The holidays arrived, and that means it’s party time! If on your way to a party, your job is easy. Pick up a bottle of wine for the host, or an appropriate white elephant gift, and go!
On the other hand, if you took on hosting this year, your job became a bit trickier. You want your home to sparkle like newly fallen snow, but if your vacuum or dust rag haven’t seen daylight in a while, you may feel overwhelmed about where to start. Rather than worrying, if you follow these things you should always clean, your party will surely be a hit — oh, and as long as you don’t forget the wine!
The Guest Bathroom
Ugh. No one likes cleaning the potty, but no one wants to use a filthy one, either! One of the first things you should always clean should be the guest bathroom, or the bathroom period if you only have one.
Start with the toilet. You can go the traditional bleach route, although if you or any of your guests are sensitive to chlorine bleach, you can kill germs just as easily with some white vinegar. Few people think about just how gross their toilet brush gets after use. To eliminate foul odors from accumulating on your toilet brush, add a bit of disinfectant cleaner to the base where it sits. As a bonus, this will give the entire room a freshly cleaned scent. Unsightly hard water stains around your faucet? Simply slice a lemon in half and rub to remove rust and hard water stains!
You may be accustomed to that mild doggie funk your rug has, but it certainly won’t please the noses of your guests! If spots remain on your rug from Fido’s latest oops, invest in a high-quality pet odor eliminator product. You can find these at nearly any pet store and in some grocery stores.
The best way to get a handle on areas needing a bit of extra attention? Invest in a black light, and give your rug a search with it. Because the bacteria in dog or kitty urine reflects in black light, you’ll easily spot areas in need of cleaning.
Speaking of pets, no one wants to curl up on a couch covered in fur! Make sure you use the vacuum attachment to give every couch where a guest may sit — or later crash — a good once-over. No hose attachment on your vacuum? Use a roll of masking tape or duct tape to remove pet fur. Of course, your pets live with you and it’s their home, too, but there’s no need to have your guests carrying home souvenirs of fluffy stuck to their trouser bottoms.
You’ve cooked and cooked some more in hopes of hosting the party of the century, but cooking left a gunky mess on your stylish glass cook top. Since the goal is to make guests see hosting as a natural habit for you, one of the things you should always clean is the mess you make after making your preparations.
The key to cleaning glass cook tops involves gentleness. Avoid abrasive cleaners and leave the metal scrubbie for your dishes. Blend a bit of baking soda and water, spray onto your stove, allow to sit for about 30 minutes while you clean something else and then wipe. Viola! No one needs to know the number of hours you spent prepping that luscious lasagna.
We usually don’t think about our fridges until we’re down to our last fast food mustard and ketchup packets. But fridges can obtain funky odors, too, and no one wants to open the fridge to grab a beer and see a half-rotten head of lettuce.
The best way to clean your refrigerator? Take everything out and wipe with a blend of water and white vinegar. Toss anything ghastly which will open up plenty of room for leftovers and drinks.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant, unwrapped your silverware from the napkin, and found a bit of the last patron’s meal left on your fork? Gross, right? Make a paste of baking soda and water to scrub dirty or tarnished silverware back to a shine. Invest in a good non-streak glass cleaner for your dishwasher, or wash stemware by hand.
Guest Room Sheets
Depending upon your guest list, you may have one or two friends stay the night. When was the last time you washed the guest room sheets? Even if you only laid there to watch the game while your partner watched something else, oils and bits of skin stick to the pillows and sheets. So, this is why one of the things you should always clean are the sheets! Give them a wash.
After all that heavy cleaning and preparation, you are sure to be less than fresh. Treat yourself to a nice, relaxing bubble bath before your guests arrive. You’ll emerge feeling sparkling fresh and ready to obtain the title of Host of the Year at your party!
Get Your Party On
Now that you know what things you should always clean before a party, go out and make that holiday party shine!