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How to Clean Christmas Ornaments of Every Kind

Holiday decorations become treasured family heirlooms, evoking memories of Christmas past. They can also become incredibly filthy after spending 11 months in storage. Ensure a happy Christmas future with these tips for cleaning ornaments of every kind.

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How to Clean Glittered Ornaments

Cleaning glittered ornaments is a tricky business. Try using a feather duster on one area. If a lot of glitter comes off, it may be best to leave the decoration alone.

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How to Clean Painted Ornaments

To clean painted ornaments, separate them so you can pick them up one at a time by the hanger. Lightly dust each ornament with a feather duster. Try not to handle the ornaments, since the oils in your hands can damage the paint. If you need to touch the ornament, wear latex gloves.

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How to Clean Glass Ornaments

For ordinary glass ornaments, spray regular glass cleaner onto a soft cloth and wipe gently. To clean porcelain or crystal ornaments, use a feather duster, brushing across the surface in a downward motion. Don’t handle crystal decorations unless you wear gloves. A buffing jewelry cloth is also great to use on crystal. Simply wipe over the surface with the cloth.

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How to Clean Resin or Wood Ornaments

When it comes to resin and wood ornaments, easy does it: Just wipe a soft cotton cloth across the surface.

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How to Clean Precious Metals

Sterling silver and gold-plated ornaments come clean when wiped with a polishing jewelry cloth. Apply the cloth in a circular motion to remove dust and fingerprints.

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How to Store Your Ornaments

1. Store ornaments in a large box or rubber storage container or, if you still have it, in their original box.

2. Place a thick layer of crunched-up tissue paper (use only non-acidic paper) in the bottom of the container.

3. Lay a full layer of ornaments on top of the crunched-up tissue paper on the bottom.

4. Put the more sturdy ornaments on the bottom and the delicate ones on top. Don’t use more than two layers. Try to offset the upper layer so that the ornaments don’t sit directly on top of the ornaments below.

5. Don’t pack the ornaments tightly, because they might break.

6. Wrap each ornament individually using just one layer of tissue paper for the ornament.

7. Lay one or two layers of flat tissue paper on top of the first layer of ornaments.

8. Place the second layer of wrapped ornaments on top of the tissue paper over the previous layer of ornaments.

9. Store your container of ornaments in a cool, dry, out-of-the-way place.