Cleaning Tips To Get You Through The Holidays
With the holidays just around the corner, chances are good that you’ll be entertaining and/or having houseguests. In either case, you’ll want your home and its contents to look their best. To that end, we offer up some of our favorite cleaning tips that may help you get through the holidays with a bit less stress and your home no worse for the wear.
Candle Wax Clean-ups
Holidays tend to put extra wear and tear on your home — and sometimes candles are the culprits. At this time of year, folks use lots of them. Candle glow is warm, festive and romantic, but candle wax is a pain to get out when it drips onto your carpet. When this happens, you have two options: Chill it with an ice cube and scrape it off with the edge of a butter knife or cover the drops with a paper towel or brown paper bag and gently run a warm iron over the spot. Start with a fairly low temperature and keep checking and increasing as you go along. You’ll be amazed at how well either of these methods will work. By the way, if the candle is colored, use the chill method rather than the heat to avoid staining the carpet.
Cleaning a Pan Bottom
If there’s anything that goes part in parcel with holiday entertaining, it’s cooking. And one of the most laborious aspects of cooking is the cleanup. When you have a dirty frying pan, try this cleaning method. It usually will remove all the black, cruddy buildup from the bottom of a pan or an electric skillet, for that matter. Place the pan or skillet upside-down, inside a plastic garbage bag. Pour ammonia onto the back of the pan, but avoid getting ammonia on the cooking surface side. Lay an absorbent cloth over the ammonia and then add more ammonia until the rag is saturated. Close the plastic bag, making an airtight seal. Let the pan soak overnight, or for at least eight hours. Remove the pan from the bag and rinse it off in hot water. Use a steel wool scrubbing pad to eliminate extra-tough spots. While this method will make your cookware look like new, it can damage nonstick coatings, so we suggest that you clean them the old fashioned way using mild dishwashing liquid and hot water.
Ovens that self-clean
Part of the “good life” is having appliances that do the work for you, like self-cleaning ovens for instance. Sometimes we’re inclined to give them a little help with a commercial oven cleaner and a good hand-scrubbing to loosen cooked-on goo, but it’s not the right thing to do. Chemicals can pit and ruin the porcelain surface, and when the oven reaches 850 degrees or 900 degrees during the high-heat self-cleaning cycle, chunks of porcelain as big as six inches across can start popping off the oven walls. Put away the cleaner and rubber gloves and relax while your oven self-cleans. Once it’s done what it’s supposed to do, wipe up the carbon ash residue with a damp cloth. It’s less work, more fun and won’t damage your oven.
Removing White Rings on Furniture
It never fails during a holiday party or large gathering. Sooner or later, somebody is going to set a wet glass on your fine furniture and leave it there long enough to create a nasty white ring. First, remember the stain is in the waxed finish, not the wood. Here’s how to get it out. Make sure the surface is clean and dry, and then place a small amount of mayonnaise directly on the white ring. Cover the area with a piece of plastic wrap and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Remove the wrap and lightly rub the mayo into the finish using a nylon-scouring pad working with the grain. Then wipe up the remaining mayo with a soft cloth and restore luster to the area with some lemon oil or paste wax. The white ring will be gone. Next time, have plenty of coasters and politely remind your guests to use them.
Red Wine on Light Carpet
Holiday entertaining is full of cheer and often with wine and spirits that accidentally make their way onto your carpet. If your carpet is dark a drop or two of fine wine will likely go unnoticed. However, if you have light-colored wall-to-wall carpeting and the spill is a nice cabernet or merlot, the red spot will stick out like a sore thumb. What’s more, it can remain there forever unless you take quick and decisive cleaning action. First, don’t panic! Instead, grab a box of table salt and club soda. If you don’t have club soda, water will do. Sprinkle salt on the stain (enough so that it starts soaking up the red wine). When the salt turns red, vacuum it. Then apply club soda or water, and blot with paper towels or a white terrycloth rag. Follow up with more salt, and keep repeating the process until the salt goes from pink to white. Then give a final rinse and blot the spot to remove any leftover salt. It could take several days, but the stain eventually will fade away. A trick to avoid spills that works for us is to fill wine glasses a little less full and a little more often.
For more home improvement tips and information search our website or call our listener hot line 24/7 at 1-800-737-2474.