Holiday Cleanup

The holidays present a whole slew of cleanup challenges:  sap from your Christmas tree, salt from the roads tracked in my merry guests, spilled wine from really merry guests — these are just a few of the holiday problems that can present themselves. Plus, you want the place to smell good, look good, all without hurting environment.

Here’s a few tips for quick and easy cleanups after the holiday season:

  • Sticky Sap: Clean sap off of fabric or textiles: Whether it be from the needles that have dropped on the ground and tracked around, or even from honey that you use to sweeten some holiday treats, sticky sap and syrups can make a real mess. Luckily, the answer is simple – rubbing alcohol. Dab the alcohol on the area with sap, then (if you can) wash the fabric normally in the washing machine.

If it’s on carpet, blot with an alcohol moistened cloth, using a new section of cloth when soiled to avoid blotting with sap, until the affected area is coated with alcohol. Massage in if necessary. Then blot with a clean cloth, quickly, before the alcohol dries. Keep repeating until the sap is out.

  • Busted Ornaments: ornaments often fall off of trees, especially if there is a mischievous cat, a dog with a waggy tail, or a curious child in the house. But broken glass can be dangerous. You can use a potato, cut in half, to clean up broken glass, or a slice of soft bread. If the thought of wasting delicious starches sounds sacrilegious, then try a thick, damp towel.
  • Salt Stains: have guests tracked in road salt from outside that is staining your carpet or upholstery? A combination of 50% white vinegar and 50% water in a spray bottle can take care of that easily. Spray until the area is well-doused, and then use an absorbent cloth to blot instead of rubbing.
  • Red Wine Stains: speaking of salt, you can use that ubiquitous household flavourer to clean up the spills left behind by tipsy guests. Dump a thick layer of table salt over the stain and leave it to soak while you clean up, or even while you sleep. In a few hours, or even the next day, you can vacuum up the pile of salt, and the wine stain with it. Even better, pour some club soda on the stain before the salt. If that doesn’t do it, then a mixture of 3 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part dish soap should do the trick.

Enjoy your holidays without sacrificing your clean and happy house. And have a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic new year!

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