Are you the kind of person who’s always keeping things tidy or someone who puts off chores for as long as possible? Chances are that (like us) you fall somewhere in the middle. Hosting holidays is stressful enough without throwing extra cleaning into the mix, especially when you don’t know where to start.
Chores seem to always be in waiting mode, giving us side eye when we opt for watching shows over wiping counters. Worst of all, cleaning costs time, effort, and (of course) money.
The good news is that there’s no better time to bid expensive cleaning products good-bye. Most of the time, a few age-old cleaning hacks will do the same job as pricey sprays and sponges.
Do you want to eradicate those unpleasant smells? Remove the stains from your carpet? Make your kitchen look like new before your holiday guests arrive? We’ve got your back.
Best cleaning hacks to prepare for Christmas.
These cleaning hacks are the perfect way to get your Christmas cleaning done in a snap. You’ve got presents to wrap, a home to decorate, and delicious meals to cook – why waste time on cleaning?
1. Use rubbing alcohol to get rid of grease stains
Getting stains out is always a headache, especially when the stain has made its home in your carpet. Not to worry, there’s a simple trick you can use to get those stubborn grease stains out of your beautiful carpets (or anywhere else!).
Start by mixing one part salt and four parts of rubbing alcohol. Then, rub the mixture over the stain to lift that unsightly grease. Allow the surface to dry and vacuum or wipe up the leftover salt, and the job is done!
2. Clean your couch with baking soda
Does your couch have a lingering smell? An unshakable stain? Spots and splotches that seemed to come out of nowhere?
Baking soda is a lifesaver for couches that have seen better days. This natural cleaner helps deal with these kinds of problems.
First, you need to brush off your couch’s surface. Next, dust the baking soda on the area you wish to clean and leave it there for about 20 minutes. Finally, vacuum it up by using your brush attachment!
3. Freshen up your shoe closet
Baking soda is good for more than just couches. If your shoe closet is less than company-ready, it can help you freshen things up. This cleaning hack is about as old as baking soda itself – just get a box of regular baking soda, open it, and place it in your closet.
If you’re dealing with an especially strong smell, use two boxes of baking soda and a put a few drops of essential oil in them. Before you know it, your closet will smell better than any other room in the house!
4. Clean your dishwasher
When was the last time you washed your dishwasher? It might seem counterintuitive, but dishwashers don’t automatically clean themselves. So giving them a good clean is important!
When your appliances are in top-notch shape, it makes them last longer. And heading into the holidays, especially if you’re hosting, your dishwasher is going to be extra busy.
This quick, cheap cleaning hack for a cleaner dishwasher only needs a dishwasher-safe container, baking soda, and some white vinegar.
First, remove the bottom rack of your dishwasher and get easy access to that dishwasher drain. Then, wipe out any food remains or gunk that you can reach
Next, fill up your dishwasher-safe storage with one cup of vinegar. Put it on the upper rack and run your dishwasher through a hot water cycle. Besides the container filled up with vinegar, keep your dishwasher empty!
Then you’ll want to sprinkle about a cup of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwashern and run it again.
Bonus tip: Repeat this process once a month for keeping your appliances in the best condition for a long time.
5. Make your microwave sparkle
Just like your dishwasher, your microwave is in high demand around Christmas and Thanksgiving. Give your microwave a bit of TLC with this quick, easy cleaning hack.
Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a microwave-safe container and add a small wooden object (like a toothpick) to prevent boiling.
Run your microwave for a few minutes – up to 5 for especially stubborn grease – and give the container a few minutes to cool. Then just wipe your microwave out with a towel or sponge and you’re done!
Bonus tip: Add some lemon juice to the mixture for a clean and fresh scent!
6. Give your stainless steel appliances some shine
Did you know that furniture polish can brighten up your stainless steel appliances? Just clean them with regular soapy water and then wipe them down with some furniture polish. As far as cleaning hacks go, this one is almost effortless!
7. Bleach your cutting boards
Has your favorite cutting board become a home to bacteria? If it’s been a while since you’ve done a deep clean, the answer is probably. (Especially if you’ve been working with raw turkey!)
No worries, you can sanitize your cutting boards with an all-rounder bleach solution. Mix two tablespoons of bleach with a gallon of water for wooden boards and two teaspoons of bleach per gallon for plastic boards.
You don’t need to soak them for ages, about 10 minutes is plenty. Then run them through your (now clean!) dishwasher and you’ll be good to go.
Cleaning hacks to love
Whether you are a last-minute tidy-upper or a fan of constant cleaning, these easy and quick tricks will help you make your cleaning process a lot easier!
Then get to enjoying the best part of the holidays – making a mess!
Here at Penny Calling Penny, our holiday articles are only a part of our growing library. We’re dedicated to helping you learn to manage your money, no matter where you’re at on your financial journey. Subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss a Penny, and we’ll see you next time!