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Holiday House Cleaning: The Do's and Don'ts

Holidays come at you fast, and it can feel like your head is on a swivel with all the preparing for your upcoming party. It can even be a source of stress and anxiety! At least for cleaning, we've got your back with the do’s and don’ts on holiday cleaning so you can stay on top of things for any room.

Jump to any room in the house:

One boy and one girl walking down the stairs during Christmas

Holiday Kitchen Cleaning

Do’s:

  • Do have your tile sparkling like holiday lights! Your kitchen will be the place to be with all the good homemade food and desserts. Make sure your tile floors are looking their best and get the deep clean they need to be party-ready. Our tile cleaning is even scientifically-proven to remove an average of 96% of common household allergens. 
  • Do hand wash fine dishware and utensils. Holiday house parties mean it’s time to whip out your fine china and utensils. With their fragileness and pricelessness, its best to hand wash this dishware. Using gentle microfiber towels and no harsh dish scrubbers when you clean these.
  • Do clean out your refrigerator. Leading up to the week of the party, it’s key to clear out your kitchen to make room for holiday dishes, ingredients, and drinks. Start with expired foods and work your way into condensing food into smaller containers as they best fit. Then, wipe down shelves and drawers.
  • Do organize cabinets, drawers, and countertops. It’s easy for kitchens to become cluttered which is why organizing is needed. Drawer dividers, jars, and containers are great for grouping similar items in a neat fashion. For miscellaneous items like mail, car keys, and more, try using a serving tray. It keeps everything in one place and looks tidy. It’s also easy to grab the tray and hide it from guests before they arrive.

Don’ts: 

  • Don’t use paper towels to dry off surfaces. Microfiber towels offer a better dry result because they’re absorbent and dry fast. It’s more effective to use a microfiber towel compared to multiple paper towels that are needed to dry a surface. Be sure to have plenty on hand and don’t overuse the same towel! 
  • Don’t throw every kitchen tool into your dishwasher. Some kitchenware like garlic presses, cheese graters, or zesters have smaller crevices that the dishwasher won’t be able to thoroughly clean. Food could easily be leftover and can cause mold to grow. Wash these types of items by hand with hot water and dish soap being sure to get every corner and small hole.
  • Don’t get called out for gross grout. After tile cleaning, it’s easy to forget about cleaning your grout lines as well. But don’t just stop there. Recoloring your grout brings a sleek, new finish to dull floors that will revamp the look of your entire kitchen! 
  • Don’t skip the sink! With garbage disposals, sinks quickly grow germs and bacteria with the leftover food remnants surrounding it. Wipe down the sink after each use and clean your disposal from time to time!

Holiday Dining Room Cleaning

Do’s:

  • Do dust light fixtures and replace dead light bulbs. Chandeliers and other light fixtures are a strong focus of the dining room. Dust and check that all the lights properly work for the best presentation.
  • Do vacuum the drapes. With a low setting and attachment, vacuum in and around your drapes that are prone to sit and collect dust. 
  • Do wipe down baseboards. First, dust with microfiber towels or dry brush to get the dust off. Then, wash off with cleaner and a damp microfiber towel. Finally, use a large cotton swab for any hard to reach corners.
  • Do protect your hardwood table. With plenty of hot plates and crockpots, it’s a safe practice to protect the wood with table covers and cork placemats. Use your hardwood table without a table cover for a more intimate, smaller crowd versus a large gathering.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t clean a room from floor to ceiling. If you clean the top of furniture and surfaces last, then you won’t clean up all the dust and debris that inevitably fly around during cleaning. By starting from the top, you will eventually get to any dirt, crumbs, and grime that makes its way to the floor.
  • Don’t lift furniture in the wrong way. Lifting heavy furniture like grand dining room tables can make you more likely to injure yourself. Before cleaning, stretch for 10 minutes to prepare your body for any intense moving that needs to be done to clean hard to reach places. Furniture sliders are also great to use to make moving easier.
  • Don’t spray cleaners directly onto surfaces. Spraying directly on places like tabletops or glass can create a buildup of solution which can lead to greasier surfaces and end up attracting more dust and dirt. If you do spray directly on, remember less is more and don’t oversaturate.
Close up of dining room table set with plates, silverware, and festive decor

Holiday Entry and Hall Cleaning

Do’s:

  • Do organize the hallway closet. This is to make room for guests and have a place for them to put their coats. You can even invest in a storage bench to hide any clutter you may have!
  • Do disinfect doorknobs, handles, and stair rails. This should definitely be applied to the rest of the house, but it’s good to start with the first touchpoint of your home at the entrance. 
  • Do have an entryway rug for party goers to wipe off shoes that could track in dirt, mud, and snow. You can even invest in a rug specifically for parties that you roll out as needed. Look into getting one that is water-absorbent and durable.

Don’t:

  • Don’t use a feather duster to dust your entryways and hallways. This spreads and fluffs more dust around than traps it. A microfiber duster is a far better tool that attracts dust and leaves less redepositing than a feather duster. 
  • Don’t clean windows on a sunny day. While it seems like the better option because it’s easier to detect and see grime, it can actually be counterproductive. A hot sun beating down on your windows can make glass cleaner evaporate which can lead to streaking. Instead, it’s best to clean windows on a cloudy day when temperatures are under 70 degrees.
  • Don’t forget to clean off doormats. With plenty of guests and traffic about to come into your home, you don’t want to forget your doormat. Shake off the doormat of all dust and dirt. Then, vacuum all you can. Cleaning doormats will ensure it traps more dirt and dander people are bound to track in.
Staircase with decor around the railway

Holiday Living Room Cleaning

Do’s:

  • Do vacuum a handful of times leading up to the day. Vacuuming can be tiresome, but if your home has kids and pets running around, you should plan to vacuum more than once during the days before the holiday. First, vacuum to get the weekly dirt and dust that collects on your floors. Then, vacuum another one to two times before the event so it stays as spotless as possible.
  • Do clean and deodorize your carpet. Professional carpet cleaning can have your carpet looking spotless for your friends and family. Also, adding deodorizer can neutralize any foul odors left from pets or constant traffic. This way you can focus on scented-candles and the aroma of freshly-baked food.
  • Do set a timer to manage your cleaning wisely. Timers can be your friend and keep you on task as you clean big areas like the living room. Timers also break up cleaning into smaller, more manageable tasks rather than one large project.
  • Do the little things to stay tidy. This includes fluffing pillows, washing throw blankets, and straightening out any area rugs. The little things always make a big difference to the room.
  • Do make space for food and drinks. While holiday decor adds flair, be mindful of where you place it, because guests need enough space to set their glasses and plates down. Doing this can prevent a cup from sitting too closely on the edge of a table and help stop an accident from happening. 

Don’ts:

  • Don’t vacuum pet fur without the proper attachment. Using the wrong attachment can place more work on yourself. The best attachment to use for pet fur is a rubber bristle brush. The rubber helps loosen the fur and helps your vacuum suction up more.
  • Don’t wait until the vacuum bag or canister is full to replace or empty them. Waiting until the bag or canister is practically ful can inhibit your vacuum’s efficiency. Prevent clogging and make sure your vacuuming is not spewing more dander into the room by emptying regularly.
  • Don’t sweat a sloppy spill. Adding our carpet protectant can truly have you ready for anything when it comes time for your holiday get together. Spills and spots are no match and can help relieve you of stress when it comes to accident-prone guests! 
  • Don’t sit on funky furniture. With professional cleaning, you will enhance the appearance of your couch so you don’t have to hide it from guests. This means you can ditch the slipcover or large blankets and show off your refreshed, inviting upholstery.
  • Don’t use harsh scrubbers when spot cleaning the carpet. Scrubbing can untwist fibers in your carpet and create damaged pile. We always recommend blotting when spot treating so you are gentle on the carpet yet tough on spills.
Festive living room showing a Christmas tree and couch

Holiday Bathroom Cleaning

Do’s:

  • Do layout festive towels on the day of the party. To have hand towels be their freshest for the party, wait to lay them out until the day of. 
  • Do organize and clean the medicine cabinet. While no one likes to admit it, people can be prone to look into other’s medicine cabinets. Be sure to clear out anything you don’t want people rummaging through!
  • Do soak your showerhead in vinegar. To get off the grime that could be clogging your showerhead, fill a plastic bag full of vinegar and secure it around your showerhead. Let it sit for a few minutes as you clean other items and when you go to scrub, dirt and grime will be loosened and broken down.
  • Do vacuum your exhaust fan. Use a vacuum attachment to dislodge dust from the vent that’s flying around the bathroom. This is an overlooked cleaning step but still important since the exhaust fan will be in high use during the party.
  • Do thoroughly clean the sink. The sink is home to germs and other gunk like dried toothpaste and makeup remnants. Scrub and clean first. Finish off with disinfecting wipes.
  • Do keep the room smelling pleasant. Baskets filled with cinnamon pinecones or fragrant garlands are great accents to place during the party for holiday fun and good scents.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t wear inappropriate attire while cleaning. Always wear the necessary attire to keep you safe when dealing with cleaning chemicals and mold. Rubber gloves, closed-toed shoes, and aprons are a great place to start.
  • Don’t mix chemicals from different products. For instance, acids commonly found in bathroom products can create dangerous chlorine gas when combined with bleach. It’s also important to be conscious that you don’t accidentally mix these chemicals by using cleaners directly after the other. Rinse off cleaners with water before using another. Lastly, let there be plenty of air flow and crack open a window so the enclosed bathroom has a source of fresh air.
  • Don’t place the toilet brush back into its holder immediately. Doing this can cause moisture and germs to get trapped in the container and multiply. By the next time you clean, you’ll be cleaning your toilet with a germy brush! Instead, let it completely dry before returning to the holder.
Bathroom with tile and big bath tub
Need your home to be Steemer clean for the holidays? Schedule 24/7 by calling 1-800-STEEMER or by using our online quote tool.