When you’re cleaning a dining room, especially one that hasn’t been used in a long time, it’s important to notice the details. Even if things were clean when you put them away, or if they’re in an enclosed china cabinet, they can still get dusty.
As much as I hate to say it, people notice the dirt that you’ve been overlooking for the past few months. Especially if they’re sitting next to your dusty china cabinet or underneath a huge cobweb, trust me, they’ll see it.
10 Things You’re Forgetting to Clean in Your Dining Room
If you’re cleaning your dining room to get ready for a large gathering, take some time to look around before you even start cleaning. Make a list (and add it to your cleaning schedule so you save it for next time) of the things you need to clean.
These are a few of the items on my checklist that I’ve either forgotten to clean in the past or don’t typically notice in my cleaning routine.
Maybe you remembered to dust the light bulbs or even the chandelier itself. But did you dust the entire chain? The cord and chain always get so dusty and full of cobwebs.
Cleaning a chandelier is really simple, but it’s also easy to forget. A wet cloth (or even Windex) will go a long way. Sometimes, I’ll vacuum it if I have the extension on my vacuum. Other times I just use a Swiffer duster, although you’ll want to do this before you vacuum the floor or set the table.
2. China cabinet
I’ve never actually used my china or crystal wine goblets, but they look beautiful in my china cabinet… until I notice the dust.
If you have a china cabinet or even an area with knickknacks, make sure you periodically move everything and dust it thoroughly. And yes, you will be able to tell if you just “dust around” everything.
3. Chair rail
This takes two seconds, but walk around your room and dust the chair rail.
Also, if you have a china cabinet or something along one of the walls, dust as far behind it as you can reach (I wouldn’t recommend moving the china cabinet by yourself, though – trust me on that one!).
4. Bottles of wine
Embarrassingly, my mom pointed this out to me when she sat near my wine rack one year. If you have a wine rack or even if you buy your wine in advance, dust the bottles.
Once a year or so, my parents and I go to a winery and buy a few bottles for gifts or family dinners. Unfortunately, if they’ve been sitting around for any length of time, they get dusty.
There’s nothing more disgusting than presenting a dusty wine bottle at Christmas dinner (or worse, giving it as a gift).
5. Legs (and seats) of chairs
This is another thing that I noticed after a family dinner. 🙁
When you’re dusting, make sure to dust the entire chair. I’m pretty good about remembering to dust the legs, arms, and backs of chairs, but if a chair hasn’t been used, don’t forget to dust the entire seat.
6. Base of the table
Inevitably, food will fall on the floor during a party or dinner. To save yourself some embarrassment, wipe the base of the table beforehand. Also, wipe underneath the base or even move the table to vacuum under it if you have carpet. It’s amazing how much “crud” can accumulate under the table.
7. Behind the curtains
If you have any type of window covering, look behind (and above) it. I can almost guarantee that you’ll find a cobweb or two. While you’re at it, you might want to clean the window hangings.
8. The window track
After you’ve cleaned behind your curtains or blinds, take a second to open the window and clean the track. Holiday dinners are often hot with the oven and tons of people warming your home, so people may open the window to let in cooler air, even in the winter. Save yourself some embarrassment and clean the windows and the tracks.
If you decorated your house a month before the holiday (Christmas decorations, I’m looking at you), make sure to dust or replenish them (especially if you’ve been sneaking the Christmas candy after your kids are in bed, not that I would ever do that).
If you used “real” decorations, like gourds for Thanksgiving or real pine branches for Christmas, make sure that they’re not rotten, dripping sap all over, or shedding needles. 😉
10. Table setting
It’s a good idea to set your table ahead of time, just to make sure that you have enough napkins, clean silverware, etc.
While you’re setting your table, you should also check to make sure that your tablecloth, if you’re using one, is clean.
Before I take my tablecloth off after the holiday meal, I always spray any stains with spray and wash. While it’s still on the table, it’s easier to find the stains. However, sometimes stains “come out” after they’ve been setting awhile. Even if you haven’t used a tablecloth since last Christmas, you may notice “new” stains.
We’ve all made mistakes when hosting a party or family gathering, like how I’ve never yet served the entire meal at the same time (maybe someday I’ll serve vegetables at the same time as the meat). These ten cleaning tips can save you some embarrassment if you take care of them before your guests arrive, even if your meal isn’t ready. 😉