Design Holidays & Celebrations

7 Ways to Keep Christmas Tree Needles from Taking Over Your Home

Tired of finding Christmas tree needles on your floors and furniture months after the holiday season? These suggestions will help minimize the mess.
Savannah Sher Avatar
how to clean up pine needles indoors

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A real fir or balsam Christmas tree infuses the home with an incredible aroma during the holiday season, but these beautiful showstoppers also drop more pine needles in December than it seems they had to begin with. Whether you have carpeting or hardwood floors, these needles can become a nuisance, especially when they stick to the bottoms of your family’s socks and end up in every corner of the home.

If you’re tired of finding Christmas tree needles under your rugs and baseboards the following July, we can help. Read on for advice about how to best to manage the holiday tree-needle invasion (as well as a few ideas for how to put the pine needles to good use).

1. Water your tree regularly.

Christmas tree needles

In order to improve your Christmas tree’s longevity, the most important thing you can do is to water it regularly. In addition to helping a tree last as long as possible, keeping it hydrated will also reduce the number of needles that fall every day. Be sure to refill the tree stand with water daily. How much? A tree with a 5-inch diameter needs about 5 quarts of water every day.

2. Situate the tree strategically.

Christmas tree needles

If your tree is situated in a high-traffic area and is often jostled as people walk by, expect plenty of needles to fall. Instead, consider placing your tree in an out-of-the-way area where it will come into less frequent contact with passersby (or pets, for that matter). Optimally your prime spot will also be far enough away from area rugs and upholstered furniture to keep them from ending up covered in needles.

Related: The Best Rotating Christmas Tree Stands of 2021

3. Put your tree skirt to good use.

While tree skirts certainly serve a decorative purpose—covering the utilitarian, unattractive tree stand underneath—they’re also incredibly useful when it comes to containing fallen pine needles. Choose a skirt that covers plenty of floor area so that it will catch as many needles as possible. Every now and again, you can carefully remove the skirt and fold it in half before carrying it outside to shake out the needles.

DIY Tip: Turn the Christmas tree needles into a fragrant homemade fire starter by combining them with melted soy wax.

4. Use a vacuum attachment.

vacuum pine needles

Needles from evergreen trees may be covered with sap, which can gunk up a vacuum cleaner’s bristles. Instead, use one of your vacuum attachments—we suggest the hose or the crevice tool—to collect fallen needles. These tools will suck up the greenery without damaging the vacuum itself.

Related: How to Make Your Christmas Tree Last All Season

5. Sweep up pine needles.

If your vacuum doesn’t have the appropriate needle-collecting attachments, your next line of defense is your broom. Standard soft-bristled brooms may not do the best job picking up evergreen needles, but brooms with rubber bristles are usually up for the task and even work well on rugs and carpets.

DIY Tip: Once you’ve swept up the needles, whip up a seasonal stovetop potpourri by adding them to simmering water along with cloves, allspice, citrus, rosemary, or cinnamon sticks.

6. Stick with your lint roller.

lint roller picking up pine needles

If your tree’s needles are stubbornly sticking to the floor, try picking them up with a lint roller. If you don’t own a lint roller, a rolling a piece of packing tape or duct tape into the circle can also get the job done.

Related: 8 Ways to Make Your House Smell Like the Holidays

7. Clear a path to the exit.

When the holiday season reaches its end and it comes time to dispose of the Christmas tree, the removal process can create a huge mess if you don’t plan carefully. Your best course of action is to removing all of the furniture and area rugs between the tree and your front door. An open path helps prevent furniture and rugs from being covered in pine needles while the tree is in transit.

DIY Tip: Collect these last Christmas tree needles from the floor and upcycle them into scented drawer sachets. Wrap some needles in muslin and tie the bag off with string to keep clothes smelling like Christmas for weeks to come.

Related: Top Tips for Taking Down the Christmas Tree