Ready or not, here they come. From November to January, our lives get busy (and fun) with homes full of family, friends, and festivities. For most of us, that means we want things to really shine. We want visitors to feel welcome and comfortable — and find that things are clean and in order. If you’re getting ready to clean your home for the holidays, here are a few efficient ways to get the job done.
1. Fizz Up Your Toilet
Pour a cup of vinegar into your toilet and brush it around with your toilet brush. Then add a cup of baking soda and let it bubble away for about 10 minutes before scrubbing.
For me, cleaning the tub is worse than cleaning the toilet. Why? I’m 5 feet tall with shoes on, and while that puts me closer to the ground, it also means my reach isn’t great. So the less time I have to spend scrubbing the bathtub, the better. I never seem to be able to get it all clean! That’s why this grapefruit and salt trick is so great. It cleans the tub better than anything else I’ve tried, and it’s fast. Just take a good-sized grapefruit and cut it in half. Sprinkle one half with a generous layer of coarse kosher salt, and use it to scour your tub. When the salt is gone, sprinkle more on the other half of your grapefruit and finish up. This gets you great results, even on rusty stains!
3. Sparkling Dishwasher
You’ve heard the commercials that tout the sparkling dishes you’ll get with this or that detergent. But it’s hard to get sparkling dishes with a dirty dishwasher. Start by cleaning out the drain in the bottom of any food or debris (this is the gross part….wear gloves if you wish). Then, pour 1-2 cups of vinegar into a bowl or measuring cup, set it in your rack, and run your clean cycle with the hottest water. Once that cycle is done, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your dishwasher and run a shorter cycle with hot water. You’ll eliminate odors and muck that should never end up on your dishes!
4. Mop Sloppy
If you have a vinyl, linoleum, or tile floor that does fine with water, you should really be using the slop mop method to get your floors really clean (if you have wood or laminate, you have to be much more careful with water). This method involves using a bucket or your kitchen sink with your favorite cleaner and hot water, and instead of wringing out your mop before you hit the floor, you let it drip a little and then SLOP! You go for it. Here are the instructions for slop mopping.
5. Vacuuming Done Right
Believe it or not, there is actually a right way — and a wrong way — to vacuum your floors. It involves doing edges first (yes, with your attachments), then vacuuming on a grid one direction, and then the other. You should also be using an odor neutralizer.