Friends, family, (too much) food and (too much) drink. The Christmas period can sometimes seem to pass in a blur. There will be some stressful moments in the kitchen. The kids will no doubt argue over who gets to open the first present. And you will definitely have to deal with the cleaning after Christmas.
The post-Christmas clean up brings with it some unique cleaning challenges. From the lingering scent of a slow-cooked Christmas bird, to the stubborn wax on the tablecloth. But fear not. We bring you our top tips and tricks for tackling the cleaning after Christmas.
Artificial Spray-on Snow
It looks pretty cool, but spray-on snow is surprisingly stubborn to clean. This is because it contains fats, so just wiping it won’t do the trick. Use a ceramic hob scraper to carefully remove the sticky top layer from your window. For the greasy stains under the snow, wipe with a solution of alcohol and warm water.
Tip for 2016. If you’re using artificial snow next year, spray it onto sticky tape, then paste onto the window. The residue left by the tape will be easier to clean. Just wipe away with alcohol or vinegar.
Christmas Tree Needles on the Carpet
We are of the opinion that, when it comes to Christmas trees real is better than fake. They look amazing and smell like Christmas. The one major downside, however, is the needles. Disposing of the tree without getting needles all over the house is a tough job. But if you’re careful, it is possible.
Firstly, take all the lights and decorations down. If you have a plastic tree bag, wrap this round the tree to carry it outside. This will collect most of the needles. If not, you can clip off some of the branches and place them in a bin bag. Then wrap the tree in a large sheet and carry it out.
Once the tree is out, sweep up (rather than vacuum) as many needles as you can. Christmas tree needles can damage the vacuum. Only use the hoover to get rid of the stubborn ones you can’t sweep up.
Tip for 2016: It is worth the investment in a good quality tree. The branches won’t droop as much, and it will shed less needles. Keep the tree away from heat sources, as this causes needles to fall.
Candle Wax on the Tablecloth
The home should be a cosy place during Christmas (even if the Australian summer sun is blazing outside). Candles are the perfect way to achieve this setting. But lots of candles inevitably means candle wax will end up on the tablecloth. Follow these steps to get dried candle wax out of your Christmas tablecloth.
- With a not-so-sharp knife, gently scrape as much wax as you can from the cloth;
- Take some blotting paper and place it over the area with wax (a brown paper bag also works);
- Blow with a hairdryer – you will see the oil from the stain transfer onto the paper;
- Finally, run the tablecloth through the washing machine to finish the job.
Tip for 2016. Place candles into a glass or candle holder, or on a plate. The wax will drip into the holder instead of onto the cloth. Always blow them out gently. This will reduce the likelihood of wax going on the tablecloth (and of you burning your house down). And finally, always resist the temptation to stick your finger in the hot wax!
Grimy Post-Christmas Dinner Oven
Between the Christmas bird, the roasted veg, and whatever else you cook, the oven takes a battering during the festive period. So this is a good chance to give your oven the cleaning it deserves.
The perfect solution is already in your cupboard. Mix baking soda with water to create a paste. Cover the inside of your oven with said paste, leave it for at least 12 hours, and then wipe it off. Use a spatula for where the paste has dried tougher. Fill a spritz bottle with water and vinegar and use this mixture to wipe away remaining residue.
Tip for 2016. Before cooking anything in the oven, put a layer of aluminium foil at the bottom of the oven. This will catch anything that would have burnt onto your oven.
The Lingering Smell of a Roasted Christmas Bird
A slow roasted Christmas bird, while delicious, can leave a scent lingering in your home. If the smell remains, lay out a few shallow bowls of vinegar and warm water overnight. The vinegar will cause the aroma to dissipate, and tackle any other unpleasant odours.
Tip for 2016. Keep your home well ventilated when cooking. This will stop the food smell clinging to the curtains, wallpaper and wherever else.
A Time of Giving
You can donate any unwanted gifts to a charity or local non-profit. For example children’s toys could go to the children’s ward of a local hospital. Most libraries will accept book donations. Give unwanted clothes to a homeless shelter. Food waste is also a big issue around Christmas time. If you have over-bought non-perishable goods, see if a local food bank is accepting donations.
We hope you find our post-Christmas cleaning tips useful. And remember, for everything else, there’s Helpling! From all of us, we hope you have a great Christmas and we’ll see you in the New Year.