Have a healthy holiday season by learning how to remove Christmas tree mold on your real or artificial tree. If you suffer from sinus issues and allergy symptoms during the holidays, perhaps your tree is the reason. Allergy symptoms rise when people bring in trees to decorate, and believe it or not, it has more to do with the mold (yikes!) on your tree than the tree itself.
That's right—it doesn't matter if the tree is real or artificial. Mold that grows on your Christmas tree can become airborne and can kick your allergies into high gear. To cut down on and even eliminate the irritants, it is important to remove Christmas tree mold before you set up your tree indoors.
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Whether you are setting up a fresh-cut tree or the artificial tree you have been vowing to replace for the past three years, it is important to get rid of mold buildup first. Luckily, this handy guide will help you do just that.
Things You'll Need
Fungicide or bleach, baking soda, water and dish soap to make your own fungicide
Cloth face mask
How to remove mold from a live Christmas tree
Don't let mold on a live Christmas pine tree intimidate you this holiday season. Here's how to remove the mold and keep your tree fresh for longer.
Spray the tree with a fungicide
Visit your local home and garden center and pick up a spray bottle of fungicide. Before you bring your Christmas tree indoors, thoroughly spray down the trunk and branches with the fungicide to remove any mold spores.
If you really want to give your tree a nice scrub down, hose it down with water first and then dry it off with a leaf blower. Once it is dry, apply the fungicide. Finally, once your pine tree has dried completely, you can bring it indoors.
If you have pets or young children at home, you can make an all-natural DIY fungicide of your own. Mix together 1 gallon of water, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of bleach and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Spray down the tree as you would the fungicide and let it dry completely before bringing it indoors.
Use an air purifier
Regardless of how thorough a cleaning you have given your Christmas tree, you might still have mold spores and other irritants on your tree. That's where a quality air purifier comes into play. Improve your indoor air quality by setting up an air purifier in the same room as your tree, preferably nearby. Use your purifier regularly so it can collect any airborne mold spores. Using a high-quality purifier will clear your air of dust mites, allergens, and other types of mold.
Maintain your tree’s health
You are going to have to go the extra mile to keep mold at bay. Mold thrives in warm temperatures, which means your living room is the perfect place for mold to grow. Keep an eye on your Christmas tree and give it a regular once over every couple of days. If you see mold spots growing, use your homemade fungicide solution to remove them again.
How to remove mold from an artificial Christmas tree
Your artificial Christmas tree might be easier to maintain, but it can still suffer from pesky mold. Here's how to remove mold from your artificial tree.
Take your artificial Christmas tree outdoors
If you have stored your artificial Christmas tree, it has been collecting dust and yes, even mold over the year. Mold grows when dust encounters moisture, allowing bacteria to thrive. Take your artificial Christmas tree outdoors for unboxing and give it a good shakedown. If there is lots of visible dust, use a cloth face mask to keep from breathing in the gunk.
One trick to help battle dust and mold buildup during storage is to ditch the cardboard box for a large, tightly sealed container instead.
Blast mold away with an air compressor
Use a pressurized air compressor or a can of pressurized air to get rid of any visible spots of mold. Spray down the trunk and the individual branches of the tree and blast away those mold spores. This is also a good time to unbox and clean off any Christmas decor as well. The same pressurized air you use on your tree can clean your holiday decorations too.
Apply fungicide on the trunk and branches
You can spray down your artificial Christmas tree with a fungicide as well. If you do this, allow the Christmas tree to dry completely for at least 24 hours before you bring it inside. You can also use a homemade fungicide instead.
Freshen up with spray-on disinfectant
Unlike a living tree, mold spores are less likely to grow back on an artificial tree. However, this doesn't mean the cleaning is finished. Every couple of days or at least once a week, spray down your tree with a disinfectant to help remove any lingering bacteria and new types of mold spores.
Keep your artificial Christmas tree as mold-free as possible by storing it properly. Use a tightly sealed storage container and store your tree and holiday decor in a dry, cool place.
Mothballs are great at absorbing moisture. When you store your artificial tree, throw some mothballs in the container to keep your tree and decor fresh.
Keep your tree bright with regular maintenance
A little love goes a long way when it comes to keeping your Christmas tree looking great. Whether you have a living tree or an artificial tree, give it a close inspection every three or four days and remove any mold spots you see growing on it. Spraying disinfectant on branches and ornaments is also a good way to keep bacteria at bay.
Stay healthy and jolly this holiday season
Don't let Christmas tree mold scare you away from having a cheery season. Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Following these simple steps will help you get rid of existing mold so that your tree and your family stay happy and healthy all season long!