How To Clean Delicate Holiday Decorations and Keepsakes (Part 1)
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How To Clean Delicate Holiday Decorations and Keepsakes (Part 1)

13 Dec How To Clean Delicate Holiday Decorations and Keepsakes (Part 1)

In this blog from Speed Cleaning, learn how you can take care of and clean your Christmas ornaments and decorations that are so very fragile and — more importantly — precious keepsakes.


As you unpack and repack your holiday decorations each year, you may notice that some of the items are looking tired and not so merry. Most of us have some items that we never actually display anymore because of how they look, yet we can’t bear to get rid of them for sentimental reasons or we’re in Decorating Mode and don’t want to bother making a decision – it’s just easier to put them back in the box.

Of course it’s fine to hang on to sentimental pieces and hand them down at some point, but perhaps this should be the year you commit to thinning out the rest. Rule #1 in Jeff Campbell’s book Clutter Control is “When in doubt, throw it out.” Decide if the item can be cleaned and revived to be either displayed again or donated. If not, it should be thrown out (recycle plastics, cardboard, and glass). Remember, the more you thin out your decorations, the less you have to pack up and the less storage room you’ll need. We see that as a double bonus!

For the decorations you choose to clean up, keep in mind that many holiday decorations have water-soluble paint (this is especially true of very old glass ornaments) or are made from materials that would be ruined if they got wet. Here are some tips for cleaning those delicate items:

→ For detailed items, use clean, dry small and medium paintbrushes to gently dust each item from the top down, getting in the crevices with the smaller brush as needed. Stand over a trash can or newspaper if the item has glitter.

→ Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to gently vacuum dust away. Add a knee high nylon over the brush if the bristles aren’t gentle enough for the item you’re cleaning. You don’t want to accidentally vacuum off all the simulated snow on Grandma’s 80-year-old glass snowman ornament!

→ A dusting mitt like Speed Cleaning’s Microfiber Dusting Mitt makes holding and dusting smooth delicate items super easy.

→ You can also use a blow dryer on a cool setting to blow recently settled dust off delicate items that are rough-textured and might snag a cloth.

In Part 2 next week, Speed Cleaning will share tips for cleaning less delicate items and also throw in a few “Hey, now that’s a good idea!” tips.