SOURCE: SC Johnson

November 01, 2011 05:00 ET

Holiday Cleaning Hints

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Nov 1, 2011) - (Family Features) The holidays are a great time to make memories with friends and family, and a clean and inviting home sets the tone. From family traditions and cookie exchanges to visits from out of town guests, you want your home to always have that special holiday shine.

Windex has been helping homes sparkle for the holidays -- and every day -- for 75 years. Here are some hints to help you keep your home clean and inviting all season long.

Tackle the Fridge -- Clear out food and leftovers that are past their prime. Wipe down shelves and make room for batches of holiday cookie dough and perishable food gifts you might get. Wipe down the handles and doors with Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar. It gently cleans even stainless steel with a streak-free shine and a fresh, clean scent.

Declutter -- Clear everything off the counters that isn't involved in cooking. Put whatever has been slowly piling up, like mail and magazines, in piles: throw away, keep and recycle. This will make clearing the clutter more manageable.

Work From the Top Down -- Start by dusting the tops of cabinets. Then wipe down the cabinet doors, followed by countertops, lower cabinet doors, then the floors.

Clean the Stovetop -- Crumbs can build up in the space between the stove and the countertop. Use a stiff brush to loosen and remove them in no time. Once the crumbs are gone, wrap the bristles with a cloth dipped in warm soapy water to degrease that area.

Manage the Microwave -- In the microwave, boil a cup of water with a few slices of lemon in it for one minute. The steam softens stuck-on food, while the lemon water can be used with a sponge to wipe away grease and residue.

Let the Light In -- Take down your bathroom light fixtures and clean them with Windex Original Glass Wipes. Dust off your light bulbs too -- you'll be surprised at how much brighter the bathroom looks when you're done.

Sweep First, Then Mop -- Vacuum or sweep the floors, using the crevice tool to get behind sinks and toilets and to get into corners. This will clear the floor of hair and dust before you wipe down the baseboards and mop the floor, leaving a clean and shiny floor.

Soap Up the Sink -- Use an old toothbrush to get behind the sink faucet and knobs, and don't forget the sink pedestal or lower cabinets where dust, hair and makeup can build up.

Mind Your Medicine Cabinet -- Yes, guests will peek. Tidy things up, dispose of old medications and stash items you'd rather not be seen.

Spruce Up -- Fresh, neatly folded towels, scented hand soaps and a seasonal candle go a long way toward making a bathroom look and feel welcoming.

Clear Reflection -- Make sure the mirror is free of mascara smudges and water spots by wiping it down with Windex Original.

Living room
Freshen Up Fabrics -- Get pet hair off of upholstery with your favorite pet hair remover. Vacuum upholstered surfaces, then spot clean and use a fabric freshener where needed. Add a few seasonal pillows or throws for a fresh look guests will love.

Make It Shine -- Dust can build up on your most valuable electronics including computers, televisions and other items in your living room. Whether it's Windex Electronics Spray, Dry Cloths, or Wipes, the gentle formula removes dust, dirt and grime from household electronics, leaving behind only a streak-free shine.

Get Rid of Smudges -- Doorknobs, light switches, phones and more can get smudges and fingerprints. Give them a good cleaning with Windex Original Glass and Surface Wipes -- this is a great job for the kids to tackle.

Just in time for the holiday entertaining season, these easy tips will make your house a shiny, clean and welcoming place for all your holiday guests, whether they're planned or not. For more cleaning ideas or to share your own tips and traditions, visit .

Speedy Clean-Up Secrets
If you're on a tight schedule, or find out at the last minute that you'll be having guests, here are three quick tricks to help you tidy up in a hurry:

Speed Clean -- Go through the house with a few Windex Original Glass and Surface Wipes to remove smudges on mirrors, fingerprints on windows and glass tables, and grime on light switches. You'll be surprised at how quickly your home will seem polished and pulled together, with just a few touch-ups.

Focus on Key Areas Only -- Pick the main rooms that guests will be in and clean those. Concentrate on the bathroom first, then the main living area, then the kitchen.

Involve Your Family -- Have each family member pick up clutter or misplaced items in a different area of the house and make a game of it -- the first person done gets a special holiday treat!

Celebrating 75 Years of Shine
Just as moms have passed down beloved holiday traditions from generation to generation, moms have also shared their cleaning tricks and tips -- including using Windex -- since 1936.

Here is a look back at some momentous occasions in the history of Windex:

  • It was introduced in the heart of the Great Depression as an automobile windshield cleaner. The first formula was colored blue for consumer appeal and was packaged in six ounce glass bottles.

  • In 1965, Windex changed its formula by boosting its ammonia level and cleaning power.

  • In 1985, lemon scent was launched, representing the brand's first line extension.

  • In 2002, Windex had a large supporting role in one of the year's most popular films, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, in which a character presents Windex as a solution to any problem.

In 2011, Windex Mini was introduced. It's a concentrated refill pouch that uses 90 percent less plastic packaging than a traditional 26 fluid ounce trigger bottle.

To celebrate its 75th birthday, Windex is looking back through history and inviting families to share their tried and true traditions and shining moments. Visit the brand's Facebook page to share your family's holiday traditions and get ideas from others for starting new ones.

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