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Cleaning Before Hosting Your First Thanksgiving

November 15, 2023

How you manage to clean before hosting your first Thanksgiving is up to you. Or rather, it’s about you. Whether it’s the wastebasket in your bathroom or the arrangement of your living room furniture, your Aunt Karen will find fault in anything. Now, if there’s food and football, Uncle Jason won’t care. The bottom line is if you’re satisfied, that’s all that matters.

There’s so much to do: buy the turkey, thaw it overnight, and, of course, cook it. Remember the Christmas Vacation Turkey Dinner Scene? Then there are all the side dishes, seating arrangements (do you need a kid’s table?), and more. Where will you play the annual touch football game, in the front yard or back? Who will say grace? So, yes, there’s a lot to organize without agonizing about cleaning before hosting your first Thanksgiving.

Cleaning Before Hosting Your First Thanksgiving 

Hosting your first Thanksgiving should be memorable and fun. So, let’s concentrate on what you want to clean, not what Aunt Karen wants. Bar Keepers Friend can help you make those tasks quick and easy. Here are a few Thanksgiving cleaning tasks that can be daunting without the right tools. All of these may not be on your list; if so, skip ’em!

Cleaning Your Oven 

Here’s all you’ll need

  • Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser
  • Sponge
  • Bucket of Water
  • Scouring Pad
  • Dry Soft Cloth
  • Small Bowl or Container


Wet one side of the inside of your oven with a sponge. Mix a small amount of BKF powder with water in a small bowl to create a paste. Next, spread the paste over the wet side of the oven and let it sit for one minute. Then wipe off the paste with the sponge and repeat as needed. Finish by wiping all surfaces dry with a soft cloth. Easy peasy, quick, and easy.

Pro Tip: For tougher stains, cover a scouring pad with the BKF paste and scrub all sides of the oven.

Cleaning Your Pan, Roasting pot, or Favorite Skillet  

Dampen the pan in warm water. Next, make a paste using Bar Keepers Friend and water. After making the paste, use a soft cloth to apply the paste to the pan. Let it sit for one minute; don’t let the paste sit any longer. After one minute, rub the paste in a circular motion from the center outward. Wash it in hot, soapy water and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Rinse and repeat as needed.

Pro Tip: Never use abrasives on your cooking pots and pans, whether cleaning products with abrasive ingredients or scouring pads.

How to Remove Stains (Even Rust!) from Cutlery 

Start by wetting the cutlery, then sprinkle Bar Keepers Friend directly onto the wet cutlery. You can use a sponge or cloth to spread the product evenly. Next, use a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to scrub the cutlery gently. Bar Keepers Friend contains oxalic acid (found in rhubarb and other organics), which helps to remove stains and discoloration. After scrubbing, rinse the cutlery thoroughly with water to remove any remaining Bar Keepers Friend residue. Dry the cutlery immediately to prevent water spots or stains from forming. If there are still stubborn stains or marks, you can use a soft cloth to buff the cutlery for an extra shine.

Pro Tip: Always follow the Bar Keepers Friend product packaging instructions for specific guidelines and safety precautions. Additionally, it’s a good idea to test the product on a small, inconspicuous cutlery area first to ensure compatibility.

I’ve listed three cleaning tasks that can be the most challenging and time-consuming over the holidays. All three show you how to take a daunting task and break it down in minutes. Here are some more ideas to make hosting your first Thanksgiving stress-free.

How to Remove Marks from Dishes and Servingware with BKF

How to Clean the Inside of Your Refrigerator with Bar Keepers Friend

Is Your Home Holiday Ready?

Don’t Make This Mistake

So, you know how I mentioned food and football in the first paragraph? Years ago, I hosted Thanksgiving. I don’t know if it was my first, but it was rare. My Aunt and then later my sister always hosted the celebration. I had this great idea that the family didn’t talk enough. Do you know what I did? I removed the television. No Macy’s Day parade, no watching the Detroit Lions football team lose, and no holiday movies. Yes, everyone talked. They talked about how stupid my idea was and found the small TV in the basement. Yep, don’t do that. Happy Thanksgiving, and go, Lions!

About the Author

Randy Clark - Headshot

Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s a beer geek, and on weekends (after COVID-19), he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager’s Workbook: A crash course in effective management.



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