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Top 12 tips for turning holiday cleaning disasters into holiday cheer

(BPT) – The holidays are a happy time of year where you shop till you drop and whip up delicious meals to enjoy with family and friends. But sometimes hosting guests can make it challenging to maintain a clean home. There’s so much to do, yet you still want to enjoy time with your loved ones and be a gracious host. Don’t let unexpected holiday cleaning challenges keep you from relaxing and enjoying the holiday cheer.

Merry Maids offers 12 handy tips so you can prepare in advance, remain stress-free and wholeheartedly enjoy the festivities:

1. Tipsy tips for red wine stains

While red wine is a favorite, it can be unkind to upholstery and carpets. To clean, blot with a microfiber or white cloth, pour on club soda and continue blotting. If the stain’s dry, whip up a quick solution of dishwashing liquid (1 tablespoon), white vinegar (1 tablespoon) and warm water (2 cups) and blot the stain.

2. Sticky situations

Cranberry sauce is a sure-shot darling of the holidays, until it spills on the new tablecloth. Quickly combine a solution of mild liquid detergent (1/2 tablespoon), vinegar (1 tablespoon) and one quart of cool water and let the stained cloth sit for 15 minutes; then wash with cool water.

3. No crying over spilled gravy

What’s a turkey without its best friend, gravy? If you’re stressing about what spilled gravy may do to your linens or new outfit, relax. Blot the spill to remove excess gravy, treat with laundry stain remover and soak in the washing machine for two hours. Wash, air dry and voila!

4. Bright and melty decor

When wax drips onto that special tablecloth, it’s a nightmare to remove. Place in the freezer and scrape with a blunt butter knife. If any wax remains, place a sheet of wax paper on the affected side of the linen and use an iron on the reverse side to transfer the spilled wax onto the paper.

5. Cup o’ Joe overflow

Coffee is a crowd pleaser after every holiday feast, until sips turn into spills. Dab carpet stains with a microfiber or white cloth to remove excess coffee, and then blot with liquid dish soap (1 tablespoon) cool water (2 cups) and white vinegar (1 tablespoon).

6. Dessert disasters

Nothing says holidays like chocolate-y sweets. When stains occur, mix a solution of dish washing liquid (1 tablespoon) and cold water (2 cups) to blot the soiled area until no color transfers to the cloth. Continue to blot soiled area to assist with drying carpet, then place a fan over it until it’s completely dry.

7. Pesky pine needles

Real Christmas trees look beautiful and smell amazing, but those pesky pine needles can cause post-holiday frustration. First, empty out your vacuum and slowly vacuum over the needles. For those last few errant pine needles, press a lint roller over the area until it’s clean.

8. Safely store memories

From family traditions to your baby’s first Christmas, holiday ornaments hold special memories. For easy and safe storage, glue plastic cups to strips of cardboard and stack them in a box, placing an ornament in each cup. To deal with shattered baubles and glitter, use a lint roller over the area to capture all the pieces.

9. Not so bright and shiny

The holidays are the perfect time to break out your finest flatware. To clean your silver before the party, use a soft cloth and gently rub polish over each piece. After the holidays, wrap silver in cotton or felt and store in an airtight container to prevent tarnish.

10. It’s a wrap

Setting up a gift wrapping station is all about smart storage. Use clothespins on both ends of wrapping paper to hang in a closet with string or yarn. Use a wire hanger to hang a spool of ribbon.

11. Fixings for a feast

Holiday feasts usually call for an oven cleaning, before and after. To clean oven racks, place in garbage bags, spray with oven cleaner or a degreasing solution, leave for 30 minutes to an hour, rinse with soapy water and wipe dry.

12. Spruce in a snap

To spruce up your home before guests arrive, sweep the porch, fold blankets in the living room and fluff throw pillows. Tidy the coffee table and swipe with a microfiber cloth, put away anything left on counters.

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