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How to Care for Old Christmas Ornaments

The holiday decorating isnít complete until our traditional colorful baubles are nestled in the branches of our favorite Christmas tree. These Christmas decorations make the Yuletide season even more festive and warm. Some we have inherited from family members, while others are newly purchased.

Special care must be given to heirloom ornaments, as their age makes them the most susceptible to wear. Here are some tips on how you can make your old Christmas tree ornaments last longer:

Use a dry cloth or baby toothbrush when cleaning

Heirloom ornaments are delicate and should be gently cleaned. To clean old ornaments, use a dry cloth or baby toothbrush. Never wipe your ornaments with a damp cloth, as this could wash off hand-painted designs that are common on vintage ornaments. A small, compact feather duster would be an excellent alternative.

Wrap ornaments using a soft white towel or acid-free tissue paper

Chemicals and dyes from colorful cloths can damage the paint on old ornaments. Keep your baubles looking great by wrapping them in plain white towels or tissue paper. You may also stash them in clear plastic storage bags for easy locating.

Store miscellaneous caps and hooks in clear containers or bowls

You never know when youíll need an extra cap for your precious ornaments. Use jars, bowls or plastic bags for storing the loose parts of your ornaments. This will save you time in looking for replacements. Simply glue them on and youíre ready for another holiday season!

Avoid doing touch-ups

Although a little DIY on your embellishments may seem helpful, the result might be different than what you had in mind. Chips and scratches on old ornaments contribute to their vintage appeal; touching them up with paint might make things worse, as new paint often does not match old ones, and touch-ups may de-value them. Itís better to leave them as they are; a little imperfection is beautiful.

Keep ornaments out of humid and bright locations

After Christmas, sometimes the first thing you want to do is store your Christmas trees and ornaments out of sight. However, be careful where you place your ornaments, as the location may damage them. Humidity and too much light can damage your tree accessories. Place them inside sturdy boxes that are moisture-resistant, or specialty storage bags, to prolong the ornaments life.

You donít have to replace your Christmas ornaments every few years. Vintage ornaments can last for many years as long as you take good care of them!

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