Thursday, November 03, 2005

Holiday Cheer
By Mary Findley copyright@2005 all rights reserved

Please be careful this holiday season of candles. Many contain lead, which emits toxins in your home. The black smoke also plays havoc on walls, which takes hours to clean. All too often I receive an email from someone whose home has received fire damage from a candle sitting too close to a lamp shade, fabric furniture or placed on a holder attached to the wall. Please take extra caution where and how you burn candles. If children of any age are present, keep lit and unlit candles out of their reach.

Look for lead free and smokeless candles. Soy candles are my favorite. They have a long burn time, light scent and don't leave black soot on anything. They are more expensive but your lungs will thank you and if means spending 3 or 4 less hours cleaning walls, your arms will also thank you!

Place a holder under all candles. Candles sweat whether they are burning or not. The dye from the candles stains whatever surface they sit upon, especially wood and it does not come out.

When company comes for dinner or a social gathering, avoid serving foods and particularly drinks with red, purple or orange coloring. For a complete stain removal guide head to and print out my free stain removal guide.

Here are a few handy tips for holiday parties. Store a dampened mop just outside the door going to your garage. If a spill happens it is ready to clean the spill. Keep a few terry towels in a plastic bag under the sink along with a spray bottle of your all purpose cleaner, a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide to remove red dye stains (not everyone heeds my warnings,) your liquid dish soap for greasy food stains and foaming shaving cream for most other food stains.

Next have a bottle of seltzer water handy if you serve red wine. Make sure guests use saucers for coffee cups and hand them a large napkin with each glass of wine. Be sure to keep coasters handy on all tables and surfaces and see to it they are used.

It is perfectly fine to ask guests to remove their shoes at the door. Do let them know ahead of time. The mud, slush and so forth carried in on shoes plays havoc on carpeting. The heels of shoes leave scratches in wood floors. Place a neutral colored throw rug just inside the door for shoes. Any color in a rug will transfer to the carpet or linoleum flooring.

If you are expecting small children or guests with pets purchase several plastic table cloths. Turn one upside down on a bed or sofa where the little ones or pets might rest. Then place a terry towel on top of the table cloth. The towel catches any "accidents" and the table cloth prevents the liquid from saturating bedding or furniture. Then place one underneath children's chairs at a meal. Shake the table cloth outside after a meal, the birds will love the leftovers, wipe clean and return to your guests within seconds without the worry of stained carpet.

Look for Mary's book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cleaning" coming to bookstores in Jan, 2005

1 comment:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am glad you think it is okay to ask guests to remove their shoes.