Great question - thanks for asking! Something most all of us will be
able to put to use this holiday season. There seem to be quite a few
unusual ideas on party cleanup I have never seen or heard before. Here
are some of the best I found:
My search started at Summercamp 2003 where they had a few quality suggestions:
A few excerpts:
"...Party Clean Up Tricks
So the party was fun? But, then comes the real headache of cleaning up
the mess a day after the get together. But, simple advice can help
minimize the clean-up trauma to a large extent. Here are some of
· House smells? Vacuuming with a scented powder will work wonders.
Things will smell better right away!
· Soak baking pans before going to bed. The water might look like pond
muck the next morning but you?ll save elbow grease.
· Keep your cool if your friends spill the soft drinks & don?t wait
till the party?s done to deal with it. Use a wet/dry handheld vacuum
to slurp up the spill in a hurry. Cover the stain with a napkin or
towel. After guests go, arrange the stained area of the tablecloth
flat in the bottom of the kitchen sink. Sprinkle the stain liberally
with table salt, and pour boiling water ? from a height of at least
one foot ? over the stains. The force of the water, plus the salt,
should remove the stain. Repeat if necessary.
· If there is a buffet, put a terry towel under the dish as your
friends may somehow spill drinks. The towel will help protect the
table and catch sauce that might stain the tablecloth.
· Last but not the least, in order to avoid water rings on the
furniture, position coasters and napkins strategically around the room
before the party. And, ask your friend to help you pick up dirty
plates and used glasses during party time. If a water ring
mysteriously appears, try rubbing it with mayonnaise the next day as
the oil in the mayonnaise can either remove or lighten the ring. Shoe
polish might work too!
You'll find a few more of this quality at their site.
Do It Yourself Network offers the following tips for party cleanup:
"...One of the least favorite aspects of entertaining at home is the
cleanup after everyone leaves. Fortunately Paula Jhung, author of
Guests Without Grief, has a few tricks up her sleeve to make this
unpleasant task much easier to bear.
Jhung says that if you prepare your house so that it is always ready
to accommodate children and company, then postparty stress is
virtually eliminated. This means, for example, choosing deeply colored
rugs that can mask any stains that may occur during an evening meal or
at a party (for instance, light blue wouldn't be a practical shade, as
very few foods are blue). Oriental-type rugs that contain red, green
and brown, however, can effectively camouflage accidents with hues
that are more common in the foods we eat. This means that after you
have cleaned the spill, the stain will not haunt you for years to
To avoid leaving a lasting impression on your carpet, Jhung recommends
keeping plenty of club soda on hand for those little emergencies.
Simply pour a generous amount directly on the stain and rub with a
brush or towel. It is helpful to have a few towels stashed behind a
cabinet door so that accidents can be taken care of quickly. This will
serve you well with both guests and children...
She continues with a few amazing (at least to me) suggestions such as:
...For red-wine stains, pour white wine over the area and launder as usual.
Clean blenders by pouring a bit of soap in the bottom and fill almost
to the top with water. Cover and blend on low for a few minutes. Any
remaining food will come right off when wiped with a cleaning sponge.
To clean your microwave oven, combine one tablespoon baking soda with
a cup of water and heat until the mixture explodes. The residue left
on the inside will remove the food when wiped off with a paper
You might wish to read the remainder of this page and even order her
book which seems to be very worthwhile!
Guests Without Grief: Entertaining Made Easy for the Hesitant Host
Author: Paula Jhung
Home and Garden Televison offers the following suggestions:
"...Eliminating Party Smells (smoke, food or other odors):
Mist furniture (if scotch-guarded) with vinegar and water.
Leave a small bowl with cotton balls soaked in vanilla to kill any
smoke in a room...
...Think of your lighting in advance and replace your regular-watt
bulbs with softer pink or peach bulbs. These are more flattering to
your guests, and if everyone thinks that they look good, they'll have
a good time."
The Winn-Dixie food chain has a list of pre and post party cleanup
tips at this page:
"...Remove coffee, tea stains or cigarette burns from fine china by
rubbing it with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda...
...It's always a good idea to have an empty dishwasher at the start of
a party. Then you can stash dirty dishes away more efficiently.
To clean spills in the microwave, cover the spill with a damp paper
towel and turn the oven on high for 10 seconds. The mess wipes up
easily as the oven cools.
To quickly clean the barbecue grill, place the cool grill inside a
plastic garbage bag and add enough powdered dishwasher detergent and
hot water to cover it. Tie the bag shut, let it sit outside for a few
hours, and then rinse it...
...To remove burned food from a pan, heat the pan on the stove until
it is fairly warm. Then place a mixture of dry bleach and dry
detergent over the burned-on food. Cover it with hot, wet paper towel.
Leave it for twenty minutes to an hour and then rinse..."
Quite a few more listed on their page.
HalloweenSpot offers party tips and a unique cleanup suggestion:
"...If you can?t soak the stuff, here?s an old catering trick: We
would wrap pots, etc. in plastic wrap until it got to the dishwashers.
This prevented the food from drying out, making it easier to clean
Ted Can Cook has a number of kitchen and cooking tips that can easily
apply to your post partry cleanup including the following I had not
"...To clean stains from aluminum pots, try boiling rhubarb in the pan
until the stain disappears...
...Vegetable stains can be removed with a slice of wet potato or vinegar...
...Spray plastic-ware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in
tomato-based sauces. No more stains!..."
And the Dollar Stretcher offers up their own suggestions on a page for
What a Party - What a Mess!
"...Here's some tips to help remove spots and stains after all the
dancing, drinking and dining are over. But first, here's a few some
suggestions concerning any spill or accident on the floor. Always try
and clean up a spill as soon as it happens. The longer it sits, the
more likely it will become a stain. Never "rub" a spill or a stain.
This just spreads it around. Always "dab" it with a clean cloth or
towel. And finally, take the test! Whatever you are using to cleanup a
spill, try it first in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it is
They offer up methods for cleaning spills from wine, beer, eggs,
lipstick, ink, coffee and other common party stains.
Home and Garden offers 21 tips for throwing the perfect party from a
round table discussion, and although they don't "particularly" address
cleanup, these might be of help to you:
"...2 ways to signal that the party's over
"Blow out the candles, slowly turn up the lights and start to clean
up," said Williams. "And make sure you have taxi cab numbers."
"Sunrise," said Kingman
1 good reason to throw a party
"Entertaining is a good excuse to get your house clean," said Diamond..."
And searching a bit at Google Groups also finds posted articles with
good tips. This one discusses a number of suggestions from planning
through cleanup and cautions:
Cleaning up after a party is usually much easier than expected. A
worse problem is the anxious host (or guest) who cleans up
prematurely. A few people compulsively cruise for neglected glasses
and plates, dumping out someone else's food when they aren't looking.
Relax! That person may have just gone to look at some photos, get
something from their car, or visit the rest room. Leave their plate
and beer bottle alone! And since you can't always spot these
busybodies, I caution you to watch out for your own plate and
party +clean OR cleanup
party +clean OR cleanup +tips OR suggestions
after party cleanup +tips OR suggestions
I trust my research has provided you with useful suggestions to make
cleanup after your party a little easier, quicker and more successful.
If a link above should fail to work or anything require further
explanation or research, please do post a Request for Clarification
prior to rating the answer and closing the question and I will be
pleased to assist further.