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Top Tips For How To Clear Up After A Party

Are you planning a Birthday Party, Communion Celebration, or just having a few friends over for dinner? We all know that as parents, your free time is even more valuable (and scarce) so the quicker you can get the clear up out of the way, the better! We’ve gathered some easy kitchen cleaning hacks for you to try next time the mess is mounting.

Think Ahead

One of the biggest time-savers for your kitchen clean-up starts before the guests even arrive! Make sure the dishwasher is emptied, the bins are emptied then double bagged, and where possible clean the items you use to cook as you go. This will help the mountain of washing up look much less intimidating afterwards.

Top tip: Put an oven liner or tinfoil at the bottom of your oven, and roasting dishes, to make the cleanup of drips and fats much easier.

Make it easy for people to leave their dirty dishes in one spot by discretely placing an empty tray on a small table, and a bin nearby for any leftovers. Or even better, buy some compostable plates and cutlery so everything can go straight into the brown bin agterwards. Put away any decor that is hard to clean, like pale rugs and delicate glasses you don’t trust your guests to handle. Place coasters or plastic tablecloths out for guests' drinks, and make space for their plates.

Read Next: Perfect Birthday Parties For 1-5 Year Olds

Treat spillages straight away

Have some kitchen roll, tea towels, a dustpan and brush, and soda water nearby in case of spillages, so they can be tackled straight away.

How best to tackle that dreaded spilled red wine/coca cola:
  • Dab stain with paper towels to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  • Do not rub it!
  • Apply a little soda water to begin working on what remains. Getting moisture into the area is the quickest way to break it up and keep it from settling. For tough stains sprinkling over bicarbonate of soda or a little white vinegar can help.
How to clean chocolate stains:
  • Remove excess chocolate using a butter knife or a spoon (nothing too sharp, which could damage fabric). If it seems like this is doing more harm than good, skip to the next step.
  • Using cold water (warm might set the stain), rinse the back of the stained area or gently dab upholstery/carpets. Gently rub in some liquid laundry detergent or dish soap into the stain (make sure it's a neutral colour!) This will help to break down the stain in the fibers.
  • Allow to sit for 5 minutes. For clothing, soak the clothing for 15 minutes in cold water. Every 3 to 5 minutes, rub the stained area between your fingers and thumb gently to loosen the stain. Or for upholstery keep damp, and gently work on the stain. Finally, rinse the stained area completely.

Read Next: Kids' Birthday Parties Then & Now

Clear the basics before bed

There’s nothing worse than waking up to the smell of stale drinks and dirty dishes, so a little prep as soon as your guests leave (and before you sit back and relax) can really help.

  • Starting with any low-level items that children/pets could access, and leftover food and drinks, clear from the outer rooms toward the kitchen, in order to centre all the mess in one place.

  • Get rid of any food into the bin or covered with tinfoil/sealed bags into the fridge.

  • Clear the drinks, pouring away any remnants and resealing half-empty bottles.Top tip: Can’t get the cork back in the bottle of wine? Pour leftover red wine into an icecube tray and freeze ready for use in your next spaghetti bolognaise

  • Fill the dishwasher and put it on, or rinse dishes and stack them ready to be washed in the morning if you don’t have the energy now.

Top tip: Got candle wax on your tablecloth? Allow it to dry, then scrape away any excess. Cover the stain with kitchen towel and iron on a low-medium heat, being careful not to burn. The wax will instantly lift.

Tackling the tough bits

Tough stains don’t always need tough chemicals, so we have a few top tips using natural ingredients such as lemon, bicarbonate of soda, and white vinegar.

Baking dishes: After soaking overnight, scrunch up some tinfoil into a ball and use that to scrub grungy glass or stainless steel baking dishes. It works like a charm, and is a great way to recycle used pieces of foil. Please don’t try this on anything non-stick!

Microwave: Pour water and one tablespoon vinegar (or a few slices of lemon) into a microwaveable glass jug. Microwave on high for five minutes, and the mess will wipe away easily.

Scorched pans: Save yourself some serious elbow grease by filling the bottom with a cup of white vinegar and water. Allow to simmer for a few minutes on a low heat, then remove from heat and add two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. This should dislodge some of the grease and make the cleanup job much easier. You can also rub half a lemon around stainless steel cookware for extra shine before rinsing and allowing to air dry.

Oven: Coat the inside of your oven with a paste of baking soda, water and dish soap. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes and wipe off the residue, then wipe over once more with a clean cloth to thoroughly rinse it. For tough oven shelves, cover in the paste then scrub with an old toothbrush covered in tinfoil.

Chopping Boards: If your boards are red from beetroot and cabbage, or smell like onions and garlic, clean and freshen by rubbing salt on the surface with half a lemon.

Glasses: Particularly in hard-water areas, glasses can lose their shine over time. Give them a boost by soaking for 30 minutes in warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar, or just rub them with a soft cloth dabbed with a little vinegar. Once they dry, the smell (and taste!) of the vinegar will dissipate.

Does your house smell musty after a party?

If opening the windows just doesn’t do it, fill a saucepan with water and boil with a sliced lemon, and a sprig of rosemary or a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Leave on the stove and allow it to simmer until your home smells heavenly again!

The sooner it’s done, the sooner you can sit back and relax (for a moment). Got any top cleaning hacks? We’d love to hear your tips!


About the Author

Emily is our Digital Editor. She has three awesome nieces, and has accidentally worn the same outfit as them on at least one occasion. Emily likes making things, including hand-drawn cards, and a darn good chocolate cake. She still sounds very English, despite living in Dublin for the last nine years. More insight into the workings of her brain can be found on dancingcakesandsilence.blogspot.com.

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