Christmas stockings

How to properly wash your Christmas decorations

With Christmas and the holiday season just around the corner, it’s getting close to the time where you’ll have to be pulling out all of your decorations, setting up the tree and getting ready for Santa to make his regular visit for cookies and milk. Well, to give presents too. Obviously.

But whether it’s Santa spilling the milk, or the kids spread their chocolate-covered hands over the stockings, a lot of our Christmas decorations can end up getting a bit filthy. However, with the right care, you can wash them properly to ensure that they remain used for years to come. Here is Repair Aid’s guide to washing your Christmas decorations.

Cleaning stockings

As a perennial feature of living rooms in December, Christmas stockings remain one of our most popular (and practical) Christmas decorations. They’re great for collecting those little gifts that don’t merit wasting wrapping paper or floor space on, but still offer that surprise element. Stockings come in all different forms and, as such, there are a number of different materials used in their construction. Knowing what your stocking is made of can help make sure that you are properly cleaning it.

Hand-washing is the preferred method for many materials and different types of stitching. For example, cross-stitched, crocheted, knitted and quilted stockings will respond well to being hand-washed. However, while quilted stocking should be washed in cooler water, as well as being rinsed well and dried flat, knitted and crocheted stockings should be cleaned in slightly warm water with a delicate detergent before being rinsed, dried flat and reshaped. Woollen stockings can also be hand-washed in slightly warm water and should be dried flat too.

If your stockings are made of felt or velvet, you should get them professionally dry cleaned. Velvet should then be steamed (but not iron pressed) and tamed with a soft brush. Needlepoint stockings shouldn’t be washed at home either and should be professionally dry cleaned if there are stains too. However, if it needs to be cleaned, then make sure to vacuum it gently whilst using an upholstery dusting brush attachment.

Cleaning the Christmas tree skirt

Christmas tree skirt

When the Christmas tree skirt gets stained, it’s important to deal with the issue as soon as possible. Use a cloth to soak up any excess liquid and use a flat surface – such as a knife – to remove any physical debris from the stain. Fill a spray bottle with water, spray it onto the stain and then pat it with a clean cloth. This is preferred as scrubbing can end up doing more harm than good.

The dry cleaners are always an option if there are delicates attached to the skirt – such as beads, sequins, lace or felt – as the adhesives used to secure these delicates to the skirt cannot be safely washed.

Cleaning Christmas blankets or throws

A popular piece of clothing during those cold winter nights, Christmas-themed blankets and throws get well used during the month of December. The problem here is that they could be made of a number of materials. This is why it is vitally important to follow the cleaning instructions as set out on the label.

Cleaning Christmas pillows

Christmas pillows

Christmas pillows are often far more decorative than their non-festive siblings and, as such, they need to be treated with a bit more care. As with stockings, they can be made from a variety of materials and via a number of different methods – including quilted, embroidered or even decorative fabrics. A used pillow can often easily be refreshed by sticking it into a tumble dryer – as long as it’s placed in a mesh wash bag – and putting the machine on a cool air cycle.

As with blankets and throws, you should try and follow the cleaning instructions set out by the label in order to properly clean the removable cover. The actual pillows will often require dry cleaning but you can attempt this at home with a DIY dry cleaning kit.

Cleaning Christmas plushies

As kids will quickly get them stained, plush toys need a good cleaning. Much like pillows, plushies can be placed in a mesh bag and then placed into the tumble dryer on a cold air cycle to get rid of any dust. For those more stubborn stains, such as chocolate, you should consult the cleaning label. However, if the toy contains any batteries or electronics, be sure to remove them before you get to cleaning them with water or other liquids.

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