8 Things To Always Clean Before Guests Arrive, According To Experts

Add cleaning these spots in your home to your to-do list.

When it comes to hosting guests, we may have spent hours planning the perfect dinner menu, coming up with a crowd-pleasing batch cocktail, creating festive bouquets, and strategizing your comfortable yet chic ensemble, but cleaning the house might be another story. Whether it's your monthly book club, a holiday soiree, or a backyard birthday, there are several spaces that deserve some prioritization on your party prep schedule, even if you've waited until the last minute. We asked Becca Crandall, owner of Beck Cleaning and Organization, and Bentley Rosser, director of cleaning operations for the Birmingham- and Tuscaloosa-based company, about the things hosts should prioritize when it comes to creating their pre-guest cleaning strategy.

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1. Entryway

The entryway is the first part of your home that a guest experiences when they walk in, so it's important to make a good impression and give them a warm welcome. Besides decluttering the area, Crandall and Rosser say that it's important to freshen up glass windows and doors with a product like Sprayway Foam to keep both free of fingerprints. They suggest opting for vinegar if your windows need an extra-deep cleaning to eliminate smudges.

2. Floors

Your floors are another essential place to clean before guests arrive, as our experts say that floors collect the most dust, hair, and dirt in your home which can be noticeable to guests—especially depending on the color of your floors. The pair suggests ditching the broom and Swiffer for a vacuum and a spin mop dipped in a solution of one teaspoon of laundry detergent and warm water for sparkling clean floors time after time. Just be sure you're cleaning top to bottom (think: kitchen counters before floors) to prevent another round of mopping later in the day.

3. Trash

Not only is it important to take out the trash in any spaces your guests will encounter, but Crandall and Rosser note that your trash can itself may also be in need of cleaning. Simply wipe down the inside and outside of your trash cans with disinfectant wipes or dish soap and water to get them party-ready in seconds, which will also help rid of any lingering odors and unappealing stains.

4. Kitchen

Depending on the amount of time you have before your first guests arrive, you can certainly prioritize here. Our cleaning experts say it's important to get dirty dishes in the dishwasher, freshen up countertops, and wipe down your appliances to make your cooking space feel cleaner in an instant.

"If you're hosting and several rounds of hors d'oeuvres or a hardy meal is on the menu, the sink and fridge can become crowded and smelly in the prep process," says Crandall. "No Southern lady would have her closet caught in a disarray, so it's important to treat these spaces with the same attention."

Bar Keeper's Friend is a favorite product for getting that sink looking sparkling clean again and the pair also likes to use it on stoves, ovens, and microwaves. A basic solution of one part dish soap and one part vinegar is their go-to for disinfecting the inside of the fridge, if you have the time.

5. Guest or Hall Bath

You likely don't need to clean every bathroom in your home before guests arrive, but it's important to spruce up the wash space that your guests are most likely to gravitate towards. And if you have the extra time, lighting a candle or adding some fresh flowers will make your guests feel even more welcome.

"Cleaning your toilet is crucial before having visitors as it can smell and lead to health issues if not cleaned often enough," says Crandall. "In addition, you'll want to clean the mirror to get rid of any toothpaste splatter or handprints." Oh, and don't forget to restock the toilet paper!

6. Hard Surfaces

Hard surfaces like coffee tables, TVs, mirrors, window blinds, and consoles collect dust easily and often get overlooked. Our cleaning experts suggest doing a quick audit of the main spaces your guests will be using to find what needs a quick round of dusting and cleaning.

7. Light Switches and Doorknobs

It's as important as ever to keep bacteria-prone light switches and door knobs them sanitized and disinfected—especially during the holiday season when the flu and colds run rampant. The pair advises using Clorox wipes or a mix of dish soap and water to keep unwanted microbes at bay. Those with second or third floors will also want to wipe down the banister.

8. Furniture

This one is especially important for those with furry friends and little ones. The Beck team advises going through any rooms your guests will use to check for hair and crumbs that you may not have noticed.

"Not only can these items cause discoloration and bad smells, they can also lead to irritated sinuses and allergies," says Crandall. "You can use a horsehair brush to remove hair and be sure to remove any cushions so you can get a deep clean with a vacuum in chair and couch crevices."

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