Get Your Home Clean & Ready For The Holidays

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In homes across the country, many South Africans are preparing for the traditional spruce-up ahead of the festive season. Our teens may roll their eyes as we cajole them to take down the curtains, but we just like to start the new year with a clean slate.

It’s as much in preparation of welcoming family and friends home for the holidays and, for some, a necessary part of getting their properties ready for short festive-season rentals such as Airbnb bookings.

Maintenance Made Easy

Home+ CEO Vinolan Pillay reminds homeowners that it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for leaks as you buff your bathroom and scrub your kitchen. “Don’t forget to check that ovens, fridges, and other appliances are in good working order. You don’t want a faulty appliance to ruin your year-end celebrations.”

Tips For a Stress-Free Festive Clean-Up

First, declutter. Then put together a checklist. Better still, use the one devised by world-famous decluttering expert Marie Kondo, who says: “If it helps to break the process down into more manageable projects, create a detailed spring-cleaning schedule for when to address each room in your home – and stick to it!”


Wash linens and flip your mattress if needed

Vacuum or mop bedroom floors

Swap seasonal apparel and linens out

NOTES: Sealy South Africa says to clean your mattress, first vacuum it to remove dust and mites. Use cold water and upholstery cleaner or a mild liquid detergent to remove any stains. To neutralise odours, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the mattress then rub in gently, leave for 15 minutes, then vacuum again. It’s a good idea to air your mattress too, preferably outside.

US home and hospitality expert Martha Stewart offers this advice in her cleaning tips: “Whether made of natural fibres (such as down) or synthetic (often polyester), most pillows can be machine-washed. This rids them of mould, bacteria, and odours”.


Clean shower, tub, and drain

Wipe down bathroom counters, mirror and sink

Clean toilet – both inside and out

NOTE: To remove limescale, Kärcher South Africa recommends taking the tap apart and soaking the parts in vinegar or a solution of 1 tablespoon citric acid powder dissolved in 100ml of warm water for around 15 minutes. For heavy calcification, use an acidic sanitary cleaner with a pH value between 0 and 4, but be careful as scouring agents may scratch your aluminium or chrome surfaces.

Living Areas

Launder curtains and wash or dry clean rugs

Dust electronics, light fixtures, fans, furniture, and decor

Clean window sills, blinds, and windows – both inside and out

NOTE: When dusting, “always work from the top of the room down, vacuuming the dust that settles on the floor”, says Martha Stewart.


Clean the refrigerator, freezer, microwave, stove and any other appliances

Wipe down kitchen counters, cabinet doors and handles

Wash any dishes, then clean the kitchen sink and its drain

NOTES: Beloved South African TikTokker and owner of Sisters@work, Mbali Nhlapo, demonstrates the best way to deep-clean an oven here, using her DIY solution (juice of half a lemon, 2 cups of warm water, half a cup of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of salt) and to remove oil from inside the glass of the oven door using lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda.

According to Good Housekeeping, more than 15 000 fires start in American home laundry rooms every year. “Beyond removing the fuzz from your dryer’s filter after every load, pull out hard-to-reach lint with the crevice tool on your vacuum to suck up debris,” they advise. “Unplug the dryer and use your vacuum’s hose to clean as far into the dryer vent as possible.”

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