Handyman: Tips for getting home ready for Thanksgiving

Glenn Haege

If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you have about a week to get your house cleaned and prepped for the festivities. But don’t fret. With some prior planning, the right products and some elbow grease, you can make your home shine before the guests arrive. Here are some areas you should focus on before turkey day:

Bathrooms: Lots of guests mean your bathrooms will get a good workout, so make sure they are ready for the extra activity. First, get your drains working properly by using a product like Hair Clog Blaster from Whink,, to clean out the hair and soap scum that builds up and causes clogs.

Then clean your sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls with Works Tub and Shower Cleaner,, or X-14 Mildew Stain Remover, If mold and mildew on your shower tiles is a problem, use X-14 Mildew Stain Remover or Concrobium Mold Control,

Flooring: Your floors get a lot of use and abuse, so getting them clean may take a little work. For carpets, I always recommend having them professionally cleaned instead of trying to do it yourself. The professionals with truck-mounted cleaners can do a better job than you can with a rented carpet-cleaning machine or one of those portable home versions. Some local well-established carpet cleaners include Chet’s Cleaning,, Miracle and Modernistic,

For dull hardwood floors, use a quality hardwood floor cleaning system such as Bruce Hardwood and Laminate floor cleaner,, or the Bona Pro Series Hardwood Refresher, to restore the shine.

For laminate flooring such as Pergo, you can use Bruce Hardwood and Laminate floor cleaner or Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner from Holloway House,

For vinyl or linoleum flooring in the kitchen or bathroom that has lost its luster, a good deep-cleaning with Armstrong New Beginning vinyl floor stripper,, followed with a coat of Armstrong Shine Keeper can restore the gloss. For basic cleaning, you can use a product like Once ‘n Done No Rinse Floor Cleaner from Armstrong or Quick Shine Floor Cleaner from Holloway House.

For tile or stone floors, consider DuPont Stone & Tile Floor Cleaner,, or Marbalex from Stone Care International,

Kitchen: Your kitchen gets the most use on Thanksgiving, so make sure your sinks and appliances are sparkling. To clean a stainless steel sink, use Bar Keepers Friend,, or Bon Ami, Use Soft Scrub,, on other types.

To deep clean, polish and seal Corian, Formica or similar counter tops, use Hopes Counter Top Polish, Hopes also has a glass cooktop cleaner, Perfect Cooktop, that removes those annoying burnt-on stains.

For oak kitchen cabinets, first apply Doozy Pre-Cleaner with a microfiber cloth and then finish with Doozy Polish, This combination also works well for your fine furniture.

Windows: Once you have cleaned the rest of the house, make sure your windows sparkle as well. To clean the outside of your windows (and if the temperature is above freezing) you can use my old tried and true method of mixing 1 level teaspoon of liquid dish soap and 4 ounces of vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Then sponge the solution onto the window and squeegee it off. You can do the same inside but use four ounces of ammonia instead of vinegar.

Use a microfiber cloth and products like Sprayway Glass Cleaner,, or Krud Kutter Window Wash,, on the outside, or Sprayway or Invisible Glass,, to clean the inside.

Handyman emergency stain kit: Odds are that someone will spill something on the carpet on Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day if you have the Handyman Emergency Stain Removal Kit on hand. Buy a bottle of club soda and foam-style shaving cream. When someone spills something on the carpet, blot it with a facial tissue immediately, but don't rub it. Then pour a small amount of club soda on the stain, let it fizz, and use the tissue to blot it dry. If it's a food spill, pick up the excess food with tissue and apply a little foam-style shaving cream. Work the foam with your fingers, using a plucking motion. Then blot with a tissue, sprinkle club soda on the stain and blot it dry.

If you would like to suggest a question for this column, e-mail If you want to talk to Glenn Haege, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations.