Tools for the Holiday Host

Nothing gets you more in the holiday mood than a warm, welcoming, holiday-scented home. Ahh, the twinkling lights, the aroma of freshly baked pies, the crackling fire. Pure relaxation and joy. The doorbell ringing with holiday guests. Yikes, there’s some work to be done before you welcome visitors and achieve that state of holiday bliss!

Clean safe and smart.

First things first, you want your home sparkling clean and smelling amazing. For greatest efficiency, put your cleaning solutions and rags in a bucket, or even in a tool belt, so it’s all at your fingertips. To protect your health, we encourage using non-toxic cleaners. As mentioned in a previous blog, housecleaning can be dangerous, cleaning sprays can have the same impact on the lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day! Consider using a home-made cleaning solution of one-part white vinegar to one-part water. Put it in a spray bottle, shake, and use. You can clean glass, sinks, counters, bathrooms, and more with this solution. Good Housekeeping gives great tips as to what you should and should not clean with vinegar.

Clean top to bottom.

Many hands make light work! For a great cleaning partner, consider using a Shop-Vac® from the All Around® Series. These lightweight, portable units come with attachments for cleaning furniture, carpets, stairs, kitchens, blinds, ceiling fans, and more. Start cleaning from the top, with ceiling fans and drapes or blinds. We suggest smacking curtains with a towel to dislodge dust, then vacuum it up. Clean your wood furniture with a homemade solution of 3-parts olive or almond oil to 1-part lemon juice or white vinegar. Simply wipe with a soft cloth.

Make your fireplace Santa friendly.

Never try to sweep or vacuum ashes that are warm. Begin by sweeping out as much debris as possible, including sweeping down the walls of the fireplace. Then use a Shop-Vac® with a 5 gallon or greater capacity, along with a HEPA filter, to capture the fine dust. Regular vacuum cleaners aren’t recommended for this chore, as the filters allow fine dust to escape. If the fireplace walls are stained, you can clean them with your home-made vinegar & water solution. Just spray on, let sit for a half hour or so, then wipe off. Santa will thank you!

The sweet smell of the season.

Many of us associate the aroma of a turkey roasting, pies baking, and the scents of pine, cinnamon, and other delicious smells with the holidays. It’s easy to create those same wonderful aromas and warm holiday atmosphere in your home by using essential oils or fruit and spices. Simmer either cinnamon sticks and apple slices, or a teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a pot of water. Or try this fantastic crock pot recipe from One Good Thing:

Simmering Holiday Potpourri

  • 1/2 orange, sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon cloves, whole or ground
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Fill the crockpot with water up to about 1” below the rim, and simmer away!

Now put on some soft holiday music, breathe in the delectable smells, and get ready to welcome friends and family.