When you marry your significant other you inherit more than a spouse, you get their family too. No matter how much you like your in-laws, you want to impress them and help keep the peace between families. If you have fussy family members that seem to nitpick how clean your home is (or is not), here are a few ways you can make sure your home receives the in-law stamp of approval (or at least leaves them very little to complain about!)
In-law Pleasing Cleaning Tips for Your Home
Get creative with storage
This tip is helpful with keeping smaller spaces tidy, and it will keep your cleaning supplies in good condition: hang them. Put clips and/or hooks on the inside of a closet door and hang your broom, mop, and buckets to keep them out of the way and easy to snag. Store gloves and sponges inside the bucket.
Shine up your fridge
If you have a stainless steel fridge and kids, odds are good that a crime scene specialist would have no problem getting more than a few fingerprints from the doors. To brighten up your kitchen and make your home look even cleaner, spray your appliances with a liberal amount of vinegar and wipe clean with a very soft cloth. Make sure to follow the grain of the steel. You can get an extra shine by rubbing a light coating of oil on the steel (olive oil and baby oil both work). You could also try a window cleaner.
Deodorize and sharpen your garbage disposal
If you have a garbage disposal in the sink, it is easy for it to get stinky quickly. To eliminate odors: pour a quarter-cup of baking soda into the sink and let it set for a few minutes. Add a few teaspoons of vinegar and wait a few minutes. Toss in a few ice cubes and an orange peel and run the disposal (with running water) to sharpen the blades and add a nice citrus smell.
Clean those stove pans with vinegar and baking soda
You should buy baking soda and vinegar in bulk because you can use them to clean anything, even those nasty stovetop pans! Dust your metal pans with a good layer of baking soda. Next, use a spray bottle of equal parts water/vinegar and soak the coated areas. Let these sit for at least two hours so the concoction can really work on the surface. Scrub with a scouring pad and boom: pretty, clean, burner covers. (Cheat method: buy new ones at the store and toss them on before your in-laws come to visit. Store them in between visits!)
De-gunk your microwave
Keep your microwave sparkling clean with ease! This trick will take you less than five minutes and it will help you remove all the food from the interior of your microwave. Put a microwave-safe glass half-full of water into the microwave and let it run for about 3 minutes. The water will boil and release steam, which loosens stuck on food. Take a damp rag and wipe it out. Be careful when removing the water cup, as it will be very hot.
Clean nasty oven vents
Oven vents often go unnoticed because most people do not stick their heads over the stove and look up. Still, they can get nasty over time, so knowing how to clean them will help remove gook from your home and keep “Eagle Eyes” happy. You will need two medium size soaking dishes or you can use your bathtub. Combine equal parts water and ammonia in your chosen container and add a squirt of de-greasing dish soap. Let your vents soak for about an hour. Use an old toothbrush and a scrubbing brush to tackle the crevices. The gook should come off easily and you will have nice, shiny, oven vents.
Clean the shower with vinegar and soap
The best way to keep your tiles clean is to wipe the shower down each time you use it. You can do this by purchasing a scrub brush with a soap dispenser (they usually have a sponge on one end and an opening at the other end where you can put soap). Fill the dispenser area with equal parts soap and vinegar and wipe down the tile each time you shower.
For a deep clean, you will need a lot of elbow grease, eco-friendly cleaner and a good scrub brush. Do not forget to clean around the showerhead and spray the entire thing down with vinegar to remove odors and add an extra shine.
Scrub the mattresses
If you have kids, some of the mattresses probably show a few err … “water stains.” Wetting the bed is common for toddlers and even some older kids. Aside from being messy, uncomfortable, and embarrassing, urine can really do a number on mattresses. To clean these stains, you will need your trusty baking soda along with peroxide and dish soap.
In a spray bottle, add roughly 8 ounces of peroxide with 2 TBS of baking soda and a drop of dish soap. Add some scented oils for a nice smell. Swirl (but do not shake). Spray your mattresses right away. Soak the mattresses, especially stained areas. As the mixture dries, the stains will vanish and leave your mattress smelling, and looking fresh. You may need to make an extra bottle if you have more than one mattress to clean.
Other simple tips to make sure you get the best clean before the family visits:
- Use newspaper to wash windows and mirrors. Cloth rags will leave bits behind.
- Pull downlight covers (in the kitchen, bathroom, and living areas) and soak in vinegar and water. Wipe dry.
- Clean your window tracks with vinegar and a Q-tip. Simply dip one Q-tip end into some vinegar and run along the tracks. You may need to use a wider rag if the area is particularly dirty.
- Dust baseboards and doorframes with a dryer sheet.
- To prevent water spots, rub down your faucets and knobs with wax paper. This will keep water from sticking.
What are some cleaning jobs you make sure to tackle before your in-laws come to visit?
Brazilian mother of two and CEO of Sparkling Clean Pro & Green Living Supplies since 2005. Working as an ecological advocate within the cleaning industry & aiding immigrant families and women at risk.