At Clean My Space, we’ve written a lot of articles to help you get ready for the holidays, including The Ultimate Thanksgiving Cleaning Checklist, 8 Hacks for Cleaning and Storing Holiday Decor, and Hanukkah Cleaning Hacks and Stain Removal. 

The holiday we haven’t covered yet here on our website is Kwanzaa! Just like every other holiday, Kwanzaa has a set of unique traditions that require some special cleaning attention. So if you’re having loved ones over this year, or you’re celebrating with your household, you can be prepared for your Kwanzaa celebration with these cleaning tips.   

1. Clean the Oven

I say this in almost every holiday cleaning guide, but you must clean the oven before you start cooking. Why? Because oven spills and stains can create gross odors. And no one wants to slave for hours over a holiday meal, only to have it spoiled by odor-causing spills that can affect the smell and taste of your delicious dinner. 

I recommend thoroughly cleaning your oven before you start cooking. If spills happen as you prepare your meal, here’s my hack. First, throw a handful of table salt over the spill. Do this carefully! Once your food is finished cooking, turn off the oven and clean as soon as the oven has cooled. The salt prevents the spill from sticking, making cleaning a million times faster. 

Scrubbing the oven

2. Kinara Clean Up

Before you light the kinara for the first time this year, make sure to give it a good clean. Wax builds up quickly, and you want your holiday and your kinara to look shiny and bright!

Traditional kinaras are made of wood, which can be a little tricky to get wax off of. For new wax that’s just dried, you can often use a credit card, spatula, or plastic knife and simply scrape the wax off carefully. Always use plastic, not metal, so you don’t scratch your kinara. 

For stubborn wax, try the heat and scrape method. For wooden kinaras, use a hairdryer to heat up old, stuck wax. You don’t want to heat it back to liquid; you just want the wax to be pliable and easier to scrape off with your plastic tool. And, of course, be careful not to scorch your kinara with excessive heat. 

3. The Front Hallway Three Mat System

For those of us living in colder climates, Kwanzaa comes during the coldest time of the year. And for many of us, with that cold comes snow, ice, slush, and dirt. If you have guests coming over, you probably don’t want them to track all that muck through your house. That’s where my Three Mat System comes in. 

In my house, we have a strict shoes-off policy because, let’s face it, who wants to clean the floors more than they need to! But let’s keep it even cleaner with my Three Mat System. Your first mat will be a heavy doormat outside your door. This will (hopefully) encourage guests to knock that muck off their shoes before stepping inside.

The next mat should be placed directly inside the door. This is your second line of defense and will absorb moisture that the first mat didn’t. Finally, your last mat isn’t really a mat; it’s a boot tray. But Three Mat System sounds better than Two Mats and A Boot Tray. A deep boot tray will protect your floor from all the drips, salt, and more than leak off all those guests’ boots during the evening. 

4. Clean Strategically

The holidays are a time for family, togetherness, and reflection. But the holidays can be a time of epic stress, especially if you’re hosting. Scrambling to get your house spic and span can overtake feelings of holiday cheer. 

So that’s why my advice to you is to clean what your guests will see and forget the rest (for now). Clean the main floor, including the kitchen, bathroom, and guest seating, but don’t worry about the office or the bedrooms. Instead, focus on what you need to get done to make your holiday a hit, and leave the rest by the wayside so you can enjoy the night as much as your guests. 

Melissa Maker cleans the house

5. Pick the Perfect Gifts

I admit that this isn’t a cleaning tip, but presents are so much more fun than cleaning so I couldn’t resist. Every year I put together a holiday gift guide, but my 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is my biggest guide yet! With over 80 items, there is something for everyone on this list!

Some great ideas from my gift guide include the Waffle Weave Bathrobe for the new couple or a special someone, the Roll Up Piano for the music-loving child in your life, the Temperature Control Smart Mug for coffee and tea lovers alike, and the Apple Pencil for your favorite tech-lover. 

Melissa Maker with wrapping paper and boxes

Cleaning Tips for Kwanzaa

It’s easy to get caught up in cooking, cleaning, and holiday stress but remember that holidays aren’t about perfection. So if you run out of time to fluff all the pillows in your living room, take a breath! No one cares except Great Aunt Edna, and she’s a grump anyway!

Let me know in the comments below how you’re celebrating this year, and happy holidays to the whole Clean My Space community!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.



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