Christmas is our favorite holiday, but after it’s come and gone, sometimes we look around the house and wonder what hit it! If you feel the same way, check out these tips to getting everything clean again and safely storing your Christmas decorations until next year.
How to Remove Stains from China
Impossible-to-remove stains on your china? There may be hope yet. Apply a bit of nail polish remover to the spots with a soft cloth, then wash as usual. The spots should quickly fade. You can also try simmering the china in milk.
Smart Silver Storage
Before storing your silver, keep it tarnish free by adding in a couple of pieces of chalk wrapped in cheesecloth. The calcium carbonate in the chalk absorbs moisture from the air very slowly and prevents tarnish. For the best results, break up the chalk and expose the rough surface.
Deep-Clean the Dishwasher
If you’re anything like us, your dishwasher gets a lot of action. So don’t forget that it needs a bit of maintenance too. Give this super-powered cleaning machine its own well-deserved day at the spa: Pour 1 cup white vinegar into an open dishwasher-safe container (any cup will do). Place it in the top rack of the machine and start the hot cycle. For round two, pour baking soda along the bottom of the dishwasher and start a short wash cycle. The double-duty wash will leave it fresh, shiny, and ready for action!
How to Get Cookie Sheets Clean
Get your baking sheets like sparkling new with a combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Just layer baking soda, then hydrogen peroxide, then baking soda again. Leave for an hour, then rub with steel wool.
The Best Way to Clean a Cutting Board
To make your cutting boards look like new, vigorously rub some salt into them with a lemon wedge. You can also treat wooden cutting boards with a very light coating of mineral oil. Be careful not to overdo it, because mineral oil may affect the potency of a number of vitamins in fruits and vegetables.
How to Store Christmas Lights
When you take down your Christmas tree, always wrap the lights around the outside of a cardboard tube (try the tube from a roll of paper towels) and secure with masking tape. They’ll be easy to unwind next year, and you’ll never have another nightmarish day of untangling all the lights while the kids wait to decorate the tree.
Safe Storage for Christmas Ornaments
When it’s time to bring down the tree and lights, take great care with the more delicate ornaments. Slip them into old socks or nylons; for extra safety, then place them in disposable plastic cups before storing. Old egg cartons are another ultra-safe (and eco-friendly) way to store bulbs and glass trinkets.
Easy Ornament Storage
The best container we’ve found for storing Christmas ornaments is an empty case of wine or liquor (no comment on how we came across this!). Keep the cardboard dividers inside, and you have a handy place to ball up your ornaments with newspaper and keep them safe until next year. These boxes are also great for storing rolled-up artwork and posters.
These tips are even more fun on our podcast (this episode also included tips for New Year’s Eve), which you can subscribe or listen to on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook!