Do you need to clean your artificial Christmas tree before you put it up?
This is a question many people have likely never considered. But a TikTok from someone named Rhema (@rhema.br) has people wondering how dirty a fake Christmas tree could possibly be.
Rhema largely posts CleanTok content—cleaning hacks and tips—and there are only a handful of TikToks on her page. Over the weekend, she posted about an “unpopular opinion,” showing that she washes her artificial tree in the bathtub, spraying it with Method cleaner and using Dawn dish soap.
In the end, it doesn’t look like much dirt is going down the drain.
“The water being clear told me I don’t need to do this,” said one commenter.
“Cleantok is getting outta hand,” said another.
The TikTok has more than 1 million views. While Rhema’s tree is small enough that it can actually fit in the tub, a lot of the responses to the video remarked that this is not something most people have time or bandwidth for.
One person asked whether getting the tree wet could lead to mold.
@rhema.br Clean my Christmas tree with me 🌲 #clean #cleaning #cleaningtiktok #cleantok #cleantiktok #cleaningmotivation #cleaninghacks #cleaningtips #christmas #christmastiktok #christmastree #christmascountdown #christmasdecor #christmasclean #christmascleaning #christmascleanup #christmascleantok ♬ original sound – Rhema
“Never in my life will I clean my Christmas tree,” remarked @ms.sharon5.
“I’m lucky if I remember to clean my house,” said @cartersmom2017.
There are tutorials for cleaning artificial trees, though most of them require dusting, vacuuming, or spot cleaning. If you do clean artificial Christmas trees in the shower, it’s advised that you cover the drain so the needles don’t clog it. And definitely don’t clean a pre-lit tree with water.
The Daily Dot reached out to Rhema for comment via email.
Update Dec. 1, 2:07pm CT: Rhema tells the Daily Dot that she typically cleans her artificial tree because it “can harbor a lot of dust and smells from all the guests and cooking we do around the holidays, even if they’re only up for a short while.”
She says she sun-dried the tree for a few days to completely dry, and that this type of cleaning could help respiratory health as well. As for the response, she’s looking at the positive side:
“I pray that everyone can find joyful moments of showing love and care for something or someone through cleaning,” she says. “Regardless of how controversial it might seem, I’m pretty sure at least one person is going to consider if their Christmas tree needs to be cleaned and, to me, that means my video was a success.”