all that women want







work at home

women's biz



food and drink





best books



contact us

legal notices




12 simple steps to a sparkling home that will dazzle your guests

Christmas is coming and so are mums, dads, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, old friends and everyone else on the street. With every muddy foot that steps inside the house comes eyes on your festively decorated castle, followed by spilled mulled wine, ingrained mince pies and shreds of torn wrapping paper.

If you are playing host this Christmas, Sophie Smithers, domestic goddess and cleaning expert from Thane, the home of the UK’s bestselling H20 X5® steam cleaner (now available in a festive red and snowy white), has devised 12 easy steps to help hosts prepare their homes for loved ones and in-laws.

Day 1: The Guest Room – will undoubtedly be occupied in the coming days, so give it a bit of a clear out and make sure it is dust free and has freshly made bed sheets – for an extra touch add a blanket to keep your guests warm as the nights get cold. Candles are also a great touch and adding a hint of cinnamon scent to a plain candle will make your guest feel even more festive.

Day 2: The Windows – they call them the eyes of the home; so make sure you can clearly see in and out of your windows on a crisp winter’s day. A little tip here is to use vinegar, water and newspaper as this will make them almost invisible.

Day 3: The Oven – a big turkey deserves a clean oven. There are many ways to clean an oven but the best way is to use the power of steam. With a handheld steam cleaner you can blast away the burnt leftovers in seconds – and without using harmful chemicals!

Day 4: The Decorations – deck the halls with boughs of holly, but your decorations not only shed, they notoriously bring dust, dirt and grime from the other 11 months of the year. Give them a good dusting so they sparkle as they are designed to. On things like plain glass baubles, warm water and a dash of washing up liquid will make them sparkle.

Day 5: The Glasses – is your mother-in-law fond of a sherry on Christmas Day? Whilst drinking, she may also be fond of examining your crystal glasses for mineral stains and leftover lipstick marks. Scrub them with potato skins for those tough stains so they are ready for the all-important inspection.

Day 6: The Cutlery - it may seem tedious, but at Christmas it’s the little things that make the big differences. Hot water and vinegar will make your cutlery look as good as new and when you dress the table, you’ll be glad you made the extra effort.

Day 7: The Floor - only 5 days to go now – and it’s time to do the floor. For the best results try a two tiered approach; first vacuum every nook and cranny, second give your floor a real steam clean. A cleaner like the H2O X5® will do your hard wooden floors, tiles and even carpets, without you having to bend down and scrub. This will give you more time to put your feet up and relax.

Day 8: The Fridge - You need to make enough room in your fridge and freezer to feed the hordes due to descend on your home. It also probably needs a good clean. Take everything out and also remember to take out any removable draws or shelves. Then clean from the top to bottom. When it comes to putting items back in – make sure they are all necessary – you will be thankful for the space you create when the shopping arrives. Anything that doesn’t need refrigerating like sauces and some vegetables can be put into dry cupboards.

Day 9: The Bathroom – It’s time to tackle the bathroom. This is best approached with the Thane H2O X5® by your side as it can clean, sanitise and deodorise your bathroom all at the same time. It can glide over your tiles and then you can convert it to a handheld steam cleaner and use the jet nozzle to get in-between the hard to reach areas letting you clean your bathroom without harmful chemicals.

Day 10: De-Clutter – The doorbell is about to ring so it is time to make some space. De-clutter your living room and kitchen as that is where most of the action will take place. Also ensure you have enough seats for everyone or at least space on the floor for any little ones. Big cushions or pillows on the floor can act as extra seating, especially for the kids to enjoy.

Day 11: The Outfit – Time for you and steam clean your outfit for Christmas Day and ensure you sparkle as much as your décor. Use an iron, or many steam cleaners can also do your outfits. Then relax and have a little ‘me’ time before the mayhem begins.

Day 12: The Table – Now with your home looking clean neat and tidy – ready for your in-laws to inspect every inch of it – you can spend today concentrating on the table, for that festive feel cut some holly or bits of Christmas Tree and scatter around the table and don’t forget to give everyone a cracker.

The H2O MOP® X5™ is a powerful steam cleaning system that converts ordinary tap water into supercharged steam, making it the perfect tool to help you deep clean your home ready for Christmas visitors, and for the inevitable clean up afterwards!

Watch it in action on this YouTube video here. You really will be amazed at it's versatility. You'll definitely want one, the only question is which colour, zingy green, pure white or chic red. Available from Thane Direct UK and from Robert Dyas for just £99 and worth every penny.