Top 10 pre-Christmas cleaning tasks: is your home ready for guests?

We all spend more time cleaning at Christmas so get these 10 essential cleaning tasks done today and feel a little bit more house proud by lunch time

We put Vileda, Beldray and E-cloth floor mops to the test
(Image credit: Getty)

As your home tends to see more guests over the festive period – especially if you are hosting Christmas dinner – the pressure to keep the house tidy is felt by the whole family. In fact, in a recent online study of 2,000 people, AO.com found that 89% of us admitted to spending more time cleaning in the Christmas period. 

The research revealed that Brits spend an average of four and a half hours cleaning their homes for Christmas day, with just under half (47%) saying this was to prepare for guests. Over half (56%) stated that they could only relax at home once the house was clean, too.

However, many of use seem to be short on time to do what we deem to be a proper job, with 40% hiding mess rather than properly tidying and 24% of people said they used a fabric freshening spray instead of washing their clothes or textiles – nice...

So, are you someone who wants to spend less time cleaning and more time having fun this Christmas? Or do you leave everything until the guests are at the door and have perfected lobbing stuff into the cupboard under the stairs on the way to answer it? Either way, ticking these top cleaning tasks* off your list will get your home cleaner and tidier in no time.

1. Dust the surfaces

This is the top job featured in most people's pre-Christmas clean with 77% of us making sure we do it before the big day. To speed the job up, put the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to get rid of most of the dust. Then follow with a microfibre cloth or duster. 

Don't forget furniture too which many of use spend extra time on at this time of year. And when you're vacuuming down the side of the armchair remember that 70% of Brits are probably busy doing the same.

2. Vacuum carpets

Three quarters of us make sure we do this ahead of Christmas and if your kids love opening their presents sitting on the floor, it is a must. See how to vacuum in our guide.

3. Mop the floors

After vacuuming, 67% of us then reach for the mop to give those hard floors a good clean. This is essential to get rid of bacteria and marks that your vacuum won't beat.

4. Clean bathrooms

Your guests definitely don't want to use a grubby loo or wash their hands in a dirty sink. Fortunately, 64% of us know this and make cleaning the bathroom of high importance. If you hate using strong chemicals, see our pick of the best eco-friendly cleaning products.

5. Wash bed sheets

Good news for guests – 52% of us realise the importance of freshly laundered bedding at this time of year. Don't forget your own, too.

6. Clean the fridge

Make room for the Christmas food shop and get rid of the chutney that has been lurking in the fridge since last Christmas. Over half of us (52%) make sure we clean the fridge in time for Christmas.

7. Clean windows

What is the point of filling your windows with fairy lights if they can barely be seen through the murky panes? At this time of year 51% of us clean the windows and it should come as no surprise that it actually makes your interiors feel a little brighter too.

8. Clean the oven

Exactly half of us clean our ovens ready for Christmas dinner cooking. It can be an intimidating job if you have let food burn to the racks and base, so see our guide on how to clean an oven simply and quickly.

9. Tidy cupboards

While it wasn't clear from the study which cupboards 46% of us clean at Christmas, we would recommend making space in kitchen cupboards by clearing out old food. Also give your wardrobes a clear if you can (homeless shelters are grateful for any winter clothing you might have) and tidy that cupboard under the stairs that is full of unpaired shoes and Yellow Pages from the nineties.

10. Recycle items

For many this is a weekly task, but apparently 41% of us make an extra effort at Christmas. Check your local authority site to see what can and can't be recycled, and remember to rinse tins and plastic food containers before putting them in the recycling bin.

* These were the tasks those surveyed by AO.com said they feel are pre-Christmas cleaning essentials.

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