Northwest NEWS

December 20, 1999

Home & Garden

Cleaning up after the holidays

   The guests are gone and the house is yours again. Yours to clean up! The following tips are provided by The Maids Professional Maid Service to help return your home to its pre-holiday condition.

General Cleaning

   Share the burden: Delegate household chores and assign tasks to everyone.

   Prickly task: To reduce the number of pine needles in your home, wrap your Christmas tree up in a sheet and drag/carry it outside. Vacuum the carpet or floor area thoroughly.

   Light strings: To prevent tangled light strings, store them around empty gift-wrap tubes. Push the plug into the tube, then wrap the lights around the outside and secure the end with a rubber band. Several strings of lights can be stored on the same tube.

   Candle wax: To remove hardened wax drips from candles, use the ball of your finger or your fingernail (covered with a thin cloth to prevent scratches to the surface, if necessary), and gently push the wax on the candlestick; or soften the wax drips with a hair dryer or warm water and wipe up with a paper towel.

   Candle wax on fabric: Scrape off excess. Place between sheets of paper towels and press with a warm iron until wax is absorbed.

Stains

   Cranberry sauce stains on counter tops: Mix 1/4 cup baking soda with water to make a paste consistency. Scrub the paste over the stain, then rinse with water.

   Gravy, chocolate, and vegetables on tablecloths and clothing: Presoak stained fabric in cold water and apply a cold water and cornstarch paste. Rub lightly, dry, and brush residue off gently.

   Wine spills on carpet: White wine can be wiped away using 1 tsp. of laundry detergent, 1 tsp. of white vinegar, and 1 quart of cool water. If you have a red wine spill, blot it up with an absorbent towel, then dilute with white vinegar. Next, clean the spot with cold water and cover it with table salt. Wait 10 minutes, then vacuum up the salt.