Summer for most of us usually means more time spent on the patio, grilling outdoors, summer visits from long-distance family, and of course, fun in the sun. Sometimes, however, it can also mean stickiness, messes, or odors. Whether you like to stay in the shade or soak up the rays, the hot summer climate has a way of making things dirty faster. In this list we’ll share the areas of the house used more during the summer that should be checked for cleaning.
If you have a grill in the backyard then you know summer is when it’s used most. All of those evening barbecues leave a mess of charred leftover bits and grease. This goes for charcoal and gas grills. Either way, now is the perfect time to check your grill for cleaning. One of the easiest methods for cleaning yours is by using a pressure washer if your grill is able to withstand water. You can also clean the grill by starting it, leaving it for around 15 minutes to burn off the excess mess, then scraping the grates with a grill brush. Once cooled enough to touch, wipe all internal pieces and the outside of the grill with a wet washcloth and soap as needed, rinse, then wipe dry.
Rain, humidity, drink spilling, or pool splashing makes patio furniture dingy and at risk for accommodating the growth of mildew and mold. It’s time to check your outdoor cushions for cleaning. You can use full strength vinegar, undiluted, for stubborn mildew spots. Simply soak the soft part of a sponge with vinegar and wipe the affected area in circular motions. You can also spray vinegar from a spray bottle to directly soak mildew spots then use a scrub brush to lift them from the fabric. Wash the cover as directed on the tag and leave both the cover and cushion to dry in full sun outside.
The summer heat can be brutal for most of us and it can be especially brutal on our trash as well. Heat has a way of amplifying garbage odor from our trashcans by spoiling food at a quicker rate. Now is the time to do a thorough cleaning of all trash receptacles in and outside the house. If they can all withstand water, the fastest way to clean each one is by lining them up in a row outside from tallest to shortest. Pour a mixture of dish soap and baking soda into each receptacle as you see fit and use a water hose with a garden nozzle on the shower setting. If you don’t have a garden nozzle, add pressure to the end of the hose by placing your thumb firmly in the middle of the opening. This will allow the water to spray out and create sudsy water in each receptacle. Use a mop or sponge to wipe around the inside of each bin and dump the water out and rinse using the same nozzle setting or thumb pressure method. Repeat as necessary for bins with a stronger odor.
Windows and Bug Screens
One of the biggest cons of summer? Bugs. Depending on where you live, a swarm of new insects can flock to your patio every summer and wreak havoc around the windows and bug screens. Bugs get caught or make themselves at home in these areas so it’s a good idea to do a sweep for the season. Take off bug screens from the windows and remove bugs on the windows with a broom and wash as usual. To clean the screens, use a soft bristle brush with soap and water and gently scrub the screen. Rise out the soap then place them back on the window.
Air Conditioning Vents
From the colder seasons when we use our air conditioning less or not at all, dust collects. Once the warmer climate comes around, condensation build up happens due to hot air from outdoors mixing with the cold inside air when you start to use your air conditioning. This combination can leave unsightly gunk and yellow condensation residue on your air conditioning vents. Check the house vents for this build up and even if the vents have yet to become dirty, it’s a good idea to do a quick clean. You can lightly or deep clean air vents a couple ways. If doing a deep clean, turn off the air conditioning system and remove vent covers from its placed location. Use a damp sponge or microfiber cloth and wipe the front and back of the vent cover, making sure to get in between vent openings, then use a new microfiber cloth to dry both sides and reattach vent cover. If doing a light cleaning use the same process without removing the vent cover.
As with any cleaning, consistency is key. Of course, the frequency of how often you should check these areas will vary based on lifestyle or location factors. For instance, if you live in a hot and humid climate or have a pool it’s best to check on areas in this list more frequently than if you live in a cooler and dryer climate. Refreshing your home with a few cleaning checkups will help you and your family make the most out of this summer.