While cleaning freaks hail summer for spending more time tidying up, we busy New Yorkers don’t want to waste precious summer days doing endless cleaning. That is why the main idea behind cleaning the summer house is to organize it in such a way that you can clean less and make your house a safe place during the hot and humid season. Keep things as simple as possible, removing hard-to-clean household items and paying special attention to areas that can potentially become an epicenter of germ buildup and foul odors. In this summer cleaning guide, we’ve rounded up some best practices to help you make your summer cleanings a breeze.
Step Zero: Declutter
Do you know the old axiom of cleaning? You cannot clean through clutter. First you need to clean it up, removing things you don’t use during the summer and throwing away (donating) things you no longer need. During the summer, your home is better off without all those trinkets on the shelves and fluffy rugs on the floor. The more minimalist your interior, the less effort it takes to clean it. So, boxes and plastic containers are your best helpers for summer cleaning.
First step: beat the heat healthily
Whether you have an air conditioner or fans, it’s crucial to sanitize these devices, making sure they don’t spread pathogens, pollen and dust as they spin the air. Vacuum your AC filter to remove dust clogs and wipe it down with a damp microfiber cloth. If you have fans, wipe the blades with a damp cloth and be sure to change the direction of the blades counterclockwise. This helps the fan to cool the air.
Step Two: Have Mercy on Your Floors
If you are a proud owner of a patio or a backyard, you must already know this pain. All the dust, dirt, and grime from the outdoors end up on your floors. As a result, you have to mop the floor more often in the summer. Consider putting doormats at entrances to trap dirt, and encourage family members and visitors to remove their shoes when entering.
The summer heat also weighs heavily on carpets as we walk barefoot on them. To keep your carpet fresh in the hot summer, use this simple homemade carpet freshener every time before vacuuming. Shake ½ cup of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of your favorite essential oil (lemon or lavender oils are best) in an airtight container until the soda dissolves. Sprinkle this refresher on your rugs and carpets and leave on for 15 minutes. Then vacuum it all up with the dust and debris as you normally would.
Step 3: tackle bad odors
Let’s face reality. A trash can gets stinky much faster in the summer because high temperature accelerates rotting and bacterial growth. So anything that has to do with organic waste (whether it’s a garbage disposal, trash can, or the drain) should be sanitized more often if you don’t want your kitchen to be filled with garbage. foul smells. Take out the trash bag daily and disinfect the trash can every two weeks (or whenever you notice a leak) using a strong disinfectant. A pinch of baking soda at the bottom of the trash can helps keep it fresh longer.
There are many ready-to-use chemical cleaners that are effective for sewer or garbage disposal. However, if you want it cheap and natural, you can rely on the good old baking soda and vinegar combo:
- First, run very hot water for a minute.
- Pour a cup of baking soda. (For waste disposal, turn it on for 10 seconds.)
- Add a cup of white vinegar, cover and leave for 10 minutes.
- Finish with very hot (boiling) water.
Step Four: Clean Up Messy Countertops Immediately
Germs aren’t the only reason you should keep your countertops clean and sterile all summer long. Dirty dishes, greasy, sticky spills and crumbs attract ants and other unwanted visitors who love to feast on food messes. Don’t give bugs a chance by washing dishes and cleaning up food spills right away. Mix water and white vinegar in equal proportions in a handy spray bottle and wash your counters every night before you go to bed. This homemade natural cleaner works two ways, lightly sanitizing and repelling coarse crawling critters at the same time. It’s also great for washing windows and removing sticky spills from floors. Every modern cleaning agency that cares about eco-cleaning uses a similar disinfection method or may use a special environmentally friendly cleaner.
Step Five: Get rid of mold and soap scum
Your bathroom is another place that needs special attention during the hot and humid summer months. Here are some smart tricks that will help you fight mold and ugly soap scum and enjoy some truly invigorating time in your bathroom this summer:
- Make sure your bathroom is properly ventilated. Turn on a bathroom fan every time you shower and leave the bathroom doors open when you’re done.
- To remove mold from your bathroom walls, spray a solution of bleach (1:2 ratio) OR (not and) undiluted vinegar on it. Leave on for an hour and scrub with a (tooth) brush if necessary.
- Keep your shower walls scum-free by spraying them occasionally with a safe homemade cleaner (mix 1 part vodka, 3 parts distilled water, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil).