It’s no fun to think about post-holiday clean-up at the beginning of the season, but thinking about it now can keep you from stressing about the mess during holiday festivities. Here are six deep cleaning tips to make your home shine brighter than Christmas lights after the last guest heads home.
#1. Evict holiday leftovers from your fridge (because no one likes moldy cranberry sauce).
The holiday rush doesn’t exactly leave time to keep an eye on what’s going into the fridge or keep track of how long it’s been in there. If you can’t remember when you (or someone else) put it in there—it’s a good idea to toss it. Online resources like EatByDate can help you demystify how long that Christmas ham really lasts.
#2. Show your countertops some love.
Chances are a guest or two didn’t use coasters on your marble countertops and now there are water rings. Countertop materials like marble are susceptible to stains and require yearly maintenance. After the holiday is a great time to reseal or polish them because it’ll be an easy time to remember from year to year. Check with home improvement experts about the right polish or sealant to use before applying anything yourself.
#3. Clean and put away Grandma’s silver.
This can be a tedious task, but it’s a necessary one. Wash silverware and serving pieces by hand and dry them well. You probably won’t need to polish them again since you probably did so before using them. Store them in treated flannel bags and in a cool, dry place to prevent tarnishing.
#4. Give your kitchen cabinets a good wipe down.
Look closely and you’ll likely find drips, splatters, and sticky fingerprints decorating your white kitchen cabinets. Give your cabinet doors a good wipe down outside and inside to remove spots and stains. Don’t forget to clean the cabinet knobs and pulls too!
#5. Give pots and pans a little TLC.
Your trusty pots and pans could use a little tender loving care after the holidays. Cast-iron skillets may need to be re-seasoned—especially if a relative used them and didn’t clean them properly. Make a scrub with salt and water that’ll get pesky stuck-on food off without harming the skillet. Soak other pots and pans in warm, soapy water to loosen stuck-on food and then scrub them clean.
#6. Show your oven a little lovin’.
Between cooking the turkey, casseroles, and pies—your oven got a workout—now is the time to take advantage of the self-clean button to save yourself some energy. If your oven doesn’t have one, just use an approved oven cleaner and a little elbow grease. Don’t forget to pull the oven out from the wall and clean the sides and behind it too.
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