Summer is for sipping cold mixed drinks, weekends at the beach, road trips, and catching up on that neglected American classic you’ve been using as a coaster. Well, mostly. Summer is also the perfect time to tackle those forgotten nooks and crannies you missed in the spring clean.
Spring brings a welcome change in weather – and with it comes dust, pollen, muddy shoes, and mold spores. And guess what? Much of that traveled through your window screens in April and May.
Now that you’ve closed your windows and cranked the A/C, these unwanted guests have unpacked and made your home their home.
You don’t have to give up the rest of your summer to cleaning. Just start by cracking the windows and taking on these four summer cleaning tasks. Fear not! You’ll head to the beach in no time – and you know what? You’re going to enjoy it even more knowing that your home is Autumn-ready.
Disinfect High-Touch Surfaces
Cold and flu season is behind us, but a new one is just around the corner. Summer is an ideal time to “retrain” yourself and adjust your regular cleaning regimen for what lies ahead.
So open up the windows, crack the bleach, and tackle those high-touch surfaces you’ve neglected.
Let’s use the kitchen as an example. You may regularly disinfect your countertops, but consider the less obvious surfaces you touch while preparing your famous meatloaf. While you’re cooking, you’re likely rotating between the cutting board (where you’ve been handling raw meat), stove, and cabinets – and transporting bacteria in the process.
Replay your usual cooking routine and give special attention to those neglected, high-touch surfaces. Start with your cabinet and drawer handles, move on to the light switches, and even the handles of your stainless steel knife set.
And while you’re at it, inspect your overworked coffee pot! Seriously, when was the last time you cycled vinegar and water through your trusty caffeine machine?
Give Your Oven the Cleaning it Deserves
The oven is one of the most used appliances in the kitchen; ironically, it is also the most neglected!
Start by removing all of the burner knobs, toss them in a bucket of bleach and hot water, and allow them to soak for 20 minutes. This will not only disinfect your hardware, it’ll loosen up and stubborn grit and grease for easy wipe down.
Now for the interior. Before you start, open all of your kitchen windows. It’s going to get warm!
Most ovens come equipped with a self-cleaning feature, which locks the door and sends your stove to searing hot temperatures (around 550 degrees Fahrenheit) to melt and remove grease and grime.
If you choose the self-cleaning route, first remove all of the racks. The cleaning cycle takes about two hours, and we recommend that you stay at home for the duration. When the cycle finishes and the oven cools, remove the white ash that’s gathered at the base of the oven chamber.
If the self-cleaning function isn’t enough, use a little elbow grease. Store-bought oven cleaners remove grit and grease quickly and with much less effort, but they are also caustic. Luckily, there are natural alternatives. We recommend creating a paste with baking soda, water, and vinegar. Apply this mixture to trouble spots and allow it to sit overnight. Then spray down with warm water and wipe.
Reseal Your Countertops
You invested in granite countertops for a few reasons: they’re tough, timeless, and will last a lifetime if you properly maintain them.
Before you tackle this summer project, determine if your countertop even needs resealing.
Pick an inconspicuous corner and put a few drops of water on it. Next, add a few drops of oil about two inches away and set a timer for 15 minutes. When you return, check to see if either liquid seeped into the surface and darkened the granite. If not, your counter is presealed, so your job is done.
If your counter needs resealing, you have several product choices. The most common sealants are water and solvent-based.
Water-based products are environmentally-friendly, but are less effective and require more frequent application.
Solvent-based products containing fluorocarbon aliphatic resin provide better, longer-lasting protection, but they are also more caustic. If you choose a solvent-based product, summer is the ideal time for this project. Be sure to open your windows to let out caustic fumes.
Before you choose a product, consult with a local home improvement professional.
Clean your Carpets
In our opinion, summer is the ideal time to clean carpet and here’s why.
Spring brings mild fresh air, singing birds, and open windows. We relish the change of season, but we also know that open windows are a gateway for dirt, pollen, and mold spores. Then the spring showers come – and with them messy, muddy shoes. Yuck.
When summer arrives, many of us close the windows, crank the A/C, and unintentionally filter all of those unwanted spring intruders throughout our home until they settle into carpet, rugs, and upholstery.
Summer brings sunshine and hot weather, so shoes are worn less frequently, and windows stay closed, keeping out odors and grit. Because of this, we like to tackle our yearly carpet cleaning during the summer months.