Diwali is the most-awaited festival in India. It is a time to celebrate, to feast and to embrace the love and togetherness of friends and family. Diwali is one festival where everything looks bright, colourful, and brand new. While we may be okay postponing a few of our chores on a daily basis owing to fatigue, we all want our house to be absolutely clean as we gear up for some major Diwali-socialising. After all, Diwali is the time when Goddess Lakshmi graces every house with her presence, and how can she ever be welcomed into an untidy, unclean house? Cleaning your house before Diwali can also have a therapeutic effect of getting rid of old vibes and welcoming new, positive vibes into the house!
Cleaning your house before Diwali is an annual chore that most Indian households engage in. From cleaning the ceiling to polishing brassware and silverware, every single aspect is looked into. Some people also like giving their homes a facelift by offering a fresh coat of paint on the walls. It is important to clean your home this way once a year and Diwali presents the perfect opportunity when everyone does it happily. A Diwali cleaning spree can be an overwhelming thought for most of us! So what do you do? Easy – keep calm and read on!
Pre-Diwali Cleaning Supplies
It is best to start Diwali cleaning at least 2 weeks before Diwali. That way, you can space out every individual chore with ease and convenience. Before you commence, however, make sure you have the following cleaning supplies ready!
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Scrubs, brushes, cloth wipes
- Garbage bags
- Microfiber cloth (for glass)
- Fabric softener
Cleaning your house: So how exactly do you go about the task of cleaning your house? It is simple. You just need to break down the chores and proceed in a systematic manner. Making a list helps. Clean and prepare your Pooja room: This is the place where you will carry out the most important ritual of the festival. So, your Pooja room needs to be completely spic and span. Start with cleaning behind the furniture. If there is any storage compartment, empty it out and clean the shelves thoroughly. Dispose of any old item that you may no longer need. Next, you need to clean the ceiling, the walls and the floor properly. Finally, dust the doors and windows to wrap it up.
Clean the closet: Start with the simple part. Take out all the clothes from your closet and make two piles – one to keep and one to give away. Everyone gets new clothes at this time of the year so it is a good time to discard what you won’t need any more. While empty, dust the closet, clear out any accumulated dirt and clean it properly. Then rearrange your clothes and you are done.
Clean the kitchen: It may sound surprising, but the kitchen is actually the part of the house that becomes the dirtiest. You therefore need to clean the kitchen thoroughly to eliminate grease, mould and other such unwanted objects that clutter up the place. Start with cleaning behind the appliances as a lot of dirt and dust accumulates in such places. Clean the appliances too. You will be shocked to see how dirty the inside of the microwave and the fridge are! Also scrub the floor and the counters and make the place spic and span.
Clean the bathrooms: You may clean your bathroom on a regular basis, but deep cleaning it is vital before Diwali. You may have guests coming over, so you need your bathrooms to be in a sparkling condition. Scrub the floor, the sinks, and the tubs properly and use disinfectant cleaners. Also, clear clogged drains and install some pest control measures. Make sure your bathrooms are cleaned and remain clean till the festivities are over, after which you will need another round of cleaning.
Diwali is a busy time for all women – from cleaning your house to preparing snacks and from getting back in shape to going to the parlour, we are all pressed for time! Surely you cannot cut down on time required for some of these tasks, but cleaning can definitely be made easier and more efficient.
Here are some really easy and simple Diwali cleaning hacks everyone must try!
- White Vinegar for Glass
One of the first things you will clean as part of Diwali cleaning is your windows. The best way to clean glass is by using white vinegar. Mix one part of white vinegar in one part of water, spray it on the glass, and leave it for a few seconds. Then, wipe the glass with a squeegee, followed by a soft cloth; preferably a microfiber cloth for best results. Make sure the surface is dry and there are no traces of vinegar as it could damage the glass.
- Lemon Juice for Your Microwave
Lemons are acidic in nature because of which they make for good cleaning agents. If you are going to use your microwave to make Diwali snacks, it is going to require more cleaning as compared to other days. Squeeze half a lemon in about 20ml water. Mix well. Boil the water in your microwave on high power. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or so. The moisture will settle evenly inside your microwave. Now take a soft cloth, or tissue paper, and wipe all inner surfaces clean. You can even add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the mixture for improved results. This mixture also gets rid of any odour in the microwave.
- Pillowcase for Ceiling Fans
While many houses have air conditioning these days, the cooler parts of India still use ceiling fans, and some families may have a combination of both. We can’t really miss cleaning the ceiling this Diwali when everything else is taken care of, can we? Here’s a great way to clean the blades of a ceiling fan – use an old pillowcase, put it onto the blade (like you would put it on a pillow), and wipe the blade as you remove the case. This way, all the dirt and grime gets collected in the pillowcase instead of falling right onto your face.
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon for Hard-Water Stains
Hard water leaves chalky stains on surfaces, which many women struggle to remove. Because there’s so much cleaning to do during Diwali, you would want a quick fix for this common problem – we have it! The best way to get rid of hard water stains from taps, utensils, buckets, etc. is to spray the surface with a mixture that has equal parts of apple cider vinegar and lemon. Leave it for 15 minutes, and wipe the surface clean. If required, you may even rinse it with water.
- Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide for Grout Between Tiles
Bathroom tiles and tiles in the kitchen are the stuff of every woman’s nightmares. After enjoying the cooking spree making Diwali snacks and sweets, cleaning kitchen tiles is going to be a difficult task. The grout between the tiles often collects grime, oil, and all sorts of sticky things that get lodged so deep they are almost impossible to get rid of. So, what do you do? Simple – take about a tablespoon of baking soda and pour some hydrogen peroxide in it to get the consistency of toothpaste. Take an old toothbrush or a cleaning brush, dip it in, and scrub at the lines between your tiles. The grout will clear up in no time!
- Baking Soda and Dish Soap for Bathroom Fittings
Those beautiful white marble or ceramic bathroom fittings in your home collect more dirt and germs than you can imagine. If you are going to have guests come over during Diwali, sparkling bathrooms should be on your Diwali house cleaning list. One way to keep the wash basin clean is to use baking soda. Sprinkle some baking soda on the wash basin (you can use a sieve to do this), take a drop of dish wash on the scrub, and then scrub the surfaces clean. You will be amazed to see the stubborn stains give way with very little effort.
- Change Linens and Drapes
Curtains often remain neglected because they do not come in the way of our daily chores. The best idea would be to have at least two different sets of curtains for the entire house and to change them just before Diwali when you’re cleaning your house, so you have new, clean, fresh curtains on the walls. However, if you do not have a spare set, worry not. Do not remove all curtains in one go; wash them room-wise, turn by turn. Also remember to change bedsheets, bed-covers, pillowcases, cushion covers, napkins and kitchen towels. Use a stain remover and a fabric softener during and after washing to keep the fabric soft and smelling pleasant.
- Clean the Mattresses
Mattresses also need a good cleaning once in a while. You may vacuum it to get rid of dust over it, but only vacuuming may not be the solution. So, this Diwali, clean your mattresses with baking soda and vinegar. Take vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it all over the mattress. Then, sprinkle some baking soda all over and leave it for a couple of hours. Then, either brush it off carefully, or vacuum it. This hack also helps get rid of dust mites and odours.
- Use Disinfectant Lavishly
This is a good tip to remember even for post-Diwali cleaning up. As a final step after all the above-mentioned tips, use a mild solution of a good disinfectant and wipe all surfaces clean. However, make sure you exercise caution while cleaning electrical appliances.
Less Is More – Decluttering for Diwali
An important part of Diwali home cleaning is throwing things away. However, most of us are so focused on getting things ‘clean’ that we completely ignore this step. And so, somewhere in the middle of putting things back in place after we are done cleaning them, we have a meltdown and can’t take it anymore! If this has happened to you too, why not try a new approach this Diwali?
- Throw Expired Medicines, Make-Up, and Kitchen Products Away
One way to create space in the kitchen, on your dresser, and in the bathroom is to clean the shelves and get rid of all expired items. This includes foodstuffs, ingredients, make-up, and medicines. Check the expiry dates on each of these items and throw away whatever has crossed this date.
Since we don’t always use all of these things, we tend to hold onto them. They occupy spaces in our house, and continue to do so because we have already forgotten we even have them! Collect all these items (which is why you need bin-bags) and throw them out without another thought. This way, you will also make space for the loads of delicious food items you will be preparing this Diwali.
- Declutter Your Wardrobe
This is not exactly a Diwali cleaning hack, but it should be a very important part of your pre-Diwali ritual. Diwali means a lot of different things to people, but one thing we are all excited about is the start of Diwali shopping! However, the first step to buying new clothes should be discarding old clothes. Otherwise, we may keep on accumulating more clothes than we know what to do with!
First, allocate a space in your room to do all the sorting. Start by going through all your clothes, and retaining only those clothes that make you happy. That might seem like an unusual ‘filter’ to use, but just ask yourself this: how many times have you held onto clothes thinking you’ll lose weight, alter them, get them repaired, and then never ever touch them? We are all guilty of doing this! So, why not just give them away to charity? It will be a round of good karma, a good decluttering exercise, and will give you one more reason to shop.
- Charity for Gifts
Diwali means a lot of get-togethers, lots of sweets and snacks, and of course, lots of gifts. Every single year, you get gifts from your friends, relatives, and even your employer. While we do not mean to dishonour the sentiment, we can all agree that many a time these gifts are unwanted, and simply get added to the pile of things we don’t know what to do with. Some gifts even get repeated, so you can end up having 2 dessert bowl sets, 4 wall-clocks, and God only knows how many packets of dry fruits and mithai! So why not give some of it away to charity?
You can start by gifting some of these items to people around you – your domestic help, the watchman, the milkman, the paper-wala, and other such people. Be sure also to add something from your own pocket to these hampers. So, add some baksheesh money to a box of sweets or pack some homemade snacks along with an extra wall clock you were gifted. If you still have pricey items left, consider donating them to a nearby old-age home or charity.
After you are through all the tasks mentioned above, the final one remaining is decorating your house! This is the easiest and the most joyful task to indulge in any festive season. One pro-tip we can give here is: do not use any decorations that involve ‘pasting’ (they will damage your walls) or drilling (they will leave ugly holes in surfaces when you remove them). Use simple decorations that can be installed and removed easily.
These are a few ways that can help you clean your house before Diwali so you can spend a clutter-free and pleasant festival with your friends and family.