Removing Tinsel from Carpeting

Written by April Reinhardt (last updated December 30, 2019)

Did you know that tinsel was first invented as Christmas tree garland in the early 1600s? Originally made of genuine silver, it was shredded into thin strips and placed upon tree boughs. To make it a more affordable holiday garnish, tinsel was later made from tin and included lead, which lent more weight to the strands so that they would hang easier.

Today, tinsel is comprised of aluminum, plastic, and flame retardants that have been added as a safety precaution. I can remember helping my aunt and cousins trim their Christmas tree when I was a pre-teen. I was fascinated with the handfuls of tinsel that they virtually threw at the tree after placing ornaments. My parents never used tinsel on our Christmas tree and, instead, opted for a rope garland of tinsel. Years later I learned that Dad's reasoning behind not using loose tinsel was because it can be a horrible task to clean up, since tinsel lodges itself into carpet. Not only that, but tinsel can become charged with static electricity, and you can find it on the hem of your pants or skirt from simply walking next to the Christmas tree.

When you find yourself picking tinsel out of your carpet during the holidays, use these methods for removing it easily:

  • Lint roller. Buy a commercial lint-roller—the kind that used-car dealerships use—and roll it over your carpeting. Not only will you pick up tinsel, you will also pick up lint, dirt, and debris.
  • Vacuum. Rent a shop vac and vacuum your carpets. Commercial grade shop vacs create more suction and are better able to pick up the metal than ordinary home vacuums.
  • Brush. Use an old hairbrush to remove tinsel—the round type works best, and the stiffer the better. Get down on the floor and roll the brush through the carpet and it should pick up all of the tinsel.
  • Dog brush or rollers. These are similar to a lint roller, in nature, just a little more powerful. Since they are designed to remove stubborn pet hair from your carpet, these are going to work like magic when it come time to remove tinsel from your carpeting.
  • Sock-hop. Put on an old pair of heavy socks, and then apply double-sided tape to the soles of your feet. Walk through the array of tinsel in your carpet and the tape will pick it up.

As always, hindsight is better than foresight, but it is worth mentioning that you can forego the dreaded cleaning of tinsel from carpeting by using a tree skirt under your Christmas tree. Make sure that the tree skirt is large enough to spread the entire diameter of your tree so that when tinsel does fall, it falls on the skirt instead of your carpet.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Creating Your Own Mulch

Mulch is comparable to the organic litter found on a forest floor, providing protection as well as fertilizer for your ...

Discover More

Caring for Roses

Roses have developed a reputation for being finicky. Roses are no more particular than other plants. They simply require ...

Discover More

Keeping Your Pipes from Freezing

If you've ever experienced the aftermath of frozen water pipes, then you've probably already taken measures to ensure ...

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Carpet Shampooing

A dull or dirty carpet can take away from your home's beauty. Try shampooing the carpet to get it back to looking new and ...

Discover More

Removing Watermelon Stains from Carpet

While watermelon may be mostly water, they can leave pretty nasty stains. Here are some ways you can go about removing ...

Discover More

Getting Broken Glass Out of Your Carpet

Broken glass isn't difficult to clean up, but you will want to be thorough and careful as you remove the pieces from your ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.