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How to Clean an Artificial Christmas Tree

Artificial Christmas trees, whether pre-lit or unlit, are the modern homeownerís solution to a low-maintenance, convenient holiday. With no needles to sweep up or water to change, sometimes owners may even forget that the tree still needs a bit of cleaning to keep it at its most beautiful. Here are some few tips to cleaning your artificial Christmas trees, so you can keep them for even longer:

Check manufacturer suggestions

When buying a tree, manufacturers and retailers will often attach a cleaning guide to the box it came in. Wikihow.com also offers this advice to homeowners. If you have lost the instructions, we recommend going to the site, store, or calling up the storeís customer service hotline for tips on cleaning that particular model. Different methods of production can result in different artificial Christmas trees, to be certain check with the company you brought it from.

Clean it before assembly

An unassembled tree is quite easy to clean, as you donít have to tiptoe or climb a ladder to reach certain parts of the tree. Cleaning the tree before you assemble it affords you the choice to clean while sitting down, and not worrying about unplugging or dislodging the tree in any way.

Unplug everything

Safety should always come first. Unplug all parts of the tree before cleaning so there is no chance for accidents. Also, work in a controlled environment indoors to prevent breakage due to wind, rain or snow when working outdoors. Working in the sun will also degrade your tree with the heat.

Lay down cloth to catch dust

To avoid having to sweep up years of dust or cobwebs, lay down a cloth to catch dust and other things on the floor when you begin to clean. Cleaning your tree, depending on the size, may make a big mess and you donít need to add work to your holiday preps.

Use a vacuum

Easy and fast, a small, handheld vacuum will get to places that your hands cannot reach, and will be faster in the long run. We suggest setting it on the lowest setting to prevent damage to your tree and using the upholstery brush attachment for a gentle cleaning.

When in doubt, do it manually

Pre-lit Christmas trees may have wires that can be dislodged or damaged if you do decide to vacuum, or want to use soap and water to clean your tree. Avoid accidental damage to your tree by taking a piece of cloth to wipe away dust, and if your manufacturer says to do so, moisten it with water to make it easier. We suggest being patient with your pre-lit Christmas trees and just use a cloth, or put on gloves and wipe it down dry, just to be safe.

Put on protective gear

Long sleeved shirts, pants and gloves are recommended wear for when you clean your tree. If youíve ever assembled and fluffed artificial Christmas trees, you will know that sometimes the needles can hurt a bit or be itchy when it grazes your skin. It is not a manufacturer issue but just a fact, so when cleaning, gear up. If you have allergies, put on a mask to prevent the dust from getting into your nose or mouth and trigger sneezing attacks.

Air it out

A musty odor from storage can be removed by airing it out in a secure place before cleaning. Use a roofed porch or deck to take out the tree for a day then clean if afterwards.

Cleaning colored artificial Christmas trees is patient work and requires a light hand. Even the strongest trees are built to be lightly handled and should be cleaned with care.

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