By Kathryn Weber

What's more inviting than a dining room with a glittering chandelier and sparkling crystal and china? This fall, focus on cleaning tasks that make your home shine

What's more inviting than a dining room with a glittering chandelier and sparkling crystal and china? This fall, focus on cleaning tasks that make your home shine

Enter a posh hotel and one of the first things you notice is the way it sparkles. From the crystal chandeliers to the brass stair railings, a truly great hotel gleams. You can bring the same sparkle to your home -- and fall is the best time to do it, before the waning light of winter sets in. Here are some cleaning tips to make your home glitter -- and make you shimmer with pride.

1. Make your windows shine

Clean, sparkling windows make the whole house look clean. To wash windows super-fast, add two tablespoons of sudsy ammonia to a gallon of warm water. Use a sponge to spread the solution onto windows and a squeegee to wipe it off. Remove any streaks with a microfiber towel. For extra sparkle, follow with a wipe of a microfiber polishing cloth.

2. Clean the oven

The fall's warm apple pies are less appealing when you pull them out of a grimy oven. Set your oven to the "clean" setting when you're at home. Once it's cooled, wipe down with paper towels and clear water. Clean grates with a commercial oven-cleaning product and scour with a soap-filled scouring pad to make them shine.

3. Give your wood furniture a shine with furniture oil

Dry, dull wood lacks a warm luster. Lemon or orange oil products will protect wood and give it a nice sheen. Use sparingly and be sure to polish thoroughly, wiping off any excess so that the wood has a nice patina but doesn't look oily.

4. Make your china cabinet sparkle like a jewelry box

Although it's closed up, china cabinets still attract dust. And with the holidays coming up, a china cabinet that's cleaned, dust-free, and full of gleaming china and crystal will be ready for use when holiday parties and dinners roll around. Start by putting a waterproof pad on your dining table and emptying out your china cabinet. Wash and polish china and crystal. Clean cabinet shelves and polish any glass or mirror in your cabinet, and then replace with the clean service pieces.

5. Make your chandelier shimmer

If your chandelier is very high or very intricate, your best bet might be to find a lighting company that offers cleaning service. If you want to clean your chandelier yourself, first move the dining table out from underneath the light. Then, turn off the electricity at the panel. Make a solution of distilled water and ammonia; distilled water won't leave residue on delicate crystals. Wipe the crystals with a wet cloth and follow with a polish from a dry cloth. Let dry for two or three days before turning the electricity back on.

6. Polish metal fittings

If you have brass or other hardware on furniture, doors, railings or switch plates, give them a polish with a brass polishing liquid to clean the fittings. Wipe them clean, and then using a polishing cloth to buff and make the metal shine.

7. Get a jump on holiday dinners with sparkling silver

Before you start your holiday menu planning, get your silver serving pieces out and polish them. Then, when it's time to set your table, the silver will be ready, waiting and sparkling. Store in zippered plastic bags with the air removed to keep silver completely tarnish free.

Available at

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Copyright © Kathryn Weber, Living Space. All rights reserved.





Home & Garden - Seven Ways to Make Your Home Sparkle This Fall