Skip to main content

Our 9 favorite summer cleaning tips and tricks

Would you rather be scrubbing the floor, or lounging by the pool? Cleaning the bathroom or building sandcastles at the beach? Summer is short, and you should try to enjoy every minute that you can — but warmer weather and kids home from school could make your household chores a bit more challenging. 

But don’t worry, we have some easy summer cleaning tips and tricks to help you stay on top of your summertime chores so you won’t get a case of the summertime blues. 

Follow these 9 tips to make summer clean up a snap

Wipe food spills

Melting ice pops, drips of ketchup, and watermelon juice can all leave sticky messes on your counters or floors. Always keep wipes on hand for quick cleanups (and to avoid inviting trails of ants to set up house in your home)! Better yet—make al fresco dining—or in this case, snacking—a summer staple to banish indoor food spill cleanups completely.

Clean floors

Between kids running in and out to use the bathroom, wet feet from the pool, or tracked-in sand from the beach, your floors take an extra beating in the summer. But, you can make clean up easier and more efficient. 

  • Start with a quality doormat at both your front and back door entrances, and institute a “no shoes in the house” policy to reduce the number of all-out floor cleanings required—and more outdoor time for you.
  • Vacuum or wash high-traffic areas once or twice a week.
  • When it comes to sand: Vacuums work best. Even a hand-held vacuum is a better option than a broom, and it’s far less labor-intensive, too! 

Manage kitchen trash

Summer heat can make kitchen trash cans really stinky, so plan on emptying the trash more frequently than you do in colder months.

  • Do a quick wash every week by adding a few drops of dish detergent, a 1/4 cup of bleach, and a few cups of water. Rinse, and use paper towels for drying. 
  • Once dry, sprinkle a bit of baking soda at the bottom of the trashcan to help keep odors at bay.
  • If you’re using plastic trash bags, wad up some old newspaper at the bottom to help absorb odors and prevent leaking from liquid garbage. 

Eliminate ceiling fan dust

Your ceiling fan will be working overtime, and the last thing you want is for it to be blowing dust around your home. One simple way to clean ceiling fan blades is with a pillowcase. Place the pillowcase around each blade, grabbing the dust off as you slip the case off. The dust collects inside the case, so when you’re done, you empty it into the trash and pop the pillowcase into the wash the next time you do laundry! So simple, so effective. 

Banish bathroom mildew

Summer heat and humidity can lead to bathroom mildew—yikes!  Be certain you keep your exhaust fan running while you shower and leave the bathroom door open when you’re done. It can really help to slow the spread of mildew. Use microfiber cloths to wipe down shower doors and walls after each use to prevent mildew further.

Spruce up outdoor furniture

Get your outdoor furniture ready for a summer full of BBQs and fun. Hose everything down to get rid of dirt and debris. Then, use a rag, ordinary dish soap, and warm water to bring it back to life! 

Degrease your grill

Has your grill seen better days? We’ve got a great way to clean it that involves very little elbow grease and absolutely no harsh chemicals. Take ordinary apple cider vinegar and some balled-up pieces of aluminum foil to remove greasy gunk, so you can get back to being the undisputed king or queen of backyard cookouts.

Get creative with your dishwasher

Clean your flip-flops without having to waste even one valuable summer minute scrubbing or rinsing. Pop them in the dishwasher—top rack only—and they’ll come out as good as new. 

Spruce up pool toys

Are your pool toys & floaties a bit grimy? You can eliminate gunk and germs by cleaning them with a mixture of one-part vinegar with three-parts water. Pour into a spray bottle, spray down, and wipe clean—use a scrub brush to banish stubborn dirt. For smaller items, you can soak overnight and hose down in the morning.

Summer cleaning tips for beach or lake living

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so be proactive in what you do this summer to lessen the amount of cleaning you’ll need to do each and every day.

  • Instead of sneakers, wear flip-flops to the beach to reduce the sand you’ll track back to the house.
  • Tote beach toys and suntan lotion in mesh bags that can be shaken out or hosed down before bringing them inside the house.
  • Sit on chairs instead of towels when you’re by the beach, lake, or pool. Hose them down and leave them outdoors to dry. 

Our handy summer cleaning tips will keep your house and outdoor areas fresh and tidy, without making you spend your whole summer cleaning. Just a few minor adjustments to your regular routine will maximize your cleaning results, with minimal effort so you can get back to enjoying every magical moment of summer fun. 

Editors' Recommendations

Kim Renta
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kim has written for Bloomingdales, Movado, and various e-commerce wine sites. When she's not writing about wine and…
Avoid a cleaning disaster: When not to use a Magic Eraser
Everything you need to know about using a Magic Eraser and some instances when you should forgo it
Gloved hand cleaning crayon off wall with a Magic Eraser

Magic Erasers are truly incredible for cleaning. They can scrub off that stubborn ring that’s been on your bathtub for ages, make plastic outdoor furniture look new again, or remove scuff marks from your favorite pair of sneakers. However, there are times when your Magic Eraser might work a little bit too well and ruin the very object you're trying to save.

Even though Magic Erasers look a bit like ordinary sponges, they don't perform in the same manner. They are a deceptively abrasive and effective cleanser. To ensure your most prized possessions don't end up in ruins, you need to know when to use a Magic Eraser and when not to use a Magic Eraser for cleaning. 

Read more
This is what that gross pink mold in your shower is and how to get rid of it
Say goodbye to that yucky buildup in your shower with these helpful tips
Shower head

Having a sparkling clean bathroom relaxes the souls of neat freaks like us, but sometimes we fall behind in our bathroom cleaning schedule. Particularly in the shower, you might see that weird orange- or pink-colored mold forming on your shower walls, tiles, or shower curtain. Sometimes it even forms around your toilet. We're going to discuss how to get rid of this gross substance, but first, we'll dive into what that pink mold is and how it got there.

What is that pink mold in your shower?
You may be surprised to learn that this pink, slimy substance in your shower isn't actually mold. It's a bacteria called Serratia marcescens. This bacteria is airborne, so it can travel virtually anywhere, but it thrives in the moist, humid environment your bathroom provides. It likes to feed off of minerals and fats often found in the shampoo deposits and soap scum that builds up in your shower.
Is Serratia marcescens dangerous?
The bacteria isn't harmful when touched in the shower or breathed in from the air. However, it has been known to cause eye infections, particularly when it contaminates contact lenses and urinary tract infections when the tub is not cleaned before a bath. Plus, it's just slimy and gross to look at, so you definitely want it out of your shower.

Read more
This TikTok hack for getting gross smells out of thrift store furniture is genius
We love this cheap and easy trick for removing old smells from secondhand furniture
Antique furniture store

If you love weekends spent scouring vintage stores for furniture pieces you can either refurbish or find a place for in your home, but don't love the smells that come with them, you're not alone. Antique stores have a certain smell because, well, the items in them are old. With years of well-worn love and, oftentimes, storage, comes a smell that many want to get rid of. One TikToker called @onceuponabungalow heard about the perfect (and super easy) way to get old smells out of pre-loved furniture from @gocleanco, and you'll be happy she's shared her knowledge.

https://www.tiktok.com/@onceuponabungalow/video/7207897968496676102
All you need is newspaper
The trick is simple. Just crumple up old newspapers and fill the shelves of old bookcases, cabinets, and vintage dinettes, and leave them in for up to a week. When you're done, simply take the paper out, throw it away, and you'll be rid of the aging smell that used to come from the shelves. Many agreed in the comments, saying it's the only trick they've used that's helped get bad smells out of furniture. Of course, if it's fabric, you can have it cleaned professionally as long as you know what type of fabric you're working with, but for old wood pieces, newspaper will do the trick.

Read more