How do I clean a wreath?

Mary Overmyer
by Mary Overmyer

Years ago my mother made a wreath for me from lengths of rope tied onto a metal wreath form. Over the years the rope has darkened to a dark gold color and also nicotine discoloring. I would like to use the wreath in my farmhouse decor but really hate the gold. Is there a safe way to clean this as I don't want to risk ruining it. Thank you

  6 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jan 02, 2019

    I'd suggest bleaching it but if you get it wet, the firm will rust. Maybe leave out in Sun for a few weeks a Sun bleach it.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jan 02, 2019

      Well then, I would definitely submerge in warm bleach water, then rinse in cold and wrap in towel to squeeze as much wet out of it. If clean enough blow dry it if not clean again.

  • Betty Albright-Bistrow Betty Albright-Bistrow on Jan 02, 2019

    Hi Mary! Here is an idea for you to get your wreath nice and clean, and how to keep it that way.

    Decorative wreaths of rope add a beautiful natural touch to decor. They can become dust-catchers, whether on a front door or inside the home. It's not difficult to keep the wreaths fresh, appealing and dirt-free. You will need the following things:

    • Vacuum cleaner
    • Dish soap
    • Newspapers
    • Spray wax or polish

    Include your wreath in your regular vacuuming routine. Every week, remove it from its hanger and vacuum off dust, back and front. Work gently; a brush attachment catches dust without damaging fragile ropes. The vacuuming usually cleans, rather than swallows, decorations on the wreath as well. A hand-held vacuum will also work for this task.

    Wash the wreath in warm, soapy water, rinse thoroughly and air-dry on newspaper. In a dirt-prone area—an apartment door close to the building front door, a household outside door or a porch, plan to do this twice a year. Before you remove decorations first, if you have doubts about whether they can be washed, or TEST a small patch of decorative material before continuing. Rinse and let dry thoroughly before rehanging, to avoid smudges or water drip-trails on the wall. Wreaths not exposed to wind, rain or other sources of airborne dirt may need washing only once a year, if regularly vacuumed.

    Spray a dry wreath with a light coat of spray furniture wax or polish before rehanging. Protect surfaces around your work area when spraying your wreath with wax or polish, so that it goes just where you want it. Turn and rotate wreath to cover all surfaces.This will protect its surfaces from rapid accumulations of dust or dirt, making it easier to keep clean.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 02, 2019

    Hi Mary, because it's nicotine, you will need to use a strong cleaner like simple green or spray nine, diluted in warm NOT hot water, submerge the wreath into the water and swoosh it around, you will need to empty dirty water, rinse the wreath and repeat until it comes clean, once you get it clean absorb as much of the water off it as you can and use a blow dryer on warm to dry and prevent rust from the metal. Good luck!

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jan 02, 2019

    Hi! I can understand wanting to preserve your wreath with it's sentimental background. Since you don't like its current appearance, I would clean it. I would make a tub of soapy water using Dawn (blue) dish detergent. I wouldn't soak it, but, swish it around. When the water becomes dirty, use a new tub (or basin) of warm, soapy water. When most of the nicotine is removed, you will see less murky water. I would pat it dry and then hang it to dry the rest of the way. Make sure it is completely dry before doing anything else. If you still don't like the color, you have options. A clear sealer will protect the now clean finish, but, won't do anything for the color. There are excellent spray paints now in a variety of colors. Explore spray paint at your stores, looking for a color you like. Spray it, light layers at a time, and then use a clear sealer to enjoy it for years to come.

  • Kelly-n-Tony Kelly-n-Tony on Jan 05, 2019

    This might be a crazy thought but why not use a leaf blower to get it a bit cleaner? I also wonder if you can spray paint it.