We spend weeks planning the perfect holiday party hoping that it will go without a hitch. The night of, candles are lit, food is prepared, glasses of wine are poured, and dance parties are started in the kitchen. The result: You wake up to broken glassware, lipstick stains, water rings, floor scuffs, and worst of all, a raging hangover. So how do you bring your house back up to snuff with minimal effort?
To learn all the best post-holiday home-cleaning tips, we tapped Jacqueline Yardan, an elite cleaner for TaskRabbit in New York City. Having cleaned up after many eventful parties in the city that never sleeps, she knows a thing or two about what needs cleaning—and how to do it well and efficiently. Did candle wax melt all over your dining table? Is your garbage disposal smelling like 10 rats died inside? Did your bestie spill her red wine all over your new ivory carpet?
We have all the easy and unusual home cleaning tips to whip your house into shape in no time—so you can get back to watching The Holiday.
For Water Rings
No need to panic when you wake up to a series of water rings on your wooden furniture, says Yardan. "For the guests who couldn't find a coaster, rub a little bit of non-gel toothpaste onto the water ring and buff with a clean cloth."
For Broken Glass
So things got crazy, and a couple of glasses were broken. "First, you want to sweep up as much of the glass as you can with a dustpan and brush," Yardan says. "Then, use slices of bread to clean up any little shards that may be lingering. Wrap the bread in newspaper, and toss it."
For Lipstick Stains
Your girlfriends may have decided to rock their hot new holiday lipsticks, but that's no reason to scrub your wine glasses all morning. "Use 1/2 cup of white vinegar and warm, soapy water to wash your glasses," Yardan says. The stains should come off instantly.
For Floor Scuffs
Did your living room or kitchen turn into a late night dance floor? "Most scuffs on a polyurethane hardwood floor can be buffed by rubbing the area vigorously with a soft cloth," Yardan says. "If your guests' high heels left a stubborn scuff, use a dab of floor cleaner, and rub the area with a soft cloth vigorously."
For Leftover Wine
The thought of emptying half-full bottles of wine down the sink might make you want to gag, but Yardan says there is an alternative. "Save any half empty bottles of wine your friends may have left behind by freezing the wine in an ice cube tray," she says. "Frozen wine is perfect to use in recipes that call for it."
For Carpet Stains
The sight of a red wine stain on an ivory carpet may send you into hysterics, but this professional cleaner has an easy solution: "You can use any leftover beer you may have to remove carpet stains if you run out of stain-removing liquid," she says. "Rubbing a few drops of beer into a stain can remove it."
For Garbage Disposal Smells
After a night of entertaining guests with your lavishly prepared meals, the last thing you want to fix is a stinky garbage disposal. "Simply run citrus peels through the disposal followed by cold water to get rid of any odors," Yardan says. You can even use the leftovers from last night's cocktails.
For Melted Candle Wax
Did your dimly lit centerpiece melt all over your dining table? There is no use scratching at it just to ruin that mahogany. "Instead, put a couple of ice cubes in a plastic bag, and let the bag rest on that stubborn wax," Yardan says. "The wax will become brittle, and you will be able to peel it off with a spatula or a credit card."
For Your Hangover
As great as the above tips are, why do this all yourself when you can have a lazy day nursing your hangover while eating leftovers and watching Love Actually for the 50th time? Call on the help of TaskRabbit—the perfect solution for you to sleep off that hangover and wake up to a spotless house.
What are your best home-cleaning tips to hit the reset button after a holiday party?