Bergen County Home Design: Get Your Kitchen Holiday Ready
 
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Millions of Americans will be taking to the road this holiday season and odds are some of them are coming to your home. All of those extra houseguests mean added kitchen clutter and a sink filled with a plethora of pots, pans and plates.

Since the kitchen is the heart of the home, you'll want to make sure the space remains warm, inviting and sparkling clean during the holiday season. Here are some quick tips to help you get your kitchen ready for friends and family:

Countertops - Keep countertops clutter free by doing a quick clearing off. Grab a laundry basket and fill it with those piled up papers and magazines, school projects, and miscellaneous items that are taking up precious counter space. After the hubbub of the holiday season has died down, you can sort through the basket and determine where all the items should be stored.

Once the counters have been cleared, it's time to wipe everything down. And don't forget about those usually unseen spots - move appliances, cookbooks and displays so you can clean underneath them, rather than just around them. Keep in mind that if you have granite countertops, you need to use a pH-neutral stone cleaner. Soap, abrasive cleaners or cleaners with citrus can damage granite.

Sink - A kitchen may look spic and span, but one stinky sponge can easily mask all your hard work. The new "Dirty Dishes Dilemma" survey by Palmolive® reveals that close to nine out of ten households (86 percent) have encountered a bad smelling sponge, and almost everyone surveyed (94 percent) said they felt this particular odor impacts their kitchen's cleanliness most. Help keep guests' noses from crinkling by ensuring bad smells are kept at bay. One way you can do that is with the dual-action formula of Ultra Palmolive® Dish and Sponge FreshTM Dish Liquid, which washes away odor-causing residue on sponges while its cleaning action helps remove stuck-on food. Dishes are left sparkling clean and sponges are left smelling fresh.

Another way to help keep your sponge smelling fresh? Properly clean your sponges by removing remaining food particles and thoroughly rinsing your sponge after using the dish liquid. Shiny surfaces also enhance a kitchen's atmosphere. Splotches and stains are a common sink surface menace even with daily cleaning. Use an eraser-type sponge and an all-purpose cleanser to remove them. You can also try cleaning stains with baking