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Prepare your home for holiday guests—A stress-free checklist.

If you are like most people, having guests over for the holidays can be both inviting and stressful. There is so much to do and never enough time, especially when some of them will be staying in your home for an extended period. The first thing you should remember is to relax. Create a checklist and tackle one thing at a time. If you don’t get to everything on the list, it’s ok. Chances are your guests will still have a good time. The most important part is to CLEAN—especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Here’s a checklist to help lighten the holiday stress.

The refrigerator may be used more during the holidays than at any other time of the year. It’s a good time to clean up all the little food spills. Toss out everything past the expiration date and move all the drinks into a separate ice cooler. Then give the glass shelves a quick spray with CLR® Brilliant Bath—which meets the US EPA Safer Product Standards for safer chemistry. And to help showcase your clean refrigerator, replace burned out lights with an appliance bulb available at hardware stores and home centers. 

Your microwave can be a big help to make sure all your side dishes are warm at the time you serve them. To clean your microwave, take out the rotating tray and pop it into the dishwasher, then spray the inside of the cooking area with CLR® Brilliant Bath. Wait 2-3 minutes and wipe down with a damp sponge. Make sure its air vents are clear of dust and grease. For tough grease build-up, you can use CLR® Grease Magnet and follow the directions on the bottle.

Before your guests arrive, check the temperature of your oven. Sometimes the temperature setting may be different than the actual temperature in the oven. You may need to adjust the temperature or cooking time—nobody likes an under- or over-cooked bird.For your stovetop, just give a quick cleaning around the top burner elements with CLR® Brilliant Bath and leave the rest be. Follow the instructions on the bottle and save the big cleanup until after your guests have gone.

Garbage Disposal
Your kitchen sink and garbage disposal deal with a lot during the holiday season—the endless parade of dirty dishes, Thanksgiving leftovers and that slice of fruitcake you tried to get rid of. That mess can find their way into your garbage disposal, so it's not uncommon for unseen clogs to cause bad odors or poor performance. CLR® Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener are fast dissolving pods safe for use in garbage disposals. A fresh CLEAN SCENT to remove disposal odors from food waste residue. 

Coffee Pot
It’s easy to please your coffee drinking friends with a fresh cup of java. If you haven't recently checked your coffee maker lately, you may be unpleasantly surprised. Clean it by filling the pot with a 50/50 solution of CLR and warm water swish it around and rinse with cold water.  View this video to clean your coffee pot.

Remove food debris, detergent residue, and any bits of plastic or glass that you find in the bottom of the dishwasher tub. Then pour 1/2 cup of CLR into the empty dishwasher. Run a regular cycle, then run another empty cycle to rinse. View how to clean a dishwasher video here.

Toilet and Tub
Over time,  calcium deposits can build up and create unsightly stains. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of time scrubbing. CLR® Brilliant Bath cuts through calcium, lime, soap buildup and dirt not only in your tub but throughout your bathroom. It’s effective on porcelain, chrome fixtures, stainless steel as well as the sliding door to your shower. For mold and mildew that can accumulate in tile grout, use CLR® Mold & Mildew.

If you plan to use your good silverware for your holiday meal you will want to bring it out a day or two before your guests arrive. You may notice a little tarnish on that serving spoon or other utensils. No need to worry, just grab a bottle of Tarn-X® Tarnish Remover. While wearing household rubber gloves, dip a soft cloth in Tarn-X and apply to the affected areas of the piece. Rinse immediately with cold water and hand dry with a soft cloth. Never leave Tarn-X on any material longer than two minutes and always spot test in a small, inconspicuous area prior to cleaning the entire piece. Make sure to avoid getting any Tarn-X on stainless steel since it may damage the finish. 

Here are a few other things you should have on your list: 

  • Sharpen Knives
  • Tighten loose cabinet hinges. 
  • Replace Burned-Out Light Bulbs
  • Child Proof Your Home
  • Change smoke detector/CO detector batteries.
  • Double-check your first aid kit.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen.