How to get your house clean for the holidays without a total spring cleaning

CLEVELAND - Hosting a holiday get together usually calls for some cooking, some decorating and some cleaning. But the thought of getting your house spic and span doesn't have to be overwhelming.

Mary Jo Dean, owner of the local cleaning service Maid Brite LLC, said you should prioritize, organize and schedule before you even pick up a cleaning rag.

"Hopefully the goal of having company is enjoying the companionship and the holiday season and they're not white-gloving your table," Dean said.

First, look at your home as your guests will as they come in the door.

Take the path they would walk and sit where they will sit while keeping an eye out for things like marks on the wall and clutter you may regularly look over.

Dusting, vacuuming or mopping floors and putting out scented candles should be on your list.

When you start cleaning, work from one side of the room to the other, keeping all of the tools you may need with you.

Use both hands and make sure the area is well lit.

Dust falls, so clean from top to bottom.

Dean said, "We actually have a system where we move across and tap the feather duster on our foot so the dirt actually falls to the ground."

When wiping down the tables, fold your dust cloth over and over to both trap the dirt and allow you to use the same cloth multiple times.

Keep a whisk broom handy, and use it to sweep the dirt around the legs of your furniture into an area where your vacuum can reach it, or to get pet hair off your couch or chair.

While Dean said you don't need to do an entire spring cleaning on your house, the bathroom is a place that you'll want to make sure is pretty spotless.

And be sure to do your cleaning a day a two beforehand, so you only need to do some touching up the day of instead of rushing to be ready in time for the party.

As for messes that happen during your party, here are ways to clean up two common spills from Maid Brite LLC owner Mary Jo Dean.

How to clean up a wine spill on clothing

Make a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. If it's concentrated dish soap, add a little less. ( Tip: If you're having a party, make the solution just beforehand to be ready when spills happen)

Put a cloth or towel behind the spill and pour or blot the solution onto the spot as soon as possible. With another towel or cloth push the spill out, using more solution if necessary. Flip over the garment, if possible, to get the wine off of the other side. Most of the wine should come out, but the garment will still have to be washed as usual.

You can also use the solution on carpeting. First blot up the access wine. Apply the solution, then press and release a towel onto the spill -- blotting only, no rubbing.

How to clean up a wax spill on fabric/cloth

Let the wax harden. Do not try to clean it up as soon as it's spilled.

Put down a few pieces of clean cloth, then a piece of paper (Dean says brown paper bags seem to be the most absorbent), then the fabric with the wax on it spill-side-up, then another piece of the paper.

Put your iron on the highest heat possible without steam and press down on the area of the spill. You will see the wax, which is being melted by the iron, getting absorbed by the paper. Continue doing this, moving to a clean area of the paper if necessary (don't forget the bottom piece of paper!) until the paper is no long absorbing the wax and the spill is gone from the fabric. The color of the wax may stain the fabric, but the wax will be gone. Wash fabric as usual.

To contact Maid Brite LLC, call 216-371-3839.

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