It’s that time of year again, when many of us choose to cut down, and kill a perfectly good tree to set it up in our homes for Christmas. This seems like a good idea at the time, after all they smell great, and look better than a fake one. As time passes though, you begin to wonder why you thought it was so much better in the first place. The needles start to fall off the tree and coat your floors, carpet and furniture. They still smell good, but the little needles that fall are pokey, sticky and incredibly tiny. They will cover everything and they are not the easiest things in the world to clean up.
If you have ever tried to vacuum them up then you know the sound it makes. It’s one of those – “should I really be doing this right now?” sounds. Pine needles are a bit bulkier than your standard dirt, so vacuum cleaners can often have a hard time picking them up, and you do run the risk of damage if you are sucking up mass quantities of pine. It still smells really good when you are doing so, but the noise is horrendous. If you have hard floors then you probably have tried to sweep them up too. A traditional broom will not produce the best results for this type of debris, and in some cases it will seem like those little pine needles are just lying there laughing at you as you continue to sweep and sweep without ever completely removing them from your floors. If they land on your couch or chair, then you might try to brush them off with your hand, but all you have done is put more on the floor at that point. You could get out the dust buster or attachments for your regular vacuum, but these will produce less than stellar results.
SO WHAT IS THE BEST WAY?
The key to success with any cleaning job is to have the proper tools on hand. If you are working with adequate tools, then any cleaning task can be made quick and simple. For pine needles on floors you will want to use a rubber broom. It is hands down the quickest and most efficient tool for removing every last pine needle from your floors. It will work on both carpet and hard floors, so if you have pine needles on the ground, use the rubber broom. For needles that land on furniture, there are two tools that work extremely well. The Handy Sweeper is ideal for small area clean-up, and is perfect for furniture, stairs, in your car, or even around the tree for light duty cleaning. You could also use the rubber brush which is basically a hand-held version of the larger broom. You would use this one for the same areas as the sweeper, but some people will prefer one over the other. If you have sticky sap residue left behind after picking up all of the needles, then your final tool would be Quick n Brite. This natural cleaner is one of the most effective ways to remove sap from virtually any surface.
For pine needles on your carpet, give your vacuum cleaner a break. Bust out a rubber broom to make quick work of those needles, and completely remove them in less time than any vacuum cleaner could. You will hear less noise, and it won’t take several tries to get up all of the tree bits from your floor. When using the broom on carpet, you will want to use shorter strokes to build up a super strong static charge.
Pull the broom towards you and it will literally pull the needles up and out of the nap of your carpet. The flexible bristles get down deep and form a wall to ensure that no pine is left behind. If you are working on hardwood, linoleum or any other hard surface it will be even easier. You will still pull the broom towards you, but you won’t need to use such short strokes.
The tough natural rubber bristles will conform to uneven floors and sweep up every last needle in very little time. On this type of surface the static charge will aid in cleaning, but also prevents the fly away effect as well. This means that all of the needles you sweep will remain right next to the broom until you are ready to dispose of them.
HANDY SWEEPER & RUBBER BRUSH
For smaller areas of floor, furniture or inside your car, you will want to use a different tool. The Handy Sweeper is ideal for small space clean up because everything you sweep is contained inside the unit until you dump it. Simply roll the Fluppi Handy Sweeper over the needles and they will be pulled into the storage container. A quick back and forth motion is all it takes to completely clean any surface of needles. Once the container is full simply pop it open to dump them in the trash. Now this tool would not be the best for large areas, but for small spot cleaning or for de-needling your car after you bring your tree home, this tool is ideal. Another small tool that can be incredibly handy is the rubber brush. This smaller rubber bristled tool will perform just like the broom but on a smaller scale. Use it on furniture, stairs, or hard to reach areas around the tree. It will also build a static charge, and will most likely perform just a bit better than ther handy sweeper on carpet. With these small tools it really comes down to preference as to which one is best for you. Either tool will make cleaning up after your tree much easier and less time consuming though.
QUICK N BRITE
So, if you are lucky enough to have a tree that is extra sappy, then chances are you will have some sticky residue underneath all of those needles you just cleaned. If that is the case, then there is one cleaner that makes removal of sap pretty darn easy. Traditional methods and cleaners don’t tend to be very effective on sap, and many of us stick with the I’ll just wait until it wears off method. This is not the best idea because the sticky sap will just attract dirt, and you will be left with an even bigger mess to clean. If you have some Quick n Brite on hand then a few simple steps will eliminate the stickiness with very little effort. Use some of the paste full strength to achieve the best results. For lighter duty cleaning, a heavy solution in a spray bottle may be adequate. Simply apply the cleaner to the affected area and let it sit for about ten minutes. Once it has had time to work, take a clean terry cloth towel and buff the area clean. Just a single application should totally remove any sight of sap or stickiness to the touch. This cleaner is safe to use on virtually any surface and won’t discolor or harm carpet, upholstery or anything else. It is a natural cleaner and does not contain any harsh chemicals. Whats even better is that it works just as well on hundreds of other stains and messes too, so you can buy it to take off the sap, and then discover all of the other ways it will save you time and money too.
So don’t forgo the real tree just because you afraid of the mess it might make. They really do smell great, and you can’t beat the look of the real thing. Just make sure you have the right tools on hand and cleaning up those pine needles will be a breeze.