The One Thing Everyone Forgets to Clean Before Company Comes Over

The One Thing Everyone Forgets to Clean Before Company Comes Over

Hint: You're looking right at it!
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Although I tend to panic and go into a cleaning frenzy when guests come over, I've noticed that I never mind when my friends' houses aren't tidy. We've all got husbands, kids, pets, and lives getting in the way of making our houses Pinterest-perfect. And you know what? I don't mind at all! Messy is not the same as dirty.

That being said, if someone hands me a wine glass and it's dusty or got weird specks of stuck-on food, well, I do mind that!

Forget cleaning the shower and putting the clutter away — the most critical thing you can do before you have company over is to simply check in on your glassware and make sure it is all, indeed, dust- and food-free. This is especially key if you keep your glasses on open shelving or a bar cart.

If you haven't used your glasses in a while, you might want to give them all a quick rinse. While some glassware can go in the dishwasher (make sure they don't bump up against each other, as that can cause scratching or breakage), I find that it's faster and just as effective to wash glasses by hand. If there's stuck-on food (probably a result from a not-super-successful spin in the dishwasher to begin with), you'll probably want to wash that glass by hand, anyway.

Here's the mind-blowing part: Many experts suggest skipping the soap entirely when you wash wine glasses. The thinking is that your lemon-basil soap might smell great to you now, but it can leave a hint of scent behind — and that's weird. Instead, they suggest hot water. And maybe a soft sponge, but that's not even necessary. If that sounds just too icky to you, use a very small amount of unscented dish soap and rinse well.

When you're done, set each glass upside down on a drying rack. You can leave them there until your guests arrive or dry them completely with a lint-free towel and put 'em back on your bar cart.

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