Wellness & Education

Allergic to Christmas or the Mold on Your Tree?  

Do you find yourself getting a sinus infection or suffering from allergy symptoms every Christmas? If so, don’t worry. You’re not allergic to the holidays. You may, however, be allergic to dust and mold.  

Over 50 different molds have been found to grow on live Christmas trees. When you bring a tree into your house, the molds continue to grow until the tree is removed. Using an artificial tree can help enormously, but depending on how it’s stored, it can still cause problems. Artificial trees, and even decorations, can bring dust and mold into the house if stored in damp conditions, or where dust mites can grow.  

If you think your decorations are causing you problems, here are a few tips:  

  • Shake the dust off your tree before bringing it inside.  
  • Clean your tree off before putting it up. Spray it with water and let it drip dry to remove dust and mold. Even an artificial tree can be sprayed as long as it’s not pre-lit.  
  • If you don’t want to use water, try using compressed air to spray off the tree.  
  • Spray your tree with water and a small amount of bleach. This will help kill of some of the mold and/or slow its growth.  
  •  Dust your ornaments before putting them up. They’ll not only be cleaner, they’ll also be shinier. 
  • Store your ornaments and artificial tree in a warm, temperature-controlled area to prevent the growth of mold.  
  • Consider shortening the time your tree is up. In some cultures, the tree isn’t put up until Christmas Eve. You may feel like a Grinch if you do this, but it’s one way to compromise with the “live tree only” enthusiasts in your household. It certainly beats being sick every Christmas.