If you’ve taken one for the team this year by hosting Christmas dinner, you might be dreading the thought of the Christmas clean up that comes with the mess afterwards.
Maybe you’ve decided to leave the cleanup mission until the following morning, but why make life more difficult? The mess isn’t going anywhere on its own. The team at Essential Living have shared five everyday, household items you can use to keep on top of the mess that comes with hosting Christmas dinner.
From lemons to old toothbrushes, cleaning up after your Christmas party will be a breeze. And as an added bonus, many of these tips are eco-friendly!
Use dishwasher tabs to cut grease
Your roast and sides were the stars of the show, but all of that leftover fat and herbs means your oven tray will be full of grease and burnt-on sage. And the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to scrub off.
Save yourself time during your Christmas clean up with this one simple hack. Place a dishwasher tablet or pod in your tray and fill it with boiling hot water. Leave it to soak for a few hours, and the grease should wipe away with ease.
You can also use this method to clean your shelves and grill pan, too. Remove the racks and place them in a large plastic container. Add a couple of dishwasher tablets, and cover the racks with hot water.
Leave everything to soak together overnight, and in the morning, wipe them down with a soft cloth, rinse and dry. It’s like Christmas never happened!
Hold on to your used tea bags
While you would normally stock up with tea bags for your guests’ after-dinner brew, they can also be used to protect your dishes. This hack goes beyond the Christmas clean up and will help you preserve your best pans for even longer.
To keep pots and pans rust-free, simply rub a damp, used tea bag around the surface after you’ve washed your kitchenware. The tannins in the tea will form a protective layer that prevents rust.
Top tip: Simply pop a couple of used teabags into a wide-mouthed spray bottle and top up with water. Use this mixture sparingly on glass surfaces and follow with a dry microfiber cloth to remove stubborn, greasy fingerprints.
Who doesn’t love lemon?
If you can cook Christmas dinner without staining your apron, or even worse, your party clothes, you have done well. But, not all of us are so graceful.
Whether it be a tough, greasy stain from something like gravy or a splash of red wine on your sofa, this simple trick will help your clothes and furniture survive the holiday season unscathed. Simply squeeze a few drops of lemon directly onto the stain and leave it to absorb for around 15-20 minutes.
Lemon is a great choice for stain removal as it’s a completely natural acid with a whitening action. This makes lemon juice a good alternative to harsh chemicals like bleach, which can ruin delicate fabrics. For the best results, place some greaseproof paper over the top as the lemon soaks to enhance absorption.
Top tip: If you aren’t sure whether the fabric you are cleaning may react with the lemon, test it out on a hidden area first to ensure no discoloration or damage will occur.
Don’t toss that used tin foil
Christmas dinners tend to require quite a bit of foil for keeping dishes warm and wrapping up leftovers. But, foil can also be useful for your Christmas clean up routine. Before you throw away any used tin foil, why not reuse it to scrub your oven dishes and stainless steel pans? However, avoid using this hack on your nonstick pans, as they are prone to scratch and you may ruin the pan.
Scrunch your foil into a ball, then wet it and gently rub it into any stubborn spots. If the foil dries out, dip it back in the water or grab a fresh piece. The aluminium in the foil can tackle tougher grease spots better than a cloth.
Top tip: Sprinkle your pans with a thick layer of salt and lemon, which will help remove dirt even more as it breaks down the grease with its acidity.
Your old toothbrush’s last hurrah
You may think cleaning with a toothbrush is some sort of joke, but it actually is one of the best tools for targeting stains!
If one of your guests seems to be a little drowsy after their dinner and spills on your sofa, don’t worry. Here, you can let the toothbrush do the hard work by gently scrubbing the stained area, allowing the fine bristles to tackle any marks left by misplaced dessert (or wine).
With a clean cloth, dab warm water or dish soap onto the stain, using the toothbrush to scrub away the marks.
Top tip: Scrub outwards not inwards, and always pat dry gently.
This article was contributed by the team at Essential Living, a London-based property developer founded in 2012 that specializes in rental homes.
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