The One Thing You Need to Clean Before Entertaining

published Jan 3, 2022
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Just today, a friend and I were discussing how she should clean the Carrara marble penny tile in the house they moved into two weeks ago. She explained how she and her husband planned to re-do the bathroom eventually (and to install a more forgiving and easy-to-clean flooring), but that right now she wanted to clean it because she couldn’t stand dirty grout, especially — and I finished her sentence — “other people’s dirty grout.”

Here’s the mind trip, though: When we have guests over, we are the “other people,” whose food they’re eating, whose grout they may or may not be staring at while using the restroom, and whose water dispenser they use without eyes glazed over by repeated exposure to grime and hard water stains.

In addition to encountering an icky-looking water dispenser, one of the worst things to happen is getting ice that tastes stale. Don’t let this come from your freezer. To ensure that no one feels grossed out by a less-than-pristine water dispenser or funky-flavored ice in their drinks, clean them both before you have guests.

To clean the dispenser portion of your unit, use Bar Keepers Friend. I prefer the wet version for this task, because it’s easier to apply to vertical surfaces. Scrub with a scouring pad. Remove any trays that can be taken out, soak up any water that’s collected there, and clean all components with Bar Keepers Friend. Rinse everything with a damp rag.

For the ice compartment, first unplug your freezer and remove anything that’s in the way of you reaching the ice maker. Next, remove the ice bin, dump out the ice, and use warm, soapy water to handwash the bin. Set it aside to dry. After this, use a butter knife (carefully!) or a warm washcloth to dislodge any ice that’s sticking to the outside of the maker. Finally, use a vinegar and water solution to clean every part of the ice maker you can reach. Wipe down and then dry. When all pieces are completely dry, put them back in the freezer and plug the appliance back in. Make sure to check and change the water filter if necessary.

Tackling this task before entertaining means one less thing you have to worry about as you’re trying to show your loved ones a good time in your home.