If you plan on using tableware that’s usually stored throughout the year, pull it out and give everything a good wipe down. Check to see if your dishes are dishwasher safe, or if they’ll need to be hand washed.
Here are some tips to carefully clean your special-occasion hand-wash only dishes:
• Put a towel at the bottom of the sink to avoid dishes coming in contact with a hard surface.
• Wash dishes gently with a soft towel or sponge and soapy water.
• Gently place in dish rack to dry and wipe with a lint-free or linen cloth when dry.
Once your dishes are clean, move on to the silverware so your guests can enjoy a stain-free and smudgeless meal.
Tips to make your silverware shine:
• Line a shallow pan with aluminum foil and fill the pan with two or three inches of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
• Soak silverware for around ten minutes, this will “polish” it and remove dirty, stains, and grease.
• Rinse silverware under warm running water and air-dry it on a clean towel.
• With a soft, clean cloth, buff the silverware to remove water spots.
Now that all the fixings for your table are ready, pull out the holiday placemats. Set the table ahead of time if you plan on hosting a large crowd. If you’re worried about the settings collecting dust, cover each setting with a large napkin or cloth. Keep glassware in a cabinet until the day of the meal.
Clean floors and furniture are important to creating a welcoming home. Although the holidays offer guests the perfect opportunity to spill red wine, gravy and candle wax on your upholstery, you should at least start the holiday season with a clean slate.
Tips for making floors and furniture ready for the holidays:
• Mop the kitchen floor. You can make your own cleaner in a gallon of warm water, mix two tablespoons of borax and then mop your floor.
• Clean hardwood floors with a microfiber dusting pad to get rid of dust and use the hose attachment of your vacuum to suck up any dirt that has been pushed against the baseboards.
• Vacuum rugs and carpets and spot treat any existing stains.
Well, not literally, although a nice vanilla or cinnamon scented candle in the bathroom is a great way to bring in some holiday cheer. Whether you are a fan of seasonal guest towels, or you merely want to make sure your bathrooms are in tip top shape, you can find some helpful tips so no stray hairs or hair spray residue greets a visitor.
Tips for a beautiful bathroom:
• To combat grime on grout make a paste of baking soda and peroxide, apply and rub in with an old toothbrush. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes and wipe off with a wet cloth.
• If it’s been awhile since you last took care of your drains, give your pipes a little TLC. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar. The two ingredients will create a foaming action that you can let stand for a few minutes before pouring boiling water down the drain to wash out any clogs due to grease, oil or hair.
• Clean shower glass and mirrors with equal parts white vinegar and water for a streak-free shine.
• Your shower curtain needs cleaning too. Check the cleaning instructions on the curtain and liner. Some washing machines even come with a shower curtain setting. Keep the shower curtain closed when not in use so water can’t sit in the folds and cause mildew.
• Baseboards can collect hairspray, dust and lint over time. Use a soft cloth with warm water to wipe them down.
• Wipe down countertops and check for any stains or damage that can be caused by things such as acetone in nail polish remover.
• Keep fixtures shining with cleaning wipes, or soap and warm water. For stainless steel fixtures, affresh™ Stainless steel wipes can be used.
Preparing the guest room ahead of time will save you the embarrassment of trying to beat guests to their room in order to do a final sheet change or dusting.
Tips for getting the guest room(s) comfortable:
• Change the sheets and make sure there are enough blankets and pillows in the guest closet. Provide a variety of pillows, hard and soft, so if they have a preference they can have options.
• Give dressers a good dusting and don’t forget to check inside the drawers. Be sure guests have a couple empty drawers and hangers in the closet so they aren’t forced to live out of their suitcase.
• Lay out a bath towel and wash cloths. Try to make them a different color than yours, so guests know which towels are theirs to use.
• Wipe down the blinds if you have them. If you have drapes, make sure they can open and close easily.
• Create a welcome basket with toiletry essentials guest may have forgotten at home. Include a map, a list of places to visit if they want to explore on their own, spare keys to the house, a list of important phone numbers, and reading material.
• Put out a spare pair of slippers.
Chilly weather means unpacking heavy winter blankets and treating yourself to flannel sheets to keep warm.
Stored linens may not smell or feel so fresh after being boxed up all summer. As you prep your own bedroom for cooler nights, prep guest rooms so linens are clean and ready for houseguests.
Before you start loading up the washer, be sure your laundry room is fit to handle the task. Cleaning your washing machine will ensure your winter linens are cleaned and treated well during the wash cycle.
Affresh® Washer cleaner helps remove and prevent odor-causing residue build-up that can accumulate in all brands and configurations of washers. The oxygenated bubbling action of the affresh® Power Puck™ tablet penetrates and dissolves unseen residue, providing a more effective cleaning option than bleach alone.
Tips for keeping the washing machine as clean as your fresh laundry:
• Remove clothing from the washer tub.
• Add one Power Puck™ tablet to the washer tub and run the washer on the “Normal” cycle or “Clean Washer with affresh” cycle, selecting the hot water option.
• If you have a front-loading washer, keeping the door seal clean is important to help keep you washer odor-free. Inspect the seal between the door opening and the basket for stained areas. Pull back the seal to inspect all areas under the seal and to check for foreign objects. If stained areas are found, we recommend using affresh® Grit Grabber™ cloth.