Check your dishwasher, fridge, and bathroom before hosting for the holidays

Nov 23, 2021, 10:21 AM
A home decorated with Christmas lights. (File photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
(File photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Holidays are coming, and usually you get all sorts of tips this time of year. But this is the first time Dave Ross says he’s read an article about the home maintenance you should be doing to get ready for the holidays.

It’s written by Ashley Abramson in the Washington Post, who joined Seattle’s Morning News to share why this time of year is a good time of year to focus on these fixes.

“I think a lot of us just haven’t hosted people in our homes due to the pandemic. A lot of us haven’t been comfortable and this is, for many people, the first holiday in a long time that we’ve had maybe more than our immediate family members over,” she said. “And so we haven’t really been thinking about what kinds of experiences people are having in our homes. On top of decorating and preparing food, we want to make sure our guests are comfortable and part of that means making sure our toilet works and that our vents aren’t blowing out dust.”

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Abramson says we’ve all had embarrassing experience in other people’s bathrooms, and that’s the worst.

“So we’re encouraging people to, number one, check their toilet valve to make sure it’s in working condition so that people can easily turn off the water supply if the toilet starts to overflow. The valve should be easy to turn — that’s the key,” she said.

Dishwasher maintenance is also recommended so it’s ready to load up with all those dirty plates.

“Grab an old toothbrush to remove grime from that rubber seal inside the dishwasher, and then you can also fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with two cups of white vinegar, put it on the upper rack when the dishwasher is empty, and then run a normal cycle and that will clear the dishwasher of that grime that can make your dishes smell,” Abramson said.

A lot of folks likely have hard water in their dishwasher, which the vinegar is good at cutting through. It also cuts through any grime left over by food.

The refrigerator is another important spot as it will be storing food prep and leftovers and you don’t want to find out that something went bad.

“Make sure that the temperature stays below 40 F,” Abramson said. And another way you can make sure your fridge stays efficient is by cleaning out your condenser coils.”

Those are typically in the back or right in the front, on the bottom.

“Dust can stand in the way of the refrigerant that needs to keep our fridges cold,” she explained. “So you can just use a duster or the hose attachment on your vacuum.”

While you’re at it, check the hood vent filter over your stove as well.

“Hood vents are there to absorb steam and smoke and cooking smells. But when they get dirty, when we use them a lot, they become less effective,” Abramson said. “So if you’re going to be cooking over the holidays, it’s worth popping that vent out and you can actually, most of the time, wash them in the dishwasher, and the dish soap is great at getting the grease build up out.”

The last tip is to update your lighting.

“You’re going to want bulbs with a warmer temperature that feels more inviting — and it’s also better for photo ops. You might be taking some photos and posting them on Facebook,” Abramson said. “So look for between 2700K and 3000K for that perfect warm light that’s going to make your guests feel comfortable.”

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While Abramson admitted that she’s going to her grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, she says she will still perform all these maintenance steps in her own home before the holidays.

“I think it’s really important where we’ve all been in our homes more than ever and making sure that things are in working order is a way to make your home more functional, more enjoyable,” she said. “And if you have unexpected guests, everything will be set.”

“You never know who’s going to show up on your doorstep,” she noted.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Check your dishwasher, fridge, and bathroom before hosting for the holidays