Queen of Clean’s top tips will prepare you and your house for Christmas visitors
For all the excitement and fun it brings, Christmas can be a bit of a nightmare – especially if you're the one hosting.
A panic to get the house ready for family and friends to visit over the holidays followed by a mass clean down as you find corners to your house you didn't realise existed.
Fortunately Lynsey Crombie, Queen of Clean, has some advice to get you through the seasonal celebrations.
Prepare your entrance
Place a doormat outside, and an extra bit of carpeting on the inside, for visitors to wipe their feet.
Place an additional shoe rack or a large plastic tub/laundry basket in the entrance of your home, so people get the hint to take off their shoes, which can then be left neat and tidy.
There is nothing worse than having a heap of shoes lying in your hallway, and the risk of falling over them.
Create a slipper basket
It’s a nice idea. When guests have removed their shoes, leave a basket of slippers at the door for them to slip into when they come in.
This way, everyone will feel at home quickly and can enjoy having warm feet for the rest of the evening.
Clutter makes a house look messy, plus it is harder to clean a cluttered room.
Grab a washing basket (or three) and clear out everything in the rooms you’ll be mostly using that doesn’t need to be there.
Banish fridge smells
Your fridge will be busier than usual, so place a small plastic tub with some bicarbonate of soda at the back of the middle shelf to keep it odour free.
It works as an odour eliminator, all you need is a tiny spoonful of bicarb.
Deal with bathroom smells
With impending guests and family and friends staying over, bleach the toilet, and keep plenty of spare loo roll available.
Leave a diffuser on a shelf to keep the bathroom smelling good throughout the hectic season, add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to the cardboard tube inside the toilet roll (five drops every few days is all you will need) and leave an air freshener in there for guests to use.
Ensure your guests have soft fluffy towels when they arrive.
Wash them with your usual detergent but add in a nice big capful of white wine vinegar to bring them back to life and to take away any of that hard crispness towels often have after washing.
Get rid of carpet odour
Use a mixture of bicarbonate of soda with a little essential oil to sprinkle over your rugs to keep them smelling fresh. Vacuum up.
Stock up on kitchen roll
Christmas is a prime time for spillages, so strategically place kitchen rolls all around the dining area, so there’s no excuse! People can soak up any spilt bevvies, plus catch any crumbs from those late-night mince pies.
Spilt candle wax can be easily removed. Cover the wax with a brown paper bag or parcel paper, then use heat applied from your hair dryer or iron to lift off the wax.
Then simply wipe away with an old cloth. Wipe away gently so you don’t damage any surface. If you spill nail polish on to your carpet, blot as much as you can to remove excess nail polish.
Then, using a microfibre cloth, apply a small amount of window cleaner to the stain and scrub in a circular motion. Rinse the affected area with water.
Broken glass trick
Smashed glasses? Don’t panic. Grab a slice of bread and soak up the glass pieces with it.
With all the extra baking you are doing, your kitchen may be hanging on to a few food smells.
To help banish these, pop a saucepan of water on the hob, add in 10ml of white wine vinegar and leave to simmer for around 15 minutes. This will release odour‑fighting power into the air and will help to deodorise the whole house.
The last thing you want to do is stand and scrub dishes.
Make life easier and sprinkle bicarbonate of soda onto your dishes, add boiled water and leave the bicarbonate of soda to do the scrubbing.
The bicarbonate will soften the food and burn marks, leaving you with clean baking trays and dishes.
No one wants to be ill at Christmas and the last thing you want is a horrible bug in your home.
Steam cleaning is perfect for the winter months: it has so many health benefits. It’s a completely natural, chemical-free and eco-friendly way to eliminate germs and viruses in your home.
Not only that, steam cleaning has been proven to improve sleep and make breathing easier for people with respiratory conditions.
Clean door handles and surfaces that are going to be used a lot in the kitchen or bathroom.
Remove scuff marks from your plates
Use cream of tartar powder – a popular kitchen staple that is used in many recipes. It is also known as potassium bitartrate and can be used around the home to solve many problems.
Make a paste of cream of tartar and water, and use it to scrub away scratches or stains on your dishes. Simply apply the paste, scrub with your fingers or a sponge, and rinse with water.
Adapted from How To Clean Your House at Christmas by Lynsey Crombie (Harper Collins, £10.39)
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