Parties can be a lot of fun, although we all know that dealing with the aftermath is often not. Apart from the horror of mountains of empty bottles, cold pizza and stale beer, finding your beautiful deep pile cream carpet has been baptised with red wine or your lovely oak lacquered floors have been gouged by your best mate’s killer stilettos will likely worsen any hangover.
With the party season upon us, there are plenty of preventative measures you can put in place. Here’s our handy guide to ensuring your floors, and indeed your home, survives the festivities, while still retaining the fun of the occasion.
Fancy dress can bring a whole new level of peril for the house-proud party planner. Forget the red wine; zombie blood and
green witch face paint is even more of a challenge. Fear not though. Dealing with the stain as soon as possible will help minimise the damage; wipe the offending cosmetic off your floor quickly to avoid the paint setting. With carpet, apply stain remover and leave this to work for a few minutes before washing off, this method should help to lift even greasy face paints.
Lit jack-o-lanterns can get pretty hot. If you’re planning on decorating your pad with your creative carvings and are using candles to light them, then always place the pumpkin on a plate or mat. Never stand these directly on the floor or furniture – heat could discolour a treated surface or even pose a fire risk. The same goes for candles, even those in decorative holders. Avoid placing candles in areas where wax could drip onto your floor; that’s an authentic Gothic look you don’t want!
When December comes, these little crackers can be in position for up to a month at a time and provide the ideal focal point at a festive gathering. For lovers of a fresh spruce, pine needles can be your nemesis, particularly on a deep pile carpet. Try to minimise the spread from these little barefoot-brutalisers by placing a mat or rug under the tree. This will protect your floor from marks caused by the pot (or legs in the case of a synthetic tree), and will hopefully catch most of the droppings. Keeping your tree cool by positioning it away from radiators and choosing low-heat fairy lights, will keep it fresher for longer, meaning it drops less needles.
…the fifth of November, the gunpowder, singes and mud! New Year celebrations can be just as messy too, as both of these events come at the wettest and coldest times of the year. If your guests are likely to be traipsing in and out of your house to view fireworks then ward off the mud, dirt and puddles with carefully positioned mats.
An absorbent doormat by any exterior doors, plus a heavy duty one outside for wiping off excess mud should do the trick, keeping your floors moisture free. Providing an umbrella stand on a porch or just inside the door will mean your guests can leave their soggy brollies at the door, preventing puddles. A small wastepaper basket is all you need for the event, if you don’t already own anything suitable.
No one wants to be that host but if you’re serious about your wood floor then consider asking guests to refrain from wearing spectacularly pointy stilettoes, or even better removing their shoes at the door all together. As long as your guests know in advance and can plan their outfits accordingly, this request should be met with minimum fuss.
Alternatively rugs and runners can be a floor-saver in high traffic areas such as the hallway or in rooms where you know guests will congregate. If you don’t usually have mats in these rooms, move floor coverings from other areas or consider getting cheap ones which tie in with your party theme and can also be brought out at future events.
Keep cleaning utensils to hand, storing kitchen towels and stain remover in plain sight and easy access means that if a spill does happen you can mop up the damage fast, before it sets in. A dust pan and brush is ideal for discretely cleaning up crumbs and dropped food, before it can be trodden in to carpet, and without drawing attention. Quick action is key, but you don’t want to make your guests feel uncomfortable.
Adding soft pads to the feet of furniture, particularly chairs, will protect hardwood and engineered wood floors from scratches or wear. This is a great solution for parties when they get moved a lot.
It’s your party so enjoy it! Preventative measures such as these mean that regardless of the occasion, you can relax and relish your event without worry about your home. Careful advance planning will mean your floors have every chance of remaining in great condition, even if things do get a bit crazy. Hopefully, whatever happens, it’s nothing a good vacuuming or a bit of polish can’t resolve.