Sparkle & Smile

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Healthy Home Home Organization

Cleaning Tips Before an Extended Vacation

We’re looking forward to those final summer vacations this year! Packing and prepping for a vacation can be stressful. The last thing you want to think about before going on the vacation of your dreams is cleaning your home. But if you don’t think about a few strategic spots that need your attention, you will come home to a nightmare.

Enjoy a stress-free vacation by planning ahead of time. Starting a few days prior to leaving on your trip use these 10 tips to organize yourself and your home so you can leave for your vacation confident that everything is clean and ready to be left unattended.

  1. Turn off the water source to your washer and the power source to your dryer. Leave the lid up or open depending on if you have a top loader or a front loader. You want any moisture and evaporate which will prevent mold forming while you are gone.
  2. Go through your refrigerator and remove all the leftovers and items that could spoil. Place freezable food in the freezer and wipe all the refrigerator surfaces so they are free from spills. Condiments can be left for longer periods of time.
  3. Run the disposal with ice cubes and salt to remove any buildup of food inside it. Run hot water for a few minutes to remove food particles so the blades will be free of any built up rotting food.
  4. Wipe the sink of all moisture and cap the drain or disposal to prevent any rotting food particles from attracting flies or other small insects.
  5. Clean all your dirty laundry and fold it and put it away. You will enjoy everything being organized when you get home.
  6. Clean the sheets on your bed before leaving so that you can jump into a nice clean bed after a long relaxing vacation.
  7. Run the dishwasher so there is not a dirty dish left in the house. Empty the dishwasher and put away all the dishes. Leave the dishwasher ajar so that the leftover moisture can evaporate.
  8. Empty the trash in all rooms and leave it in your outdoor trash receptacle. Rinse the inside of the trash cans so there is nothing left to attract any “critters.” Move the outdoor trash receptacle away from your house. Trash inside the can attract flies and rodents that could try to move into your home.
  9. Give all the showers and bathtubs a good cleaning before you leave. Remove hair and debris from the drain. Wipe the walls dry and leave the shower curtain closed so mold will not grow in the creases of the curtain while you are away. Make sure you remove any wet towels or washcloths and run them through the washer and dryer. Never leave items in the washer or dryer while you are away.
  10. Remove the grounds from the last pot of coffee. Run the pieces of the coffee maker through the dishwasher and leave the water reservoir open so that moisture can evaporate. Nothing is worse than coming home to molding grounds in your coffee maker.

Once your vacation home prep is complete, you’ll be able to have an enjoyable, relaxing vacation. Arrive home to a clean house and pick up right where you left off!


For more great cleaning tips, check out the Green Cleaning Expert, Leslie Reichert at


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