Prepare for holidays with cleaning checklist

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Worried you’ll overlook some crucial cleaning detail this holiday season? Local Merry Maids owner Bob Cunningham offers the following checklist to help keep you on track.

The Table

• Put silver or silver plated pieces that need polishing in an aluminum pan or a pan lined with aluminum foil, and sprinkle liberally with baking soda. Then pour boiling water over everything and let it sit. The tarnish will magically float right off your silver.

• Good wine glasses should not be washed in the dishwasher, but if you want to give them a spot-free sparkle in a hurry, fill them with steam from your kettle, then buff with a lint-free towel.

• Roll or hang linens after they’ve been laundered to avoid wrinkles. If  they are already wrinkled and dryer safe, toss them in the dryer with a wet washcloth on the medium setting for about a half hour (it’s still less than five minutes hands-on time). Otherwise, try steaming them in the bathroom.

• Nothing like putting a glass or a cloth napkin away, only to pull it out a year later and find you missed a lipstick stain. On fabric, try blotting with rubbing alcohol, gentle dishwashing detergent or ammonia (make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated space), then blot with cold water. Spritzing hairspray on the stain can also work. Consider doing a swatch test first, just to be sure. On cups and stemware, rub the smudge with salt to remove the stain.

The Guestroom

• Make up the rooms where your guests will sleep in advance of their arrival with clean, fresh bed linens and towels, plenty of hangers and some dedicated space in closets and drawers.

• During the holidays, make sure the guest room is thoroughly dusted from ceiling to floor and carefully vacuumed. Don’t miss light fixtures, lampshades, bookshelves or under furniture. You never know when you might have drop-in house guests.

• Stock a basket with a travel toothbrush and toothpaste as well as any other toiletries a guest might need. This serves the dual purpose of making them feel welcome and keeping them from poking around in search of the things they need.

• Other small, thoughtful touches like fresh flowers on the nightstand might make up for anything you’ve missed.

Common Areas

• Your entryway is the first thing your guests will see, so make sure it gives a positive first impression. Update worn or tattered mats, and shine the door knob. Make sure the foyer is as clutter-free as possible and that your guests have ample space and sturdy hangers on which to hang their coats. Dust the light fixtures and replace any missing bulbs.

• Even if you only have five minutes to do a quick once-over, a little vacuuming is better than no vacuuming at all. If you have 10 minutes, go over the room with a microfiber cloth or magnetic duster, then vacuum.

• Stash some spray carpet cleaner or club soda, a roll of paper towels, or a microfiber cloth and ready mop somewhere that’s easily accessible to your party area. That way, when stains happen (and they will), you can quickly take care of them and move on with the festivities.

For more information, please contact Merry Maids of Beaufort at 843-522-2777 or Like them on Facebook.