For most of us, summer is a time of celebration. We can finally throw the windows open and bring out the clothes we actually look forward to wearing. Goodbye heavy coats and itchy sweaters, and hello shorts, sundresses, sandals, and bathing suits. It’s also a time to entertain, and that means cleaning before company arrives. Here are some handy cleaning tips and ideas to ensure both your indoor and outdoor living spaces are tidy and ready for summer.
Indoor Cleaning Tips
Disinfect The Sink
Believe it or not, your kitchen sink and your dish sponge both have more germs than your toilet seat. It’s insane, but it’s also true. Use your dish soap to wash the sink, and then rise. Spray with vinegar, wait a minute or so, then spray some hydrogen peroxide as well. To cut odours in the sink, drop ice cubes, salt and lemon pieces down the disposal.
Use Lemon To Remove Water Stains
Water stains can dull the sheen of your taps in the kitchen and bathroom. Instead of spending money on cleaners, consider a more environmentally friendly option. Cut a lemon in half and rub it on the water stains to have your taps sparkling like brand new again.
Seal Your Countertops
Natural stone makes for beautiful countertops, and stone like granite can really help your home value to climb. However, natural stone can also be porous, leading to their deterioration as well as creating a breeding ground for bacteria. To combat this, natural stone cleaners recommend that you seal these kitchen countertops and then reseal them a year later.
Make Stainless Steel Sparkle
Chances are, you’re one of the many people who converted their appliances to stainless steel. They are beautiful — but not when they’re dull. Use stainless steel cleaners once or twice per week to maintain their shine.
Clear Away Showerhead Buildup
Vinegar is pretty useful in the bathroom as a cleaner, especially when it comes to dissolving mineral deposits. If your showerhead hasn’t been spraying full force lately, then the problem may be the mineral buildup. Pour vinegar into a plastic bag and use elastic bands to fix it to the shower head. Leave it there overnight. In the morning, remove the plastic bag and run the shower for a few minutes. You should notice an immediate difference.
Put Old Newspapers To Use
If you’ve been spending a lot of money on window cleaners, we have another eco-friendly alternative. Purchase a spray bottle or simply repurpose an old one. Fill it with 2 teaspoons of liquid soap, a quarter cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water. Spray onto windows and mirrors and scrub with newspaper to create a streak-free shine.
Spot Clean The Walls
If you have children or pets, your walls probably take a hard beating every year. Use a sponge or cloth and some water to spot clean away most of the damage. If you have leftovers of the paint colour, a quick touch-up may also help to hide some of the blemishes.
Wash The Washing Machine
Yes, really. Washing machines can start to get smelly after continued use, which then begins to affect your clothes. Clean it by starting a wash cycle with hot water. Then, add baking soda and distilled white vinegar. Let this sit for a half an hour to an hour and then run the machine again. After the water drains, wipe the machine dry with a clean cloth.
Wash The Bedding
You should already wash your sheets and pillowcases at least every two weeks. But, what about the pillows and the comforter set? Check the labels and follow the guidelines, but typically, you should be able to wash these at least bi-annually in the washing machine.
Get Rid Of Extras
If you’ve been wondering “how can I declutter my home?” then you’ll find the best starting point isn’t organizing, but getting rid of things you don’t need. One good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used something for more than six months to a year, it’s a good idea to toss it. Naturally, seasonal items are an exception. You can donate the things you don’t need, sell them online or hold a yard sale.
Organize The Closet
The best-kept secret of many organized rooms is a disorganized closet stuffed to bursting. With the extras gone, this will be a much easier issue to resolve. Use plastic space savers to stack bed linens and seasonal clothes that are not in use. You may also find shoe racks for the heels and gentlemen’s shoes. Having a system also makes it easy to find things when you need them, whether you choose to go by colour, length or function.
Win The Fight Against Fur
Winning the fight against fur begins with our pets rather than our homes. Dogs should be bathed at least once every three months but can be bathed as often as every two weeks. This helps to wash away the fur that would otherwise end up on your furniture and carpet. Routine grooming with a de-shedder brush is great for cats and is also useful for dogs. Vacuuming frequently will pick up the rest – just make sure you have the right vacuum to tackle the job. To tackle pet smells, especially from a litter box, you should consider a HEPA filter.
Outdoor Cleaning Tips
Use An Onion To Clean The Grill
Before you fire up that grill, spray the grates with white vinegar. This will help to loosen any residue left over from your last cleaning. Then, cut a large onion in half and use it to wipe any remaining residue away.
It’s highly unlikely that you dusted off outdoor cobwebs during the busy holiday season, and who can blame you? Summer is the perfect opportunity to combat those cobwebs that accumulate in your eaves, cracks and crevices. This is a super simple task that only requires a duster with a long pole.
Wash Exterior Windows
This is something that is so often overlooked, but can make a huge difference! The exterior of your windows take quite a beating, especially in climates where the elements are harsh during the winter. You’ll be surprised at how much dirt, grime, and water can build up on your windows.
Summer is the perfect opportunity to make your windows sparkle and shine. There are a lot of window washing techniques out there, but we believe you can keep it simple. Using a non-toxic glass cleaner and an old newspaper will work wonders! If you’ve never cleaned glass with newspaper, you’re just going to have to trust us. Newspaper helps glass cleaner wipe crystal clear and void of streaks!
If you don’t have extra copies of the newspaper lying around, terry cloth towels or a squeegee will do the trick! Keep in mind, if you have screens on your windows, you will want to remove them and hose them off before washing the glass windows.
Mind The Gutters
Your gutters can become clogged over the winter, especially if there were some significant storms blowing debris around. It’s important to avoid damage to your home by cleaning out your gutters and making any necessary patches or repairs. Leaves, sticks, and other debris can build up and cause you major issues if left untreated.
Grab a ladder and a partner to help you with this task. Avoid ladder accidents by enlisting the help of a friend or family member to stabilize the bottom while you quickly sweep out any debris that has collected over fall and winter months.
Clean Out Your Garage
This summer cleaning to-do can be particularly time-consuming. You may wish to set aside a whole day or weekend, depending on how cluttered your garage is. Many people can stay fairly organized and use their garage to park their cars. But that’s not the case for everyone. Your garage can often become a disorganized pit. Investing the time to go through everything in your garage has a major payoff.
The first step to organizing your garage is to handle it in chunks. Divide the room into quadrants and tackle it section by section. Create separate piles for items that you’ll sell, donate, or throw in the trash. Be realistic and honest with yourself about the items you really need and the ones that you will be okay to part with!
Invest in garage storage solutions to help you organize the items that you’ll be keeping. There are plenty of high quality and durable options at your local hardware store. Once this job is completed, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief over how clean and orderly your new garage looks!
Audit Your Lighting
Do a scan of your outdoor living space to seek out any flickering bulbs or lights that need to be replaced. Walk along walkways and check the lighting along major doorways. We’re all guilty of forgetting to replace an outdoor light bulb. Now is the time to nip it in the bud and get brand new, energy efficient light bulbs in your outdoor space! Cutting down your energy use has never been easier.
Wash Your Outdoor Furniture
If you have outdoor seating with cushions, pillows and similar accessories, it’s time to give them a scrub. Many outdoor seating collections allow you to remove covers so you can throw them in the washer and dryer. After you remove cushions and pillowcases, you can hose down the furniture itself. It’s highly likely that dirt and dust have accumulated in your patio furniture over winter. Dust off your outdoor seating and you’ll be all set for outdoor entertaining all summer long!
Give Fencing Some TLC
If you have wooden fencing at home, it’s a good idea to walk the perimeter of your home and identify any loose areas or wood rot. If it’s been a few years since you’ve treated your wooden fence, we recommend taking the time to do that in summer!
If your fence is made from metal or another material, walk along the fence and keep your eye out for any holes or spots that are pulling away from the ground.
Add a Splash of Color with Paint Touchups
Nice weather means it’s time to touch up any chipped away areas on the outside of your home. Walk around your house and make a list of anything that could use a fresh coat of paint. This could be the fencing, shutters, mailboxes, or even front and back doors.