Christmas is almost here, so apart from trimming the tree and making a list and checking it twice, it's also time to dust off the old cleaning gloves to prepare your home for the festive season.
One of the best things about Christmas time is gathering the family together and spending quality time with loved ones. But that means making sure your home is spick and span and everything is in working order before your guests arrive.
Before the dread sets in, rest assured that with a little planning, a good clean doesn’t have to take up your whole day or leave your house smelling like a hospital.
Co-Founder of UrbanYou, Elke Keely, shares five simple ways you can get your cleaning act together, for a stress-free holiday season.
Unclog your drains
They’re easy to forget about, but a clogged drain can be a nightmare during the holidays.
“A clogged drain not only causes a horrible smell, it can also really affect your plumbing,” Elke says. “Pour a tablespoon of bicarb followed by a tablespoon of vinegar, into your drain and let it work its magic for about 20 minutes. Rinse it away with some boiling hot water, repeat if needed, and you’ll have fresh-smelling drains without the hard work.”
Sort out your oven
Cleaning out your oven is never at the top of your priority list, but no one wants to see their Christmas ham coming out of an oven with a multitude of baked-on stains.
Before you whip out your elbow-length rubber gloves and grab a face mask, Elke has a much easier way to make your oven sparkle again.
“Warm your oven a little to help break down some of the grease. Then rub a paste of bicarb soda and warm water all over your oven, followed by a generous amount of white vinegar,” Elke details. “Leave it to bubble away and break down for about an hour – depending on how dirty your oven is – then wipe clean with a cloth.”
Tackle your kitchen
We all know that germs love living in kitchens, so when was the last time you washed or replaced that old dishwashing sponge?
Elke recommends tackling your kitchen head on by throwing away old cloths and sponges, and cleaning out your bin with lemon juice.
“You can also give your wooden chopping boards a freshen up with coconut oil and half a lemon to keep the wood sparkling, and to kill any lingering bacteria,” she adds.
Get your windows gleaming
Washing your windows can be back-breaking and frustrating as you try and buff away every last streak and smudge.
However, Elke says that cleaning your windows can actually be one of the easiest chores.
“Using an equal parts vinegar and water mix, simply spray onto the window and wipe clean straight away with a paper towel, or lint-free cloth, in a horizontal motion – the faster you move the less likely you are to get streaks,” she says.
Improve your lighting
If you want to instantly brighten up your room, forget about buying extra decorator items and simply give your light fixtures a once over.
“Use a damp cloth to gently wipe away any dust build-up, and let that festive feeling stream in with warm, clean light,” Elke says. And don’t forget to take a top-down approach so you’re not doubling up – start with your lights and finish with skirting boards and floors.