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20-Day Challenge: Week 2

The Dining Room

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(Scroll to the bottom for links to other blogs in this Countdown Series, including a printable checklist.)

The focus for our Holiday Cleaning Countdown is the three rooms you’ll use most when entertaining during the holidays. And this week the focus is the dining room. With one task per day, you’ll spend 7 days on this room, but once completed it will stay fairly clean until the holidays. A quick touch-up is all you’ll need before guests arrive – do this when you place your floral centerpiece to whisk away any petals, berries or needles that stray from the holiday arrangement.

This week our holiday cleaning checklist calls primarily on one tool to get this room ready: microfiber. So gather all your microfiber cloths and mop heads along with your microfiber mop.  Microfiber lets you deep clean quickly, without harsh chemicals or any mess.

Below are all the tasks for Week 2 of the Holiday Cleaning Countdown:

DAY 7: Walls – Start by removing the dust and cobwebs from your walls. But instead of washing them like our mothers used to, use the microfiber mop and a spray bottle of water to do the same job.  Start with a clean, large looped microfiber mop head and a spray bottle of plain clean water. Spritz the mop head so that it just has a light film of water on it. Start at the baseboard of the wall and by using a Z pattern, work your way up to the ceiling. Work one vertical section at a time, always starting at the baseboard and working up. The damp microfiber mop head will catch and remove dust and dirt that was on the wall.  This process will also catch cobwebs that may be hard to see with the naked eye.  If your walls are extremely dirty, change the mop head often!  Also change the mop head when it gets too damp.

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DAY 8; Light Fixtures – When cleaning your light fixtures, let your dishwasher to help! Place then glass globes on the top shelf of your dishwasher and wash them with a normal cycle. Then, give them a touchup with a blue fine woven microfiber cloth when they come out, just to remove any spots or drips. Hand wash smaller glass pieces with dishwashing liquid. Dry with a microfiber cloth.

DAY 9: Dusting – When dusting the furniture use a fresh, lightly dampened microfiber cloth. Normally, water is all you’ll need on the cloth. But, if your furniture is looking a little drab or cloudy, you may want to use a polishing mixture of 1 tbs. mayonnaise and 1 tbs. olive oil.  Mix these two ingredients together and apply a light coating on the flat surfaces of your furniture. Let it sit for a minute then buff off with a dry microfiber cloth. Check out our video:

DAY 10: Serving Pieces – Use your dishwasher to clean all the dishes and serving pieces you expect to use during the holidays. This ensures everything will be clean and dust free before serving your guests.  Be sure to include your crystal and silver. If you silver is tarnished, set it aside for DAY 12.

DAY 11: Linens – Make sure to launder and iron the tablecloths and napkins you plan to use for your holiday event.  Check for spots and stains on each piece. Use some hydrogen peroxide to remove dark spots and rubbing alcohol for greasy stains.  Air dry the treated cloth in the washing machine. If the stain has not disappeared repeat the treatment, then launder. If the stain persists, invest in a new tablecloth or set of napkins.

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DAY 12: Silver – Safely polish tarnished silver with some old-fashioned paste toothpaste and a soft cloth.  If you’re pressed for time try placing your silverware in a deep dish lined with aluminum foil.  Fill the dish with distilled white vinegar then place the silver on the foil. The tarnish will “jump” off the silver and onto the foil. The, wash the silver as you normally would. It’s not as effective as polishing but you’ll notice a difference.

DAY 13: Floors – Your final task on this week’s holiday cleaning checklist is to vacuum rugs and vacuum or wash hard wood floors so they look ready for your company. Make sure your baseboards are wiped clean and are dust free.  Spot clean the woodwork as needed. Once the floors are clean, you can keep touching them up during your weekly cleaning.

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And now there’s just seven days left in the Holiday Cleaning Countdown, and seven days before you can celebrate the wonder of the holidays and rejoice with your guests.

Check back next week for a detailed description of the Week 3 tasks!

If you missed our other posts in the Holiday Cleaning Countdown series, please click on these links:

Holiday Clean Up: 20-Day Challenge

20-Day Challenge: Holiday Clean Up – DAY 1