Simple Steps to Prepare Your Kitchen for the Holidays

Get your kitchen ready for holiday entertaining with our complete cleaning and decorating guide.

Your kitchen is at the heart of your holiday celebrations. It’s where family members mingle with neighbours and new friends, and where you’ll be cooking everything from the ham and mashed potatoes to the cookies and pies. But in order to clean your kitchen for the upcoming festivities, you need an efficient cleaning schedule. Luckily, we’ve broken down the tasks into simple pieces. Here’s our easy-to-follow timeline:

One Month to Go
Turn your attention to your appliances first – you’ll be using the oven more than usual, so now is your chance to clean it thoroughly. Use a mixture of Dawn dish soap and hot water to give the stovetop a thorough scrubbing. The cleaning agents in Dawn absorb grease just as well on kitchen surfaces as they do on dirty dishes. (Find more details here.) Then mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste, and scrub the inside of the oven. Leave the paste overnight and simply wipe it away in the morning with a damp Bounty DuraTowel.

You can also use Dawn to remove grease from kitchen cabinets! Add a few drops of Dawn dish soap to a bowl of warm water, and then dip a soft sponge in. Test an inconspicuous corner first before doing a full-fledge scrubbing. Scrub the surface in a back-and-forth motion until the grease is removed. Rinse away extra residue with a damp Bounty DuraTowel. (Find more details here.) Dawn is particularly effective for this task because it locks away grease rather than redepositing it as you clean the rest of the surface.

Two Weeks to Go
It’s time to make your kitchen look as beautiful as the food you’ll be preparing. Bring the scent of the holidays into your home by stringing dried orange slices, dried clementines and cinnamon sticks together to make a pretty, fragrant garland. Loop it over the tops of cabinets, or hang it from the edges of shelves. And wouldn’t a miniature pine tree look adorable on your kitchen table, adorned with homemade gingerbread decorations?

Before doing the holiday grocery shopping, give the fridge a good cleaning. Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser – cut it into smaller pieces to get into all those nooks and crannies and scrub away grime and lurking food spills.

Consider which holiday dishes can be prepared ahead of time. Roast potatoes, soups and pie pastry can all be made in advance and frozen.

One Week to Go
Pull out those large pans you only use once a year and give them a deep cleaning with Dawn dish soap. Check your drinking glasses, too – if they’re cloudy or have water spots, run them through the dishwasher with Cascade Platinum, which contains a rinse aid that helps prevent spots and hard-water filming.

Take stock of your pantry, and make a list of the items you’ll need for preparing the feast. Do your grocery shopping now to avoid the crowds and ensure you’re able to get every ingredient.

One Night to Go
Get a clean sink and faucet using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove built-up grime in hard-to-reach places. Then squirt Dawn dish soap into the basin and clean the bottom and sides of the sink in a circular motion with a scrub brush or soft sponge. Rinse thoroughly. If you have a garbage disposal, freshen it up by pouring a squirt of Dawn into the drain and letting it sit for 30 seconds. Then run the hot water for a few minutes until all the suds have disappeared.

Use a Swiffer 360 Duster to give the kitchen cabinets and countertop a last-minute cleaning before your guests arrive, and mop up dirt and grime with a Swiffer WetJet. As a finishing touch, spray Febreze AIR in a holiday scent to eliminate any lingering odours. You’re ready to entertain!

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