It's that time of year again! The weather is getting warmer, and the kids are out of school. That means it's time to start thinking about summer cleaning and preparing your house for higher temperatures and its outside area for the summer cookouts with friends and family.
As seasons change, our routine home maintenance does as well. Summer is a great time to tackle those tasks that you may have been putting off all winter, but considering how hot it can get, don't postpone them any further. No one wants to clean their gutters in the middle of a heatwave!
So, what should you do to prepare your home for summer? From power washing the exterior of your house to changing the filters in your air conditioner to cleaning the windows, this article will give you several essential summer cleaning tips for keeping your building new and neat at all times.
11 Summer Cleaning Tips
1. Get the Right Tools
Before you start cleaning make sure you have everything you need. Things like brooms, vacuum cleaners, and cleaning fluids are really important, but there are other tools that can make cleaning easier. Some of the tools can be cumbersome, like certain old vacuums, while others are nice and wall mounted, easy to store in a garage or behind a door. The same goes for cleaning chemicals - some are nice, others are nasty.
Bleach, soap, and water are always a good cleaning combination, but you might need to add other chemicals to deal with tougher messes.
2. Inspect Your Home's Exterior
When inspecting your home's exterior check for any cracks in the foundation or siding; if you find any, caulk them up and repaint them as necessary. This will help prevent moisture from seeping in and causing damage.
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While you're at it, take a look at your gutters and downspouts. Make sure they're clear of leaves and debris so that they can do their job of channeling water away from your home. If they're full, water could back up and cause problems like roof leaks or foundation issues.
3. Power Wash The Exterior
Once you've checked (and repaired, if necessary) the outside of your home, it's time to clean it thoroughly. A power washer is the best way to remove dirt, grime, and mildew accumulated over the winter months.
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If you don't have a power washer, you can rent one from a hardware store or home improvement center. Read the instructions carefully before washing, and always start with the lowest setting to avoid damaging your home's siding or paint.
4. Clean Your Windows
Summer is the perfect time to clean your windows inside and out. The warm weather will help the cleaning solution dry quickly, and you won't have to worry about streaks.
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To clean your windows:
- Start by dusting the blinds or curtains.
- Wash the windows with a solution of vinegar and water.
- Use a squeegee to remove the solution, and dry the edges with a lint-free cloth.
5. Change The Air Filters
If you have central air conditioning, now is the time to replace the filters. Dirty filters can make your AC unit work harder, increasing energy bills. It can also lead to poor air quality inside your home.
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Most air filters should be changed every three months, but keep in mind that if you have pets or someone in your home who suffers from allergies, you may need to change them more often.
6. Clean Your Air Conditioner
In addition to changing the air filter, you should also clean your air conditioner. First, turn off the power to the unit and remove the cover. Then, use a garden hose to spray down the coils and fins. Be sure to rinse thoroughly so that no soap residue is left behind.
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Once the coils are clean, replace the cover and turn the power back on. You may want to have a professional service your AC unit once a year to keep it running efficiently.
7. Clean Your Patio Furniture
If you have a patio or deck, now is high time to clean your outdoor furniture. Start by removing cushions or covers and washing them according to the manufacturer's instructions. Then, use a mild soap and water solution to clean the furniture.
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Once everything is clean, dry it off and put the cushions or covers back on. If you have any metal furniture, apply a fresh coat of paint or sealant to protect it from the elements.
8. Prepare Your Grill
If you love entertaining, chances are you'll be using your grill often this summer. But before you fire it up, it's essential to clean it first. Otherwise, you could serve your guests food with soot and ashes.
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To clean your grill:
- Remove the grates and soak them in soapy water.
- Use a wire brush to scrub off any remaining food particles.
- Clean the inside of the grill with a solution of vinegar and water.
- Rinse it well so that no vinegar residue is left behind.
Once your grill is clean, dry it off and apply a cooking oil layer to the grates. This will help prevent food from sticking and make cleanup easier next time.
9. Keep Floors Clean and Neat
When cleaning floors, it's important to note that different types of flooring require various cleaning solutions. While cleaning the floor – don’t forget you need to do both a dry and a wet clean. A dry clean can be done with a broom or a dustpan, while the wet clean should be with a cleaning fluid and a mop. Make sure you get all the corners and edges!
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Mix one tablespoon of baby shampoo or 1/2 teaspoon of natural all-purpose cleaner with 1 gallon of water for linoleum and vinyl floors. For added cleaning power, add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar.
To clean wood and laminate floors, spray a towel with a solution of 1 part distilled vinegar to 30 parts water, ensuring the cloth is damp and not soaked. Additionally, use hot water and cotton towels to avoid pitting or damage caused by acidic cleaners like vinegar for stone and tile surfaces.
On the other hand, placing mats at entrances and asking visitors to remove their shoes can help keep floors clean for longer. If you're dealing with a lot of hard-to-clean spots like grout, consider hiring an expert cleaning service to come in and take care of it for you.
10. Manage Kitchen Waste
During the summer, emptying the garbage cans more often is recommended to avoid the unpleasant odor caused by the summer heat.
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A quick wash with a mixture of a few drops of dish soap, 1/4 cup bleach, and a few cups of water is needed to clean the kitchen cans. Rinse the can and dry it with paper towels before sprinkling baking soda at the bottom to prevent further unpleasant smells. We recommend washing your kitchen cans at least once every week.
Conversely, putting crumpled old newspapers at the bottom of plastic garbage bags is also helpful in absorbing odors and preventing leaks from liquid waste.
11. Wash Your Fruits and Veggies Properly
The last tip on our summer cleaning checklist is to wash your produce correctly. Summertime offers a wide variety of fresh, delicious, and healthy fruits and vegetables, and it's essential to properly clean them before consuming them to avoid contamination.
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The FDA recommends following these guidelines:
- Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing fresh produce
- Wash vegetables before peeling them to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub tough-skinned produce, such as cucumbers or melons
- Gently rub fruits and veggies under running water to remove dirt
- Remove the outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage, and discard any damaged areas
- Dry all fruits and veggies with a clean cloth to reduce the risk of microbial contamination.
Summer is the perfect time to get your home in order and ready for the hot months ahead. You should pay attention to the interior and exterior of your house to identify the areas that might need repairs or additional maintenance. Remember to inspect the exterior of your home, power wash the siding, clean the windows, change the air filters, and clean your patio furniture and grill.
These tips will help keep your home looking neat and new all season long.
Frequently Asked Questions on Summer Cleaning Tips
1. What is the Most Important Thing to Consider When Deep Cleaning in the Summer?
When deep cleaning in the summer, the most important thing to consider is to focus on areas that tend to accumulate dust and allergens, like carpets, bedding, and upholstery, additionally, pay attention to the kitchen and bathroom, where mold and bacteria thrive in warm, humid environments.
2. How Can I Clean Up my House Without Using Harsh Chemicals?
There are several ways to clean up your home without using harsh chemicals. One option is to use natural cleaning products like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. These products are non-toxic, effective, and inexpensive. Another option is to use essential oils to add a pleasant smell to your living spaces. Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, and tea tree have antibacterial properties and can be added to homemade cleaning solutions or diffused in the air.
3. What is the Best Way to Maintain a Clean Home Throughout the Summer?
Regular cleaning and decluttering help maintain a clean and organized home throughout the summer. Develop a cleaning schedule, stick to it, and regularly go through your belongings and donate or dispose of items you no longer need. Additionally, incorporating small habits like wiping down surfaces after use and putting things away can help to keep your home tidy and clutter-free.
4. How Can I Clean My Windows Without Leaving Streaks?
To clean your windows without leaving streaks, start using warm water and dish soap to remove any dirt or grime. Then, use a sponge to remove the excess water and prevent spots. It's also a good idea to use a microfiber cloth to dry the edges of the window and catch any remaining moisture.
5. Where Should I Start When Cleaning My House?
Before cleaning your house, it's recommended that you prioritize the wet areas, which include your bathrooms and kitchen. These areas tend to accumulate dirt and dust quickly and can take the most time to clean, so it's best to deal with them first. Once you've identified the areas to focus on, you can start by removing any items that are not in their proper place, making cleaning easier.
When cleaning wet areas, it's recommended that you start by wiping down the sink, toilet, and shower/tub. You can use baking soda and water or vinegar and water to clean these surfaces. You can use a commercial bathroom cleaner or a bleach solution for tough stains, but follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
6. What is the Best Way to Clean My Air Conditioning Unit?
To clean your air conditioning unit, start by turning off the power. Then, remove the exterior cover and use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt or dust from the surface of the unit. Next, clean the condenser coils with a specialized coil cleaner and a soft-bristled brush. Lastly, replace the cover and turn the power back on.
7. How Can I Prevent Mold and Mildew in My Bathroom During the Summer?
Ensure the room is well-ventilated to prevent mold and mildew in your bathroom during the summer. Use a fan or open a window to circulate air and reduce humidity. Additionally, clean the bathroom regularly with a mildew-resistant cleaner and dry surface thoroughly after use.
8. How Can I Effectively Clean Outdoor Areas Such as Patios During Summer Cleaning?
To clean outdoor areas:
- Start by sweeping away any debris and dirt.
- Use a pressure washer or a hose with a high-pressure nozzle to remove dirt and grime from the surface.
- Use warm water, white vinegar, or a specialized outdoor cleaning solution for tough stains.