Make surfaces sparkle with pine-scented vinegar
It may be a cleaning superhero, but vinegar can be pretty pungent. Try snipping a few sprigs from a real Christmas tree and adding them to a spray bottle before filling it up with white vinegar. A quick spritz on surfaces will give a subtle scent of festive pine and leave your kitchen, bathroom and windows like new.
See more surprising ways vinegar can clean your home
Clean the oven, ready for party food
There’ll be no worrying about the state of your oven after using this cleaning hack. Make a paste from bicarbonate of soda and water. Rub the mixture onto the oven door and internal surfaces, then decant plain white vinegar into a spray bottle. Liberally spritz where you have applied the bicarbonate of soda until it fizzes. Leave for 10 minutes to work its magic, before wiping away the grime with a damp cloth.
Disocover more uses for bicarbonate of soda
Make your drinking glasses shine
Next time you cook potatoes for dinner, hold onto the peel – it’s a miracle-worker for removing cloudy mineral stains from glasses. Simply rub the glass with the flesh side of the peel, then rinse under water before polishing up with a towel. When it’s time to party, store your glasses on a mirrored surface to make them sparkle even more.
See how to decorate glasses with a chalk pen
Make a scented reed diffuser
Fill the room with a festive scent to welcome your guests. Try this reed diffuser you can make from scratch: add 60ml vodka, 60ml water and 20 drops essential oil to a glass bottle and pop in some trimmed leftover BBQ skewers.
See clever ways to make your home smell like Christmas
Try a natural way to polish silverware
Did you know banana skin is brilliant at brightening up tarnished silver? The inside of the peel can buff away spots and marks that often build up over time. So if you’re getting your best cutlery out for your party, or want to ensure your ornament’s silver accents look shiny and new, hold onto those skins.
Refresh the bathroom
Clean the sink and surfaces with pine-scented vinegar (see first tip) and wipe off water marks from the mirror, drying off with scrunched-up newspaper to leave it streak-free.
Refresh the carpets
Moving furniture and re-arranging chairs to make room for party guests can often leave obvious dents in the carpet. To make them less noticeable, lay a couple of ice cubes in the dent until they melt. Then, fluff up the carpet fibres using a fork or toothbrush.
10-minute speed dusting
If you’re really pushed for time, just focus on the visible surfaces around the home. Put a clean sock on each hand, dampen with a little water and wipe the surfaces to quickly pick up dust and remove marks.
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