive to airborne particles. Neglecting cleaning may even lead to allergic reactions, particularly for individuals with allergies to dust mites, mould, or pet dander.

Maintaining a clean plastic Christmas tree is not only about health but also about preserving its visual charm. Regular cleaning ensures a healthier environment, reflecting the holiday spirit more vividly and contributing to a festive atmosphere. Whether prelit or unlit, consider cleaning your Christmas tree at the end of the holiday season and again before decorating.

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Preparing for cleaning

Before you learn how to clean a fake Christmas tree, you first need to gather the following supplies:

  • Gloves – Protect your hands with gloves to shield them from dust and cleaning solutions during the cleaning process;
  • Soft-bristle brush or vacuum cleaner attachment – This is instrumental in removing dust and debris from the branches and needles;
  • Mild detergent or vinegar solution – For spot-cleaning stubborn stains or sticky residue;
  • Microfiber cloth or lint-free towel – Use a gentle touch with a microfiber cloth or lint-free towel to wipe down the branches and ensure a streak-free finish;
  • Spray bottle with water (optional) – Fill a spray bottle with water for a light misting, providing a refreshing cleanse without saturating the tree.

Choosing the right location for cleaning is crucial.

Consider an outdoor space or a large area indoors where you can set up a designated cleaning zone. This ensures easy access to all parts of the tree, making the cleaning process more efficient.

When preparing your cleaning station, consider the location wisely. Opt for a well-ventilated outdoor space or a roomy indoor area where you can easily access all parts of the tree. Setting up a designated cleaning area ensures that you have ample space to maneuver and restore your Christmas tree to its festive glory.

How to clean an artificial Christmas tree step-by-step

Before you embark on decorating your artificial Christmas tree, it’s crucial to ensure it’s clean and free from any accumulated dust or stains. Some people may wonder, “Can a fake Christmas tree get wet?”. Truth be told, it’s generally not recommended to fully immerse a fake Christmas tree in water. Instead, spot cleaning with a damp cloth is advised to avoid damaging the tree’s structure. Now on to the tips:

Step 1. Dust off loose debris

Begin by gently using the soft-bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner with low suction to remove loose dust from the branches. Start from the top and work your way down, one section at a time.

Step 2. Clean individual branches (if needed)

To address sticky spots or stains, concoct a mixture using mild detergent diluted in warm water or opt for a solution with vinegar. Dampen a microfiber cloth or towel slightly; avoid saturating it excessively. Gently wipe affected areas using light pressure until stains are removed.

Step 3. Remove stubborn dirt and build-up

For more challenging stains like sap or crayon marks, use a soft cloth or cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. This can help dissolve and lift stubborn dirt without damaging the tree.

Step 4. Freshen up the tree

Lightly mist water from a spray bottle over the branches to remove any residue left by cleaning agents. Allow the tree to air dry completely before reassembling or storing it.

Step 5. Additional tips on cleaning a white Christmas tree

In terms of care and cleaning, the process is similar for both white and green artificial trees. However, the choice of cleaning solutions may vary slightly to prevent discolouration or damage to the tree’s finish. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintenance, as specific recommendations may vary based on the materials used in the tree’s construction.

How do you clean a musty fake Christmas tree?

Well, for a musty smell, first, ensure the tree is completely dry. Ventilate the room and use a fabric freshener. Baking soda placed near the tree can also help absorb the unpleasant odours.

How to clean an artificial Christmas tree with lights?

Disconnect the lights before cleaning and clean the tree according to the instructions so fa. Ensure the tree is dry before reconnecting the lights, and you’re set to go.

Storage solutions and maintenance tips

It’s as important to know how to store a Christmas tree without the box as it is to know how to clean it, so…

Regular dusting and spot-cleaning

Before storing, consider repeating the dusting and spot-cleaning steps to ensure the tree is in pristine condition for the next holiday season.

  1. Dust off loose debris – Gently use a soft-bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner with low suction to remove loose dust from branches. Start from the top and work your way down, section by section;
  2. Spot-clean as needed – For sticky spots or stains, use a mild detergent mixed with warm water or a vinegar solution. Dampen a microfiber cloth or towel slightly, avoiding excessive saturation. Gently wipe affected areas using light pressure until stains are removed.

Proper storage between seasons

And now the actual storage tips for your plastic Christmas tree:

  1. Disassemble – Take apart the plastic tree into its individual components;
  2. Choose a suitable location – Store the tree in a clean, dry area away from excessive heat or moisture;
  3. Protective covering – If you don’t have the original box, cover the disassembled tree with a protective bag or sheet to prevent dust accumulation.

In that train of thought, some might ask “How long do artificial trees last?”  With proper care, artificial trees can last anywhere from 10 to even 20 years. You might get bored of it before it outlives its usefulness.

Focus on the Celebrations instead of doing the choirs

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  • Artificial Christmas trees, including white ones, offer a sustainable and eco-conscious option, eliminating the need for yearly chopping or disposal;
  • Regular cleaning of artificial trees is essential to prevent dust and allergen accumulation, ensuring a healthier environment and preserving the tree’s visual appeal;
  • Cleaning should be done in a well-ventilated outdoor space or a roomy indoor area with easy access to all parts of the tree;
  • For storage, disassemble the tree, choose a suitable location away from excessive heat or moisture, and use a protective covering if the original box is unavailable.

Drop a comment below and let us know how these cleaning tips worked for your artificial Christmas tree. Your feedback is invaluable!

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