During Dinner Cleanup
During the Thanksgiving meal, spills and messes are inevitable. Here’s how to tackle them as they happen.
Immediate Spill Response
When a spill occurs, address it immediately. Grab a paper towel and gently blot the spill to prevent it from spreading and becoming harder to clean later. Avoid rubbing the spill, as it can push the liquid further into the fabric or surface.
Use Trivets and Coasters
Encourage your guests to use trivets for hot dishes and coasters for drinks. These simple additions not only protect your table and countertops from heat and moisture but also add a touch of elegance to your Thanksgiving setup. Remind your guests to be mindful of where they place their drinks and dishes to minimize the risk of accidental spills.
Assign Cleanup Duties
If you have willing family members or friends gathered around the table, consider assigning them specific cleanup duties during the meal. Whether it’s wiping up spills, replacing used napkins, or refilling drinks, having a team of helpers can keep the mess in check and allow you to enjoy the meal without constantly worrying about cleaning up.
After the last slice of pie has been enjoyed and the laughter has filled the room, it’s time to tackle the post-dinner Thanksgiving cleanup.
Start with the Dishes
Gather all the dirty dishes, utensils, and glassware and begin washing or loading them into the dishwasher if you have one. Enlist the help of others to speed up the process. While this may seem like a daunting task, having multiple hands on deck can turn it into a quick and efficient operation.
Clear the Table
Once the dishes are under control, it’s time to clear the table. Remove all used dishes and leftover food from the table. Wipe down the table with a damp cloth to remove any lingering crumbs or spills. This step not only prepares the table for dessert but also prevents food from drying onto the surface, making it easier to clean later.
For any stubborn stains on tablecloths, clothing, or upholstery, it’s essential to act promptly. Pre-treat stains with a stain remover before laundering or cleaning to ensure they don’t set permanently. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. It’s also a good practice to check chairs and cushions for any hidden stains that may have gone unnoticed during the meal.
Vacuum and Sweep
To ensure a thorough Thanksgiving cleanup, use a vacuum cleaner to tackle any fallen crumbs or food particles on the floor around the dining area. Pay special attention to corners and under the table where debris tends to accumulate. After vacuuming, use a broom and dustpan to sweep up any remaining debris. This final touch will leave your dining area looking pristine and ready for the next gathering.