Written by Liz Busch.
Whether it’s a dinner party of 6 or 18, party clean-up can be a massive undertaking. And it’s hard to know exactly where to start.
We’ve compiled some common prep and clean-up questions – and Liz Busch provided her tried-and-true cleaning hacks.
How Do I Even Start Prepping for a Party?
Before any food is prepped or laid on the table, get your brain into party mode.
1. Start with a Blank Slate
The night before a gathering, my husband and I have already cleared the counters, gutted the fridge for expired food, taken out the trash, cleaned the sink, and emptied the dishwasher. The morning of any gathering, we free up fridge space by loading up a cooler with drinks. My cleaning products are kept on the floor of the pantry so I can grab them easily (and so they don’t take up counter space).
2. Prep Whatever You Can
No one wants to find out that they’re out of something when guests are on their way. Take the opportunity to slice and dice, organize your thoughts, and carefully read instructions ahead of time. Then bask in those extra five minutes before the doorbell rings.
3. Avoid Cooking New Recipes
Attempting new recipes under time constraints can spell disaster for your counter space and sanity. If you’ve never made a complicated dish before, stick to simpler ones and/or those you already know.
4. Frequent Care Is Easy Care
To avoid clutter and build-up, the #NeatMethod person in me always puts ingredients back as I use them. I also address spills and splatters as they happen (our Multi-Surface Cleaner is ideal for kitchen messes). It’s all about offense, not defense.
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5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re the one making all the food, ask a parent, partner, or friend to help you take care of the dishes. It’s the least they can do – especially when they’re taking home extra helpings of 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).
How to Clean Your Good Silverware
To clean your good silverware, fill a basin in the sink with warm water and the slightest amount of dish soap. Let them soak for a few minutes, rinse by the handful, shake, then let them air dry.
Polishing Tarnished Silverware Naturally
Dealing with tarnished silver doesn’t require noxious silver polish (who wants to inhale that?). Line a large tub with tin foil, then add boiling water. For every liter of water, add 2 TBSP of baking soda. When you place the silverware inside, make sure that it touches the tin foil and doesn’t overlap.
After a few minutes, pull your silverware out of the hot water (using tongs) 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
The typical go-to in our house is squirting a little Natural Dish Soap and hot water into your pots and pans. Let them soak, then place in the dishwasher after dinner (assuming they’re dishwasher safe, of course).
Pro Tip: If your oven is off and cool, consider letting dirty pots and pans soak there until later. This gets them out of your way and makes your kitchen look cleaner.
The Easiest Way to Deal with Scorched Pans
My mother is the Queen of Scorching Things. One Thanksgiving, the gravy was burned so badly that my father was convinced the pan was finished. I filled it with hot water, added dish soap, and scrubbed it with an OXO dish brush. If you’re using cast iron or an uncoated pan, you can also use steel wool or balled-up tin foil to accelerate the cleaning process.
How to Cut Down on Dishwasher Cycles
By the time guests leave, your dishwasher should already be running with a full load. The plant enzymes in our Dishwasher Detergent Packs break down food remnants, so you only need to “scrape, not rinse.” Puracy developed this product to target chocolate smudges and streaks of mashed potato on plates, letting you focus on what really matters: dessert.
An excellent trick for fitting everything into a single dishwasher cycle is not using standard-sized plates for dessert. Since the bottom of your dishwasher will probably be full from the dinner course, choose small bowls or cups that can fit on top.
Pro Tip: Take it one step further and use compostable paper plates. Honestly, no one will care and you’ll make clean-up a cinch.
How to Get Literally Any Food Stain out of Tablecloths
Most party hosts have a tablecloth horror story, whether someone’s spilled an entire bottle of red wine or an extremely mobile toddler’s gotten hold of tomato sauce.
Puracy Natural Stain Remover has you covered. Rinse the textile under cold water as soon as you can, but you can absolutely wait until the meal is finished. Thoroughly spray heavy stains with the Stain Remover, agitate gently with a laundry brush (a toothbrush works, too), then let it sit for 8-48 hours. Next, run a normal washing machine cycle with an “extra rinse” cycle.
Pro Tip: If your floor has been hit by a food tornado, we’ve created a how-to guide for cleaning stains out of carpets.
How to Package Leftovers More Quickly & Easily
If you’re having a small get together and make way too much food, you can cut down on plastic use by asking guests to bring their own reusable, clearly-marked containers. If you’ve got a massive collection of glass jars or Tupperware that you’re trying to get rid of, now’s the time!
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
When I say that my husband brings his work home with him, I’m not kidding: Before anything is sold on the market, our family rigorously tests every Puracy product.
Though social gatherings may look a bit different than they used to, these plant-based formulas are safe for the entire family and work amazingly well. We’re so confident you’ll love them, every Puracy product is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.