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Tinsel and garland, glitter and sparkle, lights galore – we all love the festive feel of the holidays! It’s a special time of year for us here at Tidy Tabs, too. But just like our homes, all that holiday décor collects dust and grime from the air. If you are like most people, you never really think that those decorations really need a clean. We take them down at the end of the season and pack them away for next year.

You might notice if you help Mom or Grandma put up their holiday decor that some things look a little worse for wear. Part of that is because of the years the items were used and never dusted and cleaned. Holiday decorations are packed with special memories so protect them by using these tips to clean them up this year … your future self will thank you!

1. To clean wreaths: Use your hair dryer! Set it on low, cool air and blow out the years of dust embedded in the fronds and ribbons.

2. To clean ornaments:  Use fabric softener sheets to lightly dust ornaments. The sheets prevent the buildup of static electricity and collect the dust.

3. To clean baskets and other decorations:  Use the vacuum on low with a soft brush or cover the end of the nozzle with a nylon panty hose or knee high secured with a rubber band. That way if something is nudged out of place it isn’t sucked into the vacuum. You can also use a small paintbrush to dust in the crevices.

4. To remove wax:

From linens: Cover the spot with a paper bag or paper towel and rub with a warm (not hot!) iron. The wax will melt and adhere to the paper.

From candleholders:  Place the candle holder in the freezer for a few minutes. Upon removal the wax should pop off. Then clean the folders with a mild soap and water or soft cloth, depending on what materials make up the candle holder.

5. To clean plush animals and decorations:  Use the vacuum cleaner with a nozzle covered by a nylon panty hose or knee high secured with a rubber band. That allows you to clean without worrying about sucking decorations and eyes into the vacuum. Also, spot clean any spots with a mild soap and water solution and a soft cloth. Test first in an inconspicuous area to test for colorfastness.

Packing holiday decor away dirty is just like hanging a piece of clothing in the closet with a spot. It will just get worse over time. If you want your holiday to sparkle and shine, don’t put out decorations that are dusty and dirty. Nothing dims the sparkle like dirt!

And, if you want your house to shine, too, contact us here at Tidy Tabs. We will provide a sparkling clean backdrop to all those fancy decorations and allow you to take in all the fabulous sights and scents of the season!