Reader suggestion: Cleaning ornaments

It is a great idea to clean and dry ornaments before putting them away for the season. In most cases, a damp cloth will be enough to remove any dust that has accumulated during the season. For ornaments that can’t be washed with water, reader Kerry wrote to us with this tip for cleaning ornaments.

When I take the ornaments off the tree, I hang them on my indoor clothes drying rack which is placed over a towel. Then, I use compressed air to clean the ornaments so they are ready for next year!

Great idea, Kerry!

If you have any ornament cleaning tips you would like to share, let us know in the comments below.


This post has been updated since its original publication in 2008.

9 Comments for “Reader suggestion: Cleaning ornaments”

  1. posted by Monique on

    I use a soft bristle paintbrush to dust off the ornaments. It is also important to remove the metal ornament hooks before storing because they can stain or scratch the ornaments.

  2. posted by bopper on

    Good gosh how much time do people have.

  3. posted by alphasqix on

    *Cleaning ornaments*? Really? How did they get dirty in the first place?

  4. posted by Minnie on

    Wow, you must REALLY LOVE Christmas; if your ornaments get dusty! Mine see the light of day for barely a month. Dust? Meh. I have much dustier concerns in my house. Like my tv screen. Why is it ALWAYS dusty…
    I used to take the ornament hooks off each year too, but then I realized my ornaments aren’t expensive or worthy of such painfully tedious, time consuming chores. So this year, I left them on. I do not regret it. I make no apologies.
    But…if I had fancy ornaments from Tiffany’s, I’d TOTALLY be into this.

  5. posted by Ed on

    Compressed air? Brilliant! I no longer need to put them in the dishwasher.

    Are you kidding me? Do you not have jobs? Or kids? Or a social life?

    How’s about a dish towel and some Pledge when you take them out of the box and put them on the tree?

  6. posted by Lisa on

    Life is way too short for this kind of time-clutter.

  7. posted by Monique on

    Silly me! Apparently, my time would be better spent making comments about what others do with their time. By the way, it doesn’t take any longer to dust off an ornament as I put it in the box than if I didn’t. To each his/her own.

  8. posted by Aisha on

    As someone who doesn’t deal with Christmas tree ornaments at all, I can still tell you that there are actually a good number of people who have some wonderful collections of incredibly delicate ornaments. It’s well worth their time to clean them carefully. And very few people live in places where a month doesn’t cause significant amounts (read: a layer 1-cm thick) of dust to gather…

  9. posted by Julie on

    I think that’s a great idea! I have some ornaments that are 16 years old now & they do need a gentle cleaning. I’m curious how long the compressed air lasts for this purpose?
    As for the ornament hooks, I’ve mostly done away with metal because they’re a pain, what with the scratching & the getting tangled with other stuff. I have ribbons instead, or the original thread. Thanks for a good idea, I will try to remember this next year before decorating the tree.

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