Cleaning Up After Hanukkah
It's that time of year where preparations for the eight days of celebrations for Hanukkah begin. Candles are lit every night, families celebrate over traditional food and gifts are exchanged. However, with Hanukkah celebrations comes a lot of clean up that is particularly oil or wax based. So AspenClean has comprised a list of our best cleaning tips so you are prepared for the aftermath of your Hanukkah celebration.
Cleaning your Menorah
Celebrating the festival of lights through kindling candles on the menorah for each night of Hanukkah is one of the main traditions surrounding the holiday. With a constant flow of lighting candles over the 8 days, Menorahs tend to gather wax allowing for oils to build up, and depending what your Menorah is made of, it can be quite difficult to clean.
These days there are some hacks such as dripless candles to help avoid cleaning a Menorah, but if you are using traditional candles, there are some tricks to help deal with candle wax clean up. Candles can be frozen, so they don't burn as fast making the candle last a little longer. If you spray your menorah with cooking spray it will prevent the wax from sticking to the frame. Drip cups or trays are also a great idea for protecting your Menorah and avoiding additional cleanup.
Depending on what your Menorah is made from there are different ways you can clean it. If your menorah is made of metal, putting it under heat will help remove and melt away the wax. Using a hairdryer, placing it at a low temperature in the oven or soaking it in warm water should do the job. Be sure to place a sheet of grease-proof paper under the Menorah so it can catch all the wax drips.
Freezing the Menorah is another approach that will help clean the frame, as the cold will harden the wax making it easier to crack off. If your Menorah is made of a more fragile material, be selective on what method you use to clean it. Menorahs made of glass or plastic could potentially crack if the temperature is too hot or too cold.
If your Menorah is made from wood, cleaning it under a high heat could make the wood warp. It's best to keep the heat at a medium level to soften the wax, and then remove it with a cloth. Use a mix of vinegar and water to remove any excess wax that's left over, and after that, a touch of natural polish using olive oil and lemon juice will restore the shine back to the wood.
Removing Candle Wax from Carpets
Removing candle wax from carpets or materials is almost an inevitable part of Hanukkah. One of the best ways to remove the wax is, leave it to harden and gently scrape the wax lose with a blunt knife that won't damage the carpet. For any remaining wax, take a damp cotton towel, fold it over and place it over the wax. Put your iron on a high heat setting and press it against the towel in 10-second intervals. This should help draw the wax out of the carpet and into the towel. If there is a stain left in the carpet, dilute a little bit of white vinegar with water and some salt to use as a DIY natural carpet cleaner.
Kitchen Grease Stains
A big part in commemorating Hanukkah occasion is celebrating with food over the 8 days, which is going to make it hard to stay on top of a clean kitchen. Dirty dishes pile up, grease splatters accumulate from frying latkes, loukoumades and sufganiyot, and burnt oil can be a disaster to clean from pots and pans. For burnt pans that have a layer of black burnt oil, its best to soak them overnight in soapy water for a minimum of 5/6 hours and wash it with a bit of elbow grease in the morning. If those stains are still resisting, try sprinkling scouring powder over the stain and scrub to remove any remaining burnt bits.
To remove grease splatters that build up from frying traditional Hanukkah food, vinegar is a great natural solution with grease-busting qualities to help solve all your problems. However, if you have marble or granite counter-tops, make sure you don't spray the counters with vinegar and leave them to soak, as the acid can etch away the surface and make it look dull. Instead, spray your vinegar solution on a microfiber cloth and wipe the surfaces, or use warm water with a bit of dish soap to clear away any built-up grease.
Grease Stains on Clothes
When it comes to Hanukkah grease stains are a problem in more ways than one. Grease splatters in the kitchen can mean those splatters also land on your clothing. Pre-treat any grease stains with natural dish soap or a natural laundry detergent and rinse the material with hot water, provided it won't damage the material. Add a little more soap or detergent to lather up the stain and leave it to sit for a while before putting it into the washing machine. If the stain hasn't been fully removed after the wash, putting it into the dryer can allow the stain to set in, leaving a permanent mark, so allow the clothing to air dry. If there is still a stain visible after washing and air drying the item of clothing, you might have to revert to stronger methods. For white or bright clothes, a gentle treatment with oxygen-based bleach might do the trick, but make sure the material will allow it! For sensitive material or dark clothes, try an all-natural and eco-friendly stain remover. Wash and air-dry after treatment again to see your success.
Cleaning Chocolate Stains
When kids are involved in Hanukkah, the giving of Chanukah gelt chocolate coins can tend to get a little messy with chocolaty fingerprints. If there are chocolate stains on a hard surface, an all-purpose cleaner should help clean the stains away. However, getting chocolate stains off garments, upholstery and carpets can be a bit more difficult, so it's best to act fast. Refrigerate garments to keep the stain from spreading for about 15 minutes or so and then place the garment flat on a counter and use a sharp-edged knife to scrape away as much excess chocolate as possible.
Scraping away will only remove so much of the stain, so some materials will need to be pre-treated and blotted with a natural laundry detergent or a natural concentrated dish soap before washing.
Stains on carpets and upholstery can be cleaned with a mix of vinegar and water to help. Always remember to blot the stains clean instead of rubbing it. Rubbing stains on a carpet can push the stain further into the threads of the material, making it more difficult to remove.
Ask for Help
Celebrating Hanukkah is always an enjoyable time for all involved. Preparing for the clean-up that's to come will give you more time to enjoy the festivities with your family, friends and children. At the end of the day, AspenClean is always here to lend a helping hand; let us worry about the cleanup so you don't have to. Book a post-Hanukkah cleaning on our website today, and let our AspenClean Team take care of the holiday aftermath.