Before you invite everyone home for the holidays, find out if your appliances are ready.
It’s that time of year again. Whether you’re ready or not, the holidays approacheth. That means hosting gatherings for family, friends and colleagues. It means unauthorized visits from “well-meaning” neighbors brandishing fruitcakes. It means baking parties with friends. The question is: Is your home ready? Or are you going to be the talk of the town when the neighborhood busybody gets a look inside your fridge?
Take this quiz to find out. Your score will determine whether you’re Santa’s Helper, Festive but Frazzled or Bah Humbug this holiday season.
Holiday Hints & Hacks to Help Make Your Season Bright
Wipe down the oven door every week. If enough gunk builds up in your oven, it can have trouble reaching the temp you set. Check out five more oven maintenance tips here.
You should be deep-cleaning your fridge every few months. Turn it off, take out everything and clean with warm, soapy water. Toss any condiment you don’t remember buying and clean the coils on the bottom or the back while you’re at it. Find out how here.
Before holiday guests arrive, clean your ice maker. Switch it off (in many units, you just have to lift the power bar.) Pop out the bin and dump the ice into the sink. (Or make some margaritas. Your choice.) Put the bin on the top rack of your dishwasher and start ’er up. While the load is running, wipe off the ice maker itself with a solution of a ½ cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Dry it, put the clean bin back in, and you’re good to go.
Change your fridge’s water filter at least once every six months. Sign up for Sears’ water filter subscription program to automatically have a new filter sent to your home every six months — and then go ahead and check that off your to-do list!
Use flour to make your stainless steel sink shine. It might sound strange, but flour not only buffs your kitchen sink, it also absorbs dirt that has been ground into the grooves of the stainless steel. Just make sure your sink is completely dry before starting, or you’ll end up with a gooey mess! (A paste made from baking soda and water will also do the trick for any other kind of sink.)
Save time by using the broiler to preheat! Simply fire up the broiler and let it heat for a few minutes, then set the desired bake temp.
Use LED lights to help save energy and money on utility bills during the holidays.