(Family Features) 'Tis the season for getting together with family and friends. Whether you're hosting a small gathering or accommodating out of town guests, ensure your home is party-ready. Here are some budget-friendly tips using a classic pantry staple to make sure your home is fresh and inviting.
A Clean Kitchen
- In the kitchen, make sure your food prep area and tools are clean. Instead of harsh cleaners, try natural, food safe ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda. Sprinkle it onto a clean, damp sponge or cloth, and wipe clean. Rinse thoroughly and then dry. Baking soda is great for counters, stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, microwaves, lunch boxes, wooden spoons, oven tops, range hoods and more.
- More cooking this time of year also means more cleaning around the kitchen. Soak encrusted grease and food on roasting pans or enamel cookware by dampening with hot water and sprinkling baking soda into the dish detergent, let sit for an hour, and sponge clean. To deodorize your drains and disposal, and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water.
- To ensure you set a beautiful holiday table, give all your holiday silver a quick shine. Make a natural, chemical-free cleaning paste with three parts baking soda to one part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge, rinse thoroughly and dry.
A Fresh Living Room
- Freshen up your living room before your guests arrive with baking soda. Sprinkle it on upholstery and carpeting, wait 15 minutes, and vacuum up. Guests will enjoy a pleasant party atmosphere from start to finish.
- If you own a pet, don't let the scent of Fido or Fluffy be the first thing your guests notice. Freshen pet beds by sprinkling with baking soda to neutralize the odor, not mask it. Let the baking soda sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming away the excess baking soda.
A Guest-Ready Home
- Whether it's your holiday wardrobe or bed linens for out of town guests, keep fabrics looking fresh by adding 1 cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. It will leave clothes cleaner and brighter!
- Don't forget the powder room. Remove the dirt and grime from bathroom tiles or no-wax floors quickly and easily. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water, mop and rinse clean for a polished floor. Also, keep bathroom wastebaskets smelling fresh with just a sprinkle of baking soda.
- For the extended stay guests, be sure to clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain. Sprinkle baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush; then scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean.
For more easy ways to keep your home fresh and sparkling clean, visit www.armandhammer.com.Photo courtesy of Getty Images