Evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands have long been associated with Christmas (Xmas). However, using real greenery can create a mess.
However, using real greenery can create a mess, with tree needles and sticky sap ending up everywhere.
Fortunately, there are several ways to clean up the aftermath of Christmas (Xmas) greenery.
It’s important to be aware of common mistakes to avoid and some unconventional tricks that can make this seasonal task easier. In the following list, we’ve gathered 12 tips that will make the process of cleaning sap and needles a breeze.
Using Oils to Eliminate Sap from Skin.
There are numerous methods to remove sap from various surfaces, but it’s important to consider what would be safe for the specific item.
While paint thinner and mineral spirits can remove sap, it’s preferable to use gentler options for skin.
Cooking oils such as olive, canola, and coconut can effectively remove sap from the skin.
Oily foods like peanut butter, as well as oil-based personal care products like hand cream or makeup remover, can also do the job. In the kitchen, salt can be used to scrub away sap; simply rub some salt vigorously in your palms, and the sap will come off easily.
Utilize Hand Sanitizer.
Rubbing Alcohol and alcohol-based products like hand sanitizer or nail polish remover is also effective in removing sticky sap from hands.
Hand sanitizer is particularly convenient for this task due to its widespread availability.
Removing Sap from a Car’s Exterior.
When sap lands on a car’s exterior, it’s crucial to use products that won’t damage the paint.
Instead of using paint thinner, spray-on bug and tar removers are safe options for removing sap. Another alternative is gel hand sanitizer, which can dissolve the sap quickly.
After applying the sanitizer with your fingertip, wipe the area with a damp microfiber cloth to remove any residue. If any smudges or dull spots remain, use an instant detailer to restore shine.
Removing Sap from Hair (or Fur!).
If sap ends up in hair or on a pet’s fur, there’s no need to resort to cutting it out.
Use one of the oils mentioned earlier to loosen the sap from the hair. Work the oil in the direction of the hair shaft using your fingers to prevent tangles or breakage.
Afterward, shampoo thoroughly to remove the oil along with the dissolved sap.
Using WD-40 to Eliminate Sap from Leather.
While alcohol-based products can also be used, WD-40 is an effective solution for removing sap from leather.
Once the sticky sap is removed, wipe the leather with a slightly damp, soapy cloth or a pre-moistened wipe to eliminate any residue from the WD-40.
Cleaning Sap on Floor Mats, Carpet, and Upholstery.
During transportation and setup, Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands can leave sap on fabric-covered surfaces like car floor mats, cloth seats, carpets, and upholstered furniture.
Rubbing alcohol or high-concentration alcohol-containing products like hand sanitizer can safely remove sap from fabrics.
Optimize Vacuum Performance for Needle Cleanup.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, empty the canister or bag of your vacuum before using it to clean up pine needles after Xmas Holiday.
Pine needles are bulky, and starting with an empty chamber will allow the vacuum to work more effectively.
Vacuuming Pine Needles (and Confetti) the Right Way.
While sticky needles can pose a challenge for your vacuum, they can still be used for cleaning up needle messes.
Use the hose attachment instead of the standard brush attachment, as it allows the needles to go directly into the bag or canister without getting stuck in the bristles. This tip also applies when vacuuming confetti.
When to Avoid Using the Vacuum.
Although vacuuming is a convenient method for cleaning up tree needles, it’s worth noting that the sticky and bulky nature of the needles can potentially damage standard vacuum cleaners.
If you have an expensive vacuum or a robot vacuum, it’s advisable to skip using them for tree needle cleanup after Xmas.
Choosing the Right Broom.
If you prefer not to use a vacuum, a rubber broom is an excellent alternative for cleaning up tree needles after Xmas.
Traditional rush-style brooms should be avoided as the sap-coated needles tend to stick to the bristles. Rubber-bristled brooms, on the other hand, make it easy to sweep up sticky needles.
These brooms can be used on both carpeted and hard flooring surfaces, as well as outdoors.
Selecting an Effective Sticky Roller.
Sticky rollers designed to remove fur, hair, and lint from clothing are also effective for picking up tree needles from other fabrics, such as upholstered furniture.
However, standard lint rollers can be time-consuming to use on larger surfaces. To make the task easier, consider using an oversized lint roller or one with an extra-long handle.
An Unusual Tip (for amusement purposes).
There is an old loggers’ remedy that involves using urine to dissolve sticky sap residue from hands.
While this technique is not strongly recommended for obvious reasons, it can be a fun anecdote to share with children.
*The information is for reference only.