The last touchdown has been scored and, whether your team won or lost, it’s time to deal with the after-party mess. Here are the best and most efficient ways to clean up after the big game party.
Start With the Trash
Before you even touch a dirty dish or wipe a counter, clear out the trash. Grab a trash bag and do a sweep through the living room and kitchen—picking up the regular paper and food garbage as you go. Next, do another walk-through, this time picking up all the recyclable trash like beer bottles and soda cans. Here’s a guide to what can and can’t be recycled.
Use a Dish Bin (or Two)
To avoid overflowing your sink with dirty dishes, leaving you no room to actually wash the dishes, set up one or two dish bins next to the sink. (We love this collapsible version, for easy storage.) Fill the bins with hot, soapy water and let the dishes soak while you continue cleaning up. You can even walk around the party room with an empty dish bin first, to make collecting dirty plates and glasses a little easier.
Deal With the Leftovers
Wrap up leftovers that haven’t been sitting out too long and pop them in the fridge, before you start cleaning the kitchen. Worried about getting stuck with too much leftover food? Have a few disposable containers ready to hand out extra wings, pizza or nachos to guests before they leave. We love these eco-friendly clamshell containers with separated compartments—an easier solution than fussing with baggies or foil and paper plates.
Air Out the Room
A room full of excited, warm-bodied party guests can make for a stuffy house, even after everyone leaves. Get the air flowing by opening a few windows and turning on the ceiling fan, if you have one. If the odors linger, try these clever hacks for making your home smell great.
Too Cold to Leave Windows Open?
If you live where it’s too cold in February to leave windows open, light a fresh-smelling candle or use essential oils in a diffuser. We love lavender and lemon for a subtle, clean scent. No candles or essential oils on hand? Make an easy, all-natural stove top air freshener: Fill a pot with water and add lemon slices, a few sprigs of rosemary and one drop of vanilla; then simmer.
Deep Clean the Slow Cooker
That spicy queso dip was a huge hit at the party, but now it’s time to deal with the mess. Here’s how to remove baked-on food residue from your slow cooker: Fill it with water and add 1/2 cup of vinegar, three tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dish soap. Turn the slow cooker on for an hour to let the cleaning mixture work its magic, then scrub with a dish brush and rinse. Still dirty? Here’s how to deep-clean your slow cooker.
You usually can’t throw a party without at least one or two food or drink spills. If you notice any stains on the sofa or rug, spray with a pretreat product and let it sit while you continue cleaning up. Bissel’s pretreat for carpet and upholstery gets great reviews, or you can make your own by filling a spray bottle with a mixture of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide, along with a few drops of dish soap.
Clean the Guest Bathroom
There’s no doubt that your Super Bowl party guests will use your bathroom during the game. In fact, have you heard of The Big Flush? It’s when everyone across America takes a bathroom break at halftime. Supposedly, waste systems get overloaded.
Let’s hope that your guest bath isn’t among them, and that all you have to do afterward is a quick wipe down. Here’s our favorite speed clean routine: Add your favorite toilet cleaner to the toilet bowl and leave it to work its magic while you wipe down the vanity and mirror. Throw the hand towel in the dirty laundry, give the floor a quick mop, then return to scrub and flush the toilet. Voila!
Remove Rings From Wood Tables
Not all of your party guests used coasters? Don’t panic. As strange as it sounds, you can use toothpaste to remove a water ring stain from your wood coffee table. Squeeze a small amount of white (not gel) toothpaste onto a soft cloth and rub the stain gently. Finish by wiping the table with your favorite furniture polish.
Clean Floors Last
Remember to leave floors last on your cleaning list. As you wipe off counters, wash dishes and pick up, the floors will continue to take a beating. So wait until everything else is done before you bring out the broom, vacuum and mop. Next, read these 10 tips that’ll help you be a great party host.