Christmas Tree Cleaning Guide

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The ambiance of a real Christmas tree is hard to beat. For many families, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without the fresh scent of a Christmas tree. As lovely as fresh Christmas trees are, cleaning up after the holiday season comes to a close can be an irritating ordeal. Everyone asks how you can minimize the falling needles, along with what's the best way to clean sap off of floors and fabric.

Following New Year's, minimize cleanup with just a few simple steps. Here is our Christmas Tree Cleaning Guide

How to Clean an Artificial Christmas Tree

how to clean an artificial christmas tree


Many people around the world wish to decorate their beautiful homes for Christmas and most go with the artificial Christmas tree. The reason why is to avoid any hassle, extra upkeep, and potential allergies that may come about with a real tree. Still, artificial Christmas trees will collect dust when on display in the month of December simply from being in storage for months at a time. When you find the tree to be dusty, musty, and dirty, then it may be the perfect time to give your lovely tree a little TLC! Follow the steps below to get insight on how to clean your artificial tree:

1. Take out your tree from inside the box. Make sure to assemble the base of the tree securely.

2. Testing the vacuum on your tree. Use a kind of upholstery brush attachment and test a small area of the tree, typically the base will be a great place for this. The vacuum should safely clean off the dirt found on the branches without causing any damage to your Christmas tree. If you easily get annoyed by the long chords from the regular vacuum then a hand vacuum will come in handy for this step.

3. Begin the vacuuming. For this step, it is recommended to start from the top of the tree and work your way down to the bottom. Use a vacuum brush to suction all the dust trunk and branches from your tree. Do not vacuum the tree into your vacuum as this could potentially cause it to get damaged. 

4. Get ready to wipe down your Christmas tree. Take any bucket and fill it up with mild dish soap & lukewarm water, avoid using harsh chemicals because they can potentially damage the tree. If the artificial tree has built-in lights, then make sure to unplug it. 

5. Wipe down your tree. Take your soft rag and drench it in the soap water, squeeze out the water and begin wiping down the trunk and branches.

6. Clean any leftover mess that may have fallen around your Christmas tree. Make sure to vacuum your floor and clean up any debris or dust and even bristles that may have fallen down.

How to Take Down the Christmas Tree

how to set up christmas tree
  1. Take down the ornaments wrapping each one in tissue paper and placing them in a container with dividers.
  2. Takedown the lights working backward from where you started. Use a spool to keep lights from becoming tangled.
  3. Shake any needles on the tree skirt into a bag and remove the tree skirt for washing.
  4. Envelop the bare tree in the bag and take it all outside. (No bag? Use an old bed sheet you don't mind getting dirty.)

How to Cleanup After the Christmas Tree

getting musty smell off christmas tree


  1. Vacuum up the needles. If you have an upright vacuum, use the hose attachment to keep the needles from clogging the base or use a canister or Shop-Vac style vacuum.
  2. Remove needles. If there are any needles stuck in the carpet or area rug after vacuuming, use duct tape wrapped around your hand (sticky side out) to easily remove the needles.
  3. Remove sap from clothing or carpet: moisten a white washcloth with rubbing alcohol and blot at the sap until it's gone. Be sure that you've removed all sap before laundering.
  4. Sap removal. If the sap is on a hard surface, simply clean with warm water and dish soap.

If you have a garden, Christmas tree branches are excellent for mulching or using as a base layer for a compost pile. Many cities offer options for recycling Christmas trees as well with curbside pickup. While cleaning up after Christmas will never be as fun as decorating the tree, our simple steps will help keep your home cleaner and make the task manageable. 

Any tough stains you just can't seem to get out? Call the cleaning technicians at COIT for expert assistance.
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