The heat is on! Summer is finally here and after the longest winter ever, we want to make sure your house and yard are summer ready. So here are some cleaning and maintenance tips to keep things in tip-top shape this summer.
Nothing says summer like throwing some burgers and hot dogs on the grill, but if you don’t take care of your barbecue, you may find yourself having to replace it, which isn’t cheap!
Clean the inside of your barbecue every couple of uses. The lid will build up with grease and smoke dirt, which can be easily washed away with a soap and water solution while the barbecue is still warm – not hot! A hand-held steam cleaner will make this job super easy. The bottom half will need to be brushed out as well.
For the outside, you can use glass cleaner for a porcelain coated lid and stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel. For stainless steel, it’s ideal to use a microfiber cloth with the grain to avoid marks.
Whether you use charcoal or propane, always give your grill a quick scrub with a wire brush when it’s warming up to remove any leftover debris from your last cookout. Set it to high for 10-15 minutes to loosen leftover food and grease. A good way to keep food from sticking to your grill is to brush a quick layer of olive oil before you put down your meat and vegetables.
From personal experience, I would also highly recommend a barbecue cover and to use it year round. We neglected to cover our barbecue last winter and it destroyed the porcelain lid!
Summer means humidity, which can lead to a build-up of mould or mildew in certain parts of your home, in particular your bathroom. A good and easy tip to keep your bathroom fresh is to clean out the ceiling fans. If they are clogged with dust and debris, they can’t circulate moist air properly. Pull the grate off and wipe it down. Give a quick vacuum with the hose to make sure you remove as much dust as possible. We do this frequently at home because we have cats. I didn’t think much cat hair could make it up to the ceiling fan, but they get full of it pretty quick!
Your washing machine is another place mould and mildew like to collect. Every couple of weeks, run a small load of just hot water and detergent. When the cycle is done, let it air dry with the door open. While you’re waiting for it to dry, give your lint trap a quick vacuum too!
Clean your windows
Summer weather is perfect window cleaning weather. And let me tell you, if you haven’t washed your windows in awhile – do it! At our house, we hadn’t done the windows in at least a year and I didn’t think they were that bad…until we cleaned them. What a difference it made. I swear rooms look bigger and brighter!
After some research, we decided to purchase a squeegee. It made the job so much easier. We have usually used newspaper and glass cleaner, but it takes a few goes to get rid of the streaks and it leaves your hands a mess with ink. The squeegee worked much better and was much faster.
We filled a bucket with warm water and just used a small squeeze of dish soap. Don’t use too much or you’ll end up with lots of suds that need rinsing off. Start at the top of each pane and work your way down in a side to side motion. Use the squeegee to swipe off excess water and after each pass, wipe the rubber blade with a cloth to remove dirt. A chamois is a great cloth to wipe up extra drips. We also made sure we got a squeegee with an extendable handle so we could do the second floor windows too. If you’re up on a ladder to reach all floors of your house, make sure you work with a buddy so you can spot each other while on the ladder.
I hope these summer cleaning tips help you get your home and your family ready for a couple months of beautiful weather!
By Jen Lehman