October 2021

· 6 min read

The Big Clean: Welcoming Holiday Guests Into Your Home — Again

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Ideas and inspiration for cleaning your house before welcoming family and friends, for safer holiday celebrations.
A group of elegant people greeting holiday party guests - Big Cleaning Tips for Safer Holiday Celebrations | NSF International

The holiday season is fast approaching — and this year (fingers crossed), we’re all hoping to invite friends and family back into our homes to celebrate.

But with COVID-19 and its risks still whirling around in our minds, most of us are taking a cautious approach as we tiptoe back into the waters of hosting holiday gatherings.

That’s why I asked our NSF cleaning gurus for some ideas and inspiration for cleaning your house before the festivities begin and your friends and family start arriving. The goal: safer and saner holiday entertaining.

It’s still essential for us to remain vigilant about cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.

That’s why I asked our NSF cleaning gurus for some ideas and inspiration for cleaning your house before the festivities begin and your friends and family start arriving. The goal: safer and saner holiday entertaining.

“It’s still essential for us to remain vigilant about cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. We need to make sure our homes are safer for our families and the guests we hope to invite back to our holiday tables this year,” says Lisa Yakas, a consumer product safety expert and trained microbiologist at NSF International.

Here are some strategies to guide your “Big Clean” this holiday season:

  1. 1

    Plan, Plan, Plan

    Create a checklist to help ensure that you won’t miss out on specific areas of your home to clean. Develop a timeline with this checklist, and make sure you follow through on your plan.

  2. 2

    Gear Up

    Start by wearing disposable gloves.

  3. 3

    Don’t Be Afraid to Be Touchy-Feely

    Clean high-touch surfaces — anything you and your guests may be touching or interacting with — daily. These include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, the TV remote, touchscreens, kitchen utensils, appliances, stair railings and fabrics.

  4. 4

    Clean First

    It’s crucial to clean before you sanitize and disinfect. You can’t sanitize a dirty surface. Take a sponge and scrub off any chunks of food or pieces of residue you see stuck in nooks and crannies.

  5. 5

    Suds Up

    Start with soap and water, as the lather reduces the number of germs on surfaces and decreases the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection. Also, wash your hands often with soap and water, scrubbing for 20 seconds.

  6. 6

    Do a Deep Dive

    It’s essential to understand the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. Sanitizing lowers the number of germs and bacteria to safer levels. The disinfecting process uses chemicals to kill germs and reduce the risk of spreading them.

  7. 7

    Put On Your Mr. or Ms. Clean Hat

    It’s not a bad idea to do additional cleaning and disinfecting this holiday season, especially if there is a high rate of COVID-19 cases in your area. This is particularly true if you’re inviting Grandma or someone else into your home who is vulnerable to infection. To disinfect surfaces, use an alcohol-based disinfectant or a solution of household bleach in water (four teaspoons per quart of water).

  8. 8

    Sleuth for Sneaky Germs

    Make sure to clean the out-of-reach dust that collects on floor baseboards, lampshades, lights, ceiling fans, windowsills and blinds.

  9. 9

    Think Airborne

    Consider using air purifiers in your home, as they can capture germs. It’s an extra touch after your cleaning.

  10. 10

    Be Handy

    Provide hand sanitizers for your guests and stock them everywhere around your house, especially in high-touch areas.

  11. 11

    Sponge-Bob

    As a last line of defense, clean your sponges often. Put your wet sponge in the microwave for two minutes. When in doubt, throw it out.

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Source:

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/celebrations.html