clean up after dinner

Cleaning 101: Party Hacks to Simplify Dish Duty

Meal prep and clean-up after dinner parties can feel tricky. These natural party  hacks are here to take the stress out of your next gathering.

Written by Liz Busch.


Whether it’s a group of 4 or 18, hosting dinner guests can be a massive undertaking – and so can party cleanup.

We’ve compiled some tried-and-true party hacks and after dinner clean-up tips to take the stress out of your next gathering.

Where to Begin: Party Prep Tips

party hacks

Before you start setting up, get your brain (and kitchen) into prep mode.

1. Start with a Blank Slate

The night before any gathering:

  • clear the counters
  • gut the fridge for expired food
  • take out the trash
  • clean the sink
  • empty the dishwasher.
party tips

The morning of, load up a cooler with ice and drinks. In our house, we move cleaning products to our pantry floor for easy access (and they won't take up vital counter space).

2. Prep Everything in Advance

Guests are on their way and you've run out of something. We've all been there. Slice and dice, organize your thoughts, and carefully read instructions ahead of time. You'll be able to relax during the few minutes before the doorbell rings.

3. Frequent Care Is Easy Care

party clean up

Remember: It’s all about offense, not defense. To avoid clutter and build-up, put ingredients back as you use them. Address spills and splatters as they happen Our Natural Surface Cleaner is ideal for every conceivable kitchen mess.

4. Avoid Complicated Recipes

Attempting new recipes under time constraints can spell disaster for your counter space and sanity. Stick to simpler dishes – or fan favorites that you can prepare with your eyes closed.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

after dinner clean up

If you’re the one making all the food, ask a parent, partner, or friend to help with the dishes before the guests start rolling in. It’s the least they can do – especially if they’re promised first dibs on dessert. If they complain about their manicure, remind them that Puracy Dish Soap is super moisturizing (and that there are a pair of gloves under the sink).

Silver Cleaning Hacks

silver cleaning hacks

To clean real silverware, fill a basin in the sink with warm water and the slightest amount of dish soap. Soak them for a few minutes, rinse by the handful, shake, and let them air dry.

How to Polish Silverware Naturally

Dealing with tarnished silver doesn’t require noxious silver polish. (who wants to inhale that?). Line a large tub with tin foil and add boiling water. For every liter of water, add 2 TBSP of baking soda. When placing the silverware inside, make sure that it touches the tin foil and doesn’t overlap.

After a few minutes, use tongs to pull your silverware out and polish using a microfiber cloth. For heavily tarnished silver, you may need to repeat the process a couple of times – but you won’t deal with any fumes!

Soak Pans While You Eat

dish hacks

A lot of the after dinner clean-up can wait until you're done eating. I recommend squirting a little Natural Dish Soap and hot water into pots and pans, letting them soak, then placing them in the dishwasher after guests have gone home (assuming they’re dishwasher safe, of course).

Pro Tip: When your oven is off (and cool), let dirty pots and pans soak there until later. This gets them out of your way and it instantly makes your kitchen look cleaner.

How to Clean Burnt Pans

how to clean burnt pans

If you (or your loved one) is known for burning food, don't panic: Fill the pan with hot water, add dish soap, and scrub it with an OXO dish brush before stains set. If you’re using cast iron or an uncoated pan, you can also use steel wool or balled-up tin foil to accelerate the process.

Cut Down on Dishwasher Cycles

dishwasher cleaning hacks

The plant enzymes in our Dishwasher Detergent Packs break down food remnants – from pan sauce to mashed potatoes. All you need to do is rinse dishes and focus on what really matters: dessert.

To fit everything into a single dishwasher cycle, one of my favorite dishwasher hacks is using non-standard plates for dessert. The bottom of your dishwasher will be full from the main course, so choose small bowls or cups that can fit on top.

Take it one step further and use compostable paper plates. Honestly, no one will care (and it'll make clean-up a cinch).

Pro Tip: By the time guests leave, your dishwasher should already be running with a full load.

Get Food Stains out of Tablecloths

get food stains out tablecloths
From a guest spilling red wine to a toddler getting a hold of tomato sauce, tablecloths take on some serious damage. Puracy Natural Stain Remover has you covered:
  • Rinse the textile under cold water as soon as you can (you can wait until the meal is finished).
  • Thoroughly spray stains with the Stain Remover, agitate gently with a laundry brush (a toothbrush works, too), then let it sit anywhere from 8 hours to 2 days.
  • Run a normal washing machine cycle with an “extra rinse” cycle.
  • If you still spot remnants, repeat the process and proceed with drying.

Pro Tip: If your floor has been hit by a food tornado, check out our carpet care tips.

Send Guests Home with Leftovers

leftover food guest

If you've ended up making way too much food, now's the time to cut down on plastic use by using the glass jars or extra Tupperware. You can provide paper grocery bags near the door (with everyone’s names on them) and let guests choose whichever containers they’d like.

Provide paper grocery bags near the door with everyone’s names on them and let guests choose whichever containers they’d like.

Puracy for Every Party!

However you choose to celebrate life's biggest events, do it with Puracy home essentials. Safe for the entire family and formulated to work amazingly well, we confidently backed them with our 100% money-back guarantee. Just like your meticulous party planning, we've thought of everything!