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Diwali, one of the biggest and most elaborate Hindu festivals, is indeed a very exciting time for most Indians. It is also an exceptionally busy time for us women, especially the run-up to Diwali. There’s cleaning, cooking, decorations and what not to take care of. And, we are sure every year most of you fret over Diwali cleaning because there seems so much to clean in so little time. To ease some of your stress, we have put together a list of cleaning tips that you can implement before the festival.
Diwali is one festival where everything looks bright, colourful, and brand new. The festival is enjoyed by everyone, no matter how old they are. While we may be okay postponing a few of our chores on a daily basis owing to fatigue, we all want our house to be absolutely clean as we gear up for some major Diwali-socialising. After all, Diwali is the time when Goddess Lakshmi graces every house with her presence, and how can she ever be welcomed into an untidy, unclean house? Cleaning your house before Diwali can also have a therapeutic effect of getting rid of old vibes and welcoming new, positive vibes into the house!
A Diwali cleaning spree can be an overwhelming thought for most of us! So what do you do? Easy – keep calm and read on!
Pre-Diwali Cleaning Supplies
It is best to start Diwali cleaning at least 2 weeks before Diwali. That way, you can space out every individual chore with ease and convenience. Before you commence, however, make sure you have the following supplies ready!
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Scrubs, brushes, cloth wipes
- Garbage bags
- Microfiber cloth (for glass)
- Fabric softener
9 Simple Pre-Diwali Cleaning Hacks
Diwali is a busy time for all women – from cleaning the house to preparing snacks and from getting back in shape to going to the parlour, we are all pressed for time! Surely you cannot cut down on time required for some of these tasks, but cleaning can definitely be made easier and more efficient.
Here are some really easy and simple Diwali cleaning hacks everyone must try!
1. White Vinegar for Glass
One of the first things you will clean as part of Diwali cleaning is your windows. The best way to clean glass is by using white vinegar. Mix one part of white vinegar in one part of water, spray it on the glass, and leave it for a few seconds. Then, wipe the glass with a squeegee, followed by a soft cloth; preferably a microfiber cloth for best results. Make sure the surface is dry and there are no traces of vinegar as it could damage the glass.
2. Lemon Juice for Your Microwave
Lemons are acidic in nature because of which they make for good cleaning agents. If you are going to use your microwave to make Diwali snacks, it is going to require more cleaning as compared to other days. Squeeze half a lemon in about 20ml water. Mix well. Boil the water in your microwave on high power. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or so. The moisture will settle evenly inside your microwave. Now take a soft cloth, or tissue paper, and wipe all inner surfaces clean. You can even add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the mixture for improved results. This mixture also gets rid of any odour in the microwave.
3. Pillowcase for Ceiling Fans
While many houses have air conditioning these days, the cooler parts of India still use ceiling fans, and some families may have a combination of both. We can’t really miss cleaning the ceiling this Diwali when everything else is taken care of, can we? Here’s a great way to clean the blades of a ceiling fan – use an old pillowcase, put it onto the blade (like you would put it on a pillow), and wipe the blade as you remove the case. This way, all the dirt and grime gets collected in the pillowcase instead of falling right onto your face.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon for Hard-Water Stains
Hard water leaves chalky stains on surfaces, which many women struggle to remove. Because there’s so much cleaning to do during Diwali, you would want a quick fix for this common problem – we have it! The best way to get rid of hard water stains from taps, utensils, buckets, etc. is to spray the surface with a mixture that has equal parts of apple cider vinegar and lemon. Leave it for 15 minutes, and wipe the surface clean. If required, you may even rinse it with water.
5. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide for Grout (Between Tiles)
Bathroom tiles and tiles in the kitchen are the stuff of every woman’s nightmares. After enjoying the cooking spree making Diwali snacks and sweets, cleaning kitchen tiles is going to be a difficult task. The grout between the tiles often collects grime, oil, and all sorts of sticky things that get lodged so deep they are almost impossible to get rid of. So, what do you do? Simple – take about a tablespoon of baking soda and pour some hydrogen peroxide in it to get the consistency of toothpaste. Take an old toothbrush or a cleaning brush, dip it in, and scrub at the lines between your tiles. The grout will clear up in no time!
6. Baking Soda and Dish Soap for Bathroom Fittings
Those beautiful white marble or ceramic bathroom fittings in your home collect more dirt and germs than you can imagine. If you are going to have guests come over during Diwali, sparkling bathrooms should be on your Diwali house cleaning list. One way to keep the wash basin clean is to use baking soda. Sprinkle some baking soda on the wash basin (you can use a sieve to do this), take a drop of dish wash on the scrub, and then scrub the surfaces clean. You will be amazed to see the stubborn stains give way with very little effort.
7. Change Linens and Drapes
Curtains often remain neglected because they do not come in the way of our daily chores. The best idea would be to have at least two different sets of curtains for the entire house and to change them just before Diwali when you clean the house, so you have new, clean, fresh curtains on the walls. However, if you do not have a spare set, worry not. Do not remove all curtains in one go; wash them room-wise, turn by turn. Also remember to change bedsheets, bed-covers, pillowcases, cushion covers, napkins and kitchen towels. Use a stain remover and a fabric softener during and after washing to keep the fabric soft and smelling pleasant.
8. Clean the Mattresses
Mattresses also need a good cleaning once in a while. You may vacuum it to get rid of dust over it, but only vacuuming may not be the solution. So, this Diwali, clean your mattresses with baking soda and vinegar. Take vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it all over the mattress. Then, sprinkle some baking soda all over and leave it for a couple of hours. Then, either brush it off carefully, or vacuum it. This hack also helps get rid of dust mites and odours.
9. Use Disinfectant Lavishly
This is a good tip to remember even for post-Diwali cleaning up. As a final step after all the above-mentioned tips, use a mild solution of a good disinfectant and wipe all surfaces clean. However, make sure you exercise caution while cleaning electrical appliances.
Less Is More – Decluttering for Diwali
An important part of Diwali home cleaning is throwing things away. However, most of us are so focused on getting things ‘clean’ that we completely ignore this step. And so, somewhere in the middle of putting things back in place after we are done cleaning them, we have a meltdown and can’t take it anymore! If this has happened to you too, why not try a new approach this Diwali?
1. Throw Expired Medicines, Make-Up, and Kitchen Products Away
One way to create space in the kitchen, on your dresser, and in the bathroom is to clean the shelves and get rid of all expired items. This includes foodstuffs, ingredients, make-up, and medicines. Check the expiry dates on each of these items and throw away whatever has crossed this date.
Since we don’t always use all of these things, we tend to hold onto them. They occupy spaces in our house, and continue to do so because we have already forgotten we even have them! Collect all these items (which is why you need bin-bags) and throw them out without another thought. This way, you will also make space for the loads of delicious food items you will be preparing this Diwali.
2. Declutter Your Wardrobe
This is not exactly a Diwali cleaning hack, but it should be a very important part of your pre-Diwali ritual. Diwali means a lot of different things to people, but one thing we are all excited about is the start of Diwali shopping! However, the first step to buying new clothes should be discarding old clothes. Otherwise, we may keep on accumulating more clothes than we know what to do with!
First, allocate a space in your room to do all the sorting. Start by going through all your clothes, and retaining only those clothes that make you happy. That might seem like an unusual ‘filter’ to use, but just ask yourself this: how many times have you held onto clothes thinking you’ll lose weight, alter them, get them repaired, and then never ever touched them? We are all guilty of doing this! So, why not just give them away to charity? It will be a round of good karma, a good decluttering exercise, and will give you one more reason to shop.
3. Charity for Gifts
Diwali means a lot of get-togethers, lots of sweets and snacks, and of course, lots of gifts. Every single year, you get gifts from your friends, relatives, and even your employer. While we do not mean to dishonour the sentiment, we can all agree that many a time these gifts are unwanted, and simply get added to the pile of things we don’t know what to do with. Some gifts even get repeated, so you can end up having 2 dessert bowl sets, 4 wall-clocks, and God only knows how many packets of dry fruits and mithai!
So why not give some of it away to charity?
You can start by gifting some of these items to people around you – your domestic help, the watchman, the milkman, the paper-wala, and other such people. Be sure also to add something from your own pocket to these hampers. So, add some baksheesh money to a box of sweets or pack some homemade snacks along with an extra wall clock you were gifted. If you still have pricey items left, consider donating them to a nearby old-age home or charity.
After you are through all the tasks mentioned above, the final one remaining is decorating your house! This is the easiest and the most joyful task to indulge in any festive season. One pro-tip we can give here is: do not use any decorations that involve ‘pasting’ (they will damage your walls) or drilling (they will leave ugly holes in surfaces when you remove them). Use simple decorations that can be installed and removed easily.
These are a few ways that can help you clean your house before Diwali so you can spend a clutter-free and pleasant festival with your friends and family.