We’re now slap bang in the middle of summer. And with the school holidays about to begin, family homes around the world are in for a tough time where cleanliness is concerned.
But there’s no need to worry if you have a plan of action. The summer months present some specific challenges when it comes to cleaning and maintaining a hygienic living environment. But if you start as you mean to go on, those challenges shouldn’t interfere with a summer of family fun.
We’ve put together some top tips for keeping a home clean during the summer. And you’ll be glad to know that none of them involve too much hard work.
Ventilate your home thoroughly
Particularly during humid periods, your home is susceptible to mould growth in the summer. This problem is usually more prevalent where moisture is constantly present — including in kitchens, bathrooms and basements. To tackle this problem, you must ensure your home is well ventilated throughout the day.
Ventilating a home doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as opening doors and windows. But if you still have humidity problems, you might want to invest in a dehumidifier, air conditioning, or some form of extraction.
Try to limit your use of hot showers. And dry laundry outside whenever possible. The idea here is to limit how much extra humidity you add to the air in your home. Cooking outside on a barbecue is also a good way to take the steam and humidity outside.
Deodorise your rubbish bins
Unless you have air conditioning, your home will get warm a lot during the summer. This is why good waste management is essential. A kitchen bin full of waste food will start to smell in just an hour or two. And once the odour really takes hold, getting rid of it will be difficult.
Throughout the summer months, take a proactive approach to deodorising your bins. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of all your bins. And line each one with absorbent paper towels. These two steps should trap odours before they get a chance to travel around your home.
It’s also a good idea to mask bin odours with some of your favourite essential oils. Add a few drops to your paper towels every morning.
Clean garden furniture weekly
It’s great to get outside and enjoy a beautiful garden during the summer. But even in the fine weather, garden furniture can get very dirty very quickly. Dirt, dust, vegetation and bugs all take a heavy toll.
Be proactive when it comes to cleaning your garden furniture. At the beginning of every weekend (weather permitting), hose down your tables and chairs. Alternatively, you can cut through grime with ease by using a handheld steam cleaner. If you commit to doing this once a week, the task should take no longer than a few minutes.
Clean your windows regularly
Windows can be very difficult to keep clear and sparkling during the summer. When sunlight shines directly onto a window, even the smallest of streaks shows up. And this can make the glass look cloudy and dirty.
At least once a week, clean your windows with a solution of water and white vinegar. Use a paper towel or a microfibre cloth for the best results. Just make sure you always polish dry the panes, otherwise streaking might show up when direct sunlight hits the surface.
Dust and vacuum more than ever
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking cleaning is less important during the summer months. Because there’s lots of ventilation and fresh air in the home, they believe that dust and dirt don’t get the chance to accumulate.
But it’s important to remember that the air from outside is filled with contaminants. Outdoor dust, pollutants, pollen and a range of different airborne particles come into your home at this time of year. And they settle on your floors and surfaces.
Particularly if you have allergy sufferers in the home, regular cleaning and vacuuming is essential. Make sure you use a vacuum cleaner that traps allergens — rather than simply blowing them back into the room. And when you dust, do so deliberately and carefully. Make sure you’re “collecting” the dust, instead of dispersing it around the room.
Change bedding at least once a week
The summer always brings with it an elevated pollen count. If you have allergy sufferers in the home, this time of year can be very unpleasant. While you can never eradicate pollen and other allergens, you can take steps to reduce them significantly.
Pollen readily attaches itself to fabric. Your bedding, for example, is an ideal surface. And because you spend around a third of the day in your bed, you must clean your sheets, covers and pillowcases as regularly as you can.
If you have a serious allergy, consider covering your bed with a throw when you’re not in it. Just before bed, carefully fold the throw to ensure you’re not sending pollen into the air.
The summer always involves a sudden increase in the number of pests in our homes. Ants, flies and insects are particularly prevalent at this time of year. And they can make conditions in a family home very unpleasant.
But you don’t have to keep your windows closed throughout the summer to control this problem. Simply by keeping your home clean and fresh, you can minimise the chances of a pest infestation. Pay special attention to the cleanliness of your bathroom and kitchen — which are ideal environments for insects.
If you spill a drink or drop some food, clean up the mess straight away. Wash your dishes immediately. Keep all of your foods covered and store them properly. Removing an insect’s source of food is the best way to prevent infestations.
A huge part of pest prevention during the summer involves keeping your home as cool and as dry as possible. Never leave water standing around. As soon as you’ve finished with a bath or a sink, empty it completely and dry it. And never leave water lying on your floors and other household surfaces.
Your home may become stifling in the summer months unless you take steps to keep it fresh and clean. Cleaning little but often is the key. Keep on top of cleanliness, and you’ll have more time to enjoy the summer sunshine with the people you love.