The holiday season is fast approaching and it will soon be time to dig out the Christmas tree. Artificial trees help save money, but if they’re not stored properly they can end up full of dust and dirt. Even if they’re stored away in a box, they can still manage to attract dust. White Christmas trees can get especially dirty if stored in a basement or attic. Here are simple tips to restore the bright luster to an artificial white Christmas Tree.
Artificial Christmas trees have their benefits because they’re environmentally friendly and can be used year after year. However, even when properly stored away after the holiday season, they can still succumb to dust and dirt. White trees can take on a yellowed appearance. Wait – don’t throw it out. Here are a few tips for cleaning your artificial white Christmas tree.
Dust, Vacuum, and Dust Some More
Assemble your tree into an upright standing position. Get out the feather duster and give the tree a good dusting. If the tree was in the basement or attic and not covered properly it may have a heavy dust covering clinging to it, so you may need to vacuum it.
Vacuuming the tree may not be as easy as it sounds but you should at least be able to remove the thickest amount of dust. You can also try blowing the dust off with a hairdryer. Once you’ve done that, give it another dusting with the feather duster.
Hose it Off
If the tree has dirt marks on it or an overall grungy appearance it will need washing. Before you begin, make certain that the tree doesn’t have any lights or embedded plugs where lights can be plugged in. Take the tree outside fully assembled and hose it down with the garden hose.
Do this early in the day and leave the tree in the sun to allow it to dry. If your white tree looks yellowish, leaving it in the sun as long as possible will help remove the yellowing since the sun has a natural bleaching effect.
Give it a Bath – Literally
If you can’t hose your tree outside due to weather or other constraints put it in the shower or bath. If the tree will fit, stand it up in the shower. You can adjust the shower head to let the water flow over it, washing the dust and dirt down the drain. If the tree won’t fit in the shower, disassemble it and wash each piece in the bathtub.
Fill the bathtub with warm soapy water, letting each individual section soak for a few minutes before washing. Scrub with a scrub brush. A long-handled brush for washing dishes or a brush used for scrubbing your back in the bath works well. This method may be more time consuming and tedious. However, it is worth the effort since it actually gets the tree cleaner.
An Alternative Solution
If your tree still looks yellow after cleaning it consider flocking it with a can of artificial snow before decorating it for the holiday season. Add some snow to the windows, too, for a look genuine look of continuity. Also, try using multi-colored blinker lights to decorate the tree. The colors of the lights will help mask the yellowish tint of the tree.
After the holiday season, wrap each section of your tree in an old sheet or thin blanket before storing it away. Make sure that each section is completely covered to keep it from getting dusty or dirty. If you have an attic, extra closet or storage room, you could also consider storing the tree away completely assembled.
If you do this cover it thoroughly with a sheet or blanket long and wide enough to keep the tree from being exposed to dust and dirt. If necessary, use two sheets, wrapping one from the top and one from the bottom, tying the ends to keep them secure. This method keeps your tree clean and ready for decorating next holiday season.