The beauty of owning an artificial Christmas tree is it lasts you for years on end. How long depends on how well you maintain it. This means keeping it clean. As a rule of thumb, do this before decorating or putting it in storage. It takes some effort but believe us when we say it’s worth it.

How to clean an artificial Christmas tree with Colorful Megan

Proper cleaning keeps your tree’s foliage bright and looking almost like new. To help you care for your holiday centerpiece, we prepared a step-by-step guide on how to clean an artificial Christmas tree. We asked our friend Colorful Megan to walk you through the process with the video below.


Colorful Megan: Hi. I'm Megan. Today, I'm going to show you how to clean an artificial Christmas tree.

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What's great about artificial Christmas trees is that they can last for years with proper care. But storing them for long periods of time can expose them to the elements like heat, moisture, and pests. That's why it's super important to care for your Christmas tree when you take it out of storage and when you stow it away again. It's also a really good idea to check and see if your warranty is still active to make sure you don’t do anything that would void the warranty.

The first thing we're going to do is find a spot with enough space for our tree and cleaning materials. Of course, you're going to want to make sure it's well-lit so that you can see what you're doing.

Next, we're going to protect the area by covering the floor. I used an old sheet, which is really great because it's soft. Laying something down to protect your surface is going to contain all the dust and any particles that fall off your Christmas tree while you're cleaning. Other good alternatives are newspapers or even cardboard boxes. It can also really be helpful to lay down your blankets, newspapers, cardboard, and any cover, as you're taking your decorations down. In case there are any drops, your ornaments are nice and cushioned.

Now, my gorgeous tree here is a 7.5 ft. Alexander Fir from Treetopia. Obviously, it is quite a bit taller than me, so I'm going to need a step ladder for sure to clean from the top to bottom. That is tried and true cleaning advice, no matter the situation. You always want to clean from top to bottom so that way, anything that gets knocked off or cleaned off up here falls to the branches below and not branches that you've already cleaned.

Next step, you're just going to need some white cloths. If you don't have white cloths on hand, I would suggest something at least light-colored or that you know is not going to bleed color onto your tree. Of course, if you have a white Christmas tree, you're really, really going to want to be conscious of this, and picking up a pack of inexpensive white rags is really, really going to set your mind at ease. Another alternative is a microfiber duster, which you can easily get at any dollar store or a big-box store.

What you're going to want to avoid is a feather duster with feathers that can come off or any kind of cloth that sheds or leaves particles as you clean because that is not what we're going for. The last option that is available is a vacuum cleaner, but we want to caution you to make sure it is gentle—a gentle vacuum cleaner. The hose attachment with the brush at the end on the lowest setting can also be a good way to clean your artificial Christmas tree.

The key thing when cleaning our artificial Christmas tree is we're going to want to avoid harsh cleaners. In fact, on this Christmas tree, all I'm using is a dry, clean white rag. Using a cleanser or even water can lead to mold if it doesn't have the opportunity to completely dry up before you put your tree into storage. Some cleansers, even natural ones, might contain chemicals that could cause your tree branches to fade, and we definitely don't want that.

If there is something stubborn on your tree and you really feel the need, use a very, very lightly damp cloth to gently clean the branches. But if you have a pre-lit Christmas tree, make sure to never use anything wet on your Christmas tree because it could damage the lighting.

It can also be a really great idea to have some gloves on hand to protect your hands, or at the very least, I would definitely recommend wearing something with long sleeves to protect your arms.

You're going to want to do a head-to-toe check of the foliage and other parts of the tree. If your tree is pre-lit, check the lights and wires too, of course. Take note of dirty or damaged parts that need extra cleanings.

It really is a good idea to do this as you're setting up for Christmas, and as you're taking the tree down to put it into storage because those are the two times when we're going to have that planning mode mentality, and we can put anything that we might need, might need to fix, might need to address—we can put that on our errands list and make sure it doesn't come up to haunt us in the middle of the season.

Use a really gentle touch when you're cleaning the branches of your tree. There's no need to go really hardcore or rough with it. What I like to do is start from the inside of the branch and gently pull the cloth out towards the outer tip of the branch. If you're cleaning at the end of the season, this method can also help you slim down those branches, so the tree’s easier to get back into storage.

When you get to the bottom, make sure you give the tree stand a little bit of love too, and give it a good wipe-down. Throughout the season, it can also be a really good idea to just spot-check your tree and give it a quick wipe-down with a dry cloth or a microfiber duster. Doing this while it's on display and decorated is a good way to help prevent dirt from building up. For example, if you clean your house once or twice a week, just include your Christmas tree in your cleaning routine. Give it a quick spot-check, and you'll be good to go.

Now, let's throw in a couple of quick, additional artificial Christmas tree tips. For those of us with artificial Christmas trees, one concern can be discoloration, especially if you have a white tree. If you have a white tree that you purchased from Treetopia, you can always check your warranty and file a warranty claim and request a replacement. The customer service team is really great, and all you have to do is make sure that you're within the five-year foliage warranty period.

Aside from regular cleaning, there are a few other things you can do to preserve the pretty hue of your Christmas tree. Make sure to keep it away from moisture and direct sunlight. That really boils down to keeping our tree away from windows that might be close to the elements or might let in a lot of really harsh, direct sunlight.

If you're going to splurge on a beautiful Christmas tree, like this one, obviously you're going to want to store it correctly. That means purchasing a storage bag that was meant for Christmas trees. This is going to prevent dirt buildup, moisture buildup, and keep pests out of your beautiful tree. Also, you're going to want to keep your decorations in separate bins and completely taken off the Christmas tree to prevent any bleeding or color transfer from your ornaments.

All right, this baby behind me is all clean. I really hope that you found this video helpful and know now that taking care of your artificial Christmas tree is super simple. No green thumb required. All that is required is a little bit of time and care, and you'll be able to enjoy your artificial Christmas tree for years to come.

If you have any additional tips or comments or questions, leave them in the comment box below. Also, you can click on the link below from more cleaning tips and white artificial tree care. Of course, don't forget to head over to Treetopia.com to check out their full line of colorful and beautiful Christmas trees. See you later.

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Read on for a detailed explanation on how to clean your artificial Christmas tree.

Step 1: Set Up Your Cleaning Area

The first thing you need to do is prep your cleaning area. Choose a well-lit room in your house with enough space to move around.

Christmas tree care tip - protect your floor when cleaning

Cover the floor with mats or sheets to catch any dust and debris. Some options are old linens, trash bags, or newspapers. It’s a good idea to use a thick blanket to act as a cushion in case any of your fragile ornaments accidentally fall.

Step 2: Assemble Your Tree

If you’re taking it out from storage, set up your tree according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Or if you’re doing this after the season, simply remove all your tree decorations. For pre-lit Christmas trees, make sure to unplug the lights before cleaning. 

how to clean an artificial Christmas tree - start with assembly

Assembling your tree beforehand has two main advantages. First, you get to inspect each part of your tree and fix any problems soonest. Second, it lets you work your way from top to bottom when cleaning. You can remove the dust and dirt that fall downwards as you go.

Step 3: Wear the Right Gear

Dress for success! Put on a comfy long-sleeved shirt. It’s best to slip on a pair of gloves and jeans, too. These might seem like overkill, but they’ll protect your arms, hands, and legs from prickly tree needles. 

christmas tree care tips - wear gloves when cleaning

Are you cleaning a tree that’s been in storage for long? Consider wearing a face mask and safety goggles. this is an extremely important step if you’re allergic to dust. Holiday decorations collect this and possibly mold the longer they’re stored, so shield your eyes and airways.

Step 4: Prepare Your Cleaning Tools

If you’re cleaning a tall tree, use a sturdy step stool or ladder to reach the upper sections. Keep pets and kids away from the cleaning area to reduce safety risks. We strongly recommend cleaning your tree without water or any liquid solution. Stick to dry methods to avoid foliage discoloration and mold, among other types of damage. Choose from the following:

how to clean an artificial christmas tree - use white rags to wipe the needles
  • Remove dust with a cloth, microfiber duster, or scrub brush.

Make sure that the material doesn’t shed fibers, and see to it that colors don’t transfer onto the foliage. Better yet, use one that’s un dyed. For the scrub brush method, look for one with soft bristles.

Tip: Feathers are fantastic ornaments but not ideal as dusters as they can get caught on the tree needles.

how to clean an artificial christmas tree - use the lowest setting of a vacuum with a brush attachment
  • Use a vacuum cleaner.

Many swear by this method of cleaning an artificial Christmas tree. Ideally, use a small handheld one with a brush attachment. Always use the lowest possible power setting so that the suction won’t damage your tree. 

Step 5: Start Cleaning!

Start from the trunk and then clean the branch from the inside going out. Repeat as needed.

how to clean an artificial Christmas tree - be gentle when wiping the needles

When the branch is free of dust, move on to the next one. Clean each section before popping it into your storage bag or bin. Always use gentle motions and don’t forget to wipe down the tree stand, too.

christmas tree care tips - use a step ladder to clean the top parts of your tree

How to Clean an Artificial Christmas Tree with Lights

It’s important to note that cleaning agents shouldn’t be used on a pre-lit tree. Even if your lights are unplugged, water can damage the components. If you plug Christmas tree lights in without drying them completely, there’s a chance they won’t work at all. Stay on the safe side to keep your holidays merry.

Christmas lights should be stored properly

How to Clean a White Christmas Tree

how to clean a white artificial Christmas tree - start with assembly

Colored rags can bleed dye onto pristine white needles, so be very careful. A white cloth or duster is your best bet, even for other tree hues. If you’re using a brush, make sure to give it a thorough cleaning before scrubbing your branches. Don’t let residue on your cleaning tools stain the tree.

how to clean a white artificial christmas tree - never use colored rags

Damp cloths and other wet cleaning methods are riskier for white and light-colored trees. Liquids can fade or stain the artificial needles. Plus, if you don’t dry the needles completely, specks of mold can grow. They’re far from a pretty sightfar-from-pretty sight, but more importantly, they’re known to cause allergies. We’re sure you agree that sniffles aren’t a great way to kick off the holiday season.

More Christmas Tree Care Tips

There are a few more things to consider in keeping your artificial tree in prime condition. Aside from cleaning, learn how to fluff or shape your tree the right way. It’s not just for decorative purposes. You want to avoid misshapen branches and needles. 

What is the best way to store a Christmas tree?

Your tree is dirtiest when it comes out of storage, especially if you didn’t use a bag made for that purpose. If you did, then breathe a sigh of relief because cleaning up will be so much easier.

Christmas tree bags offer more protection from dirt. They’re better options to makeshift storage solutions. For example, cardboard boxes don’t stand a chance against liquids or extreme temperatures. Some use a tarp to cover their tree and secure it with rope. While we agree that this is a stroke of DIY genius, there’s always the risk of water and dirt seeping through any gaps. 

Treetopia christmas tree storage bags

A tree storage bag is made from hardwearing material that are by a machine. This ensures there are no gaps in the fabric. Some come equipped with snap closure belts for securing your tree. Others feature durable handles and wheels for easy transport. These make the whole cleaning and decorating process easier and more stress-free.

SUGGESTED READING:

Christmas Tree Storage Guide

Can you hose down an artificial Christmas tree? 

We strongly advise against this. Strong water pressure can lead to damage. Again, molds can grow if you don’t dry the tree thoroughly.

How do you disinfect an artificial Christmas tree and protect it from molds?

Artificial trees aren’t immune to mold and other germs, but they are much easier to clean compared to live ones. Don’t fret if you spot mold on the branches. There are ways to remove and prevent it from coming back. 

First, take the tree outdoors for cleaning. If your only option is an indoor space, then open the windows and let fresh air flow. Sunlight and air help kill mildew naturally. After cleaning, avoid storing your tree in a humid space to prevent mold growth. 

Disclaimer: Ideally, you should avoid exposing your Christmas tree to direct sunlight, as this can lead to foliage discoloration. However, when you’re dealing with molds, the benefits outweigh the risks. Make sure to check with your manufacturer, so you don’t end up voiding the warranty.

How do you fix a yellowing white Christmas tree?

Discoloration is a common concern, especially if you have a white artificial tree. If you bought one from Treetopia, and you see discoloration, you can file a warranty claim and request for a replacement through our Customer Service team. Just make sure it’s still within the foliage warranty period of five years. 

Christmas tree care is important, but it shouldn’t be too challenging. Make it easy and effective with this comprehensive guide on how to clean an artificial Christmas tree.

We hope this helps you give TLC to the star of your Christmas celebrations. If it does, share this post with friends and family who are prepping for the holidays. Enjoy!

3 Comments

  1. NightOwl44 Reply

    Great information for cleaning the tree. I’ve learned the hard way how not to store a tree. Thank you.

  2. Janet Bolling Reply

    Good to know, I’d never thought to fo this to my tree.

  3. Karen Propes Reply

    Thanks so much for all the information. I didn’t think about not using water to clean a dirty spot.

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