Summer Cleaning Checklist: 6 Cleaning Tips

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It’s officially summer! Let’s all throw our hats in the air and then race to the beach! If you know me, you know summer is my favorite season. I spend as much of it as impossible sitting by the pool with a fun drink in my hand while Chad fans me with a palm leaf (kidding–maybe). 

But before we can get to all that summer fun, there are some cleaning tasks that have to be tackled. I like to get all of them out of the way ASAP so I can enjoy the season. And a lot of these tasks need to be done right away before you can enjoy a lot of summer activities. 

For example, grilling on a dirty BBQ is just gross. And who wants to relax on the deck when it’s cluttered with toboggans and boots? So let’s get all our summer cleaning done now, so we can spend the next two months truly enjoying the best season of the year!

1. Clean the Patio

Whether you have a deck, a porch, a patio, or even a balcony, make sure it’s a tranquil space where you’ll want to relax. Just like all cleaning tasks, you’ll want to clean your outdoor space in three waves. 

The first wave is tidy and organize. This is where you throw trash in the trash and relocate items that you don’t need or could be stored somewhere else like the shed or the garage. Wave two is cleaning and deodorizing. All your patio furniture, cushions, etc., are going to need a good deep cleaning after surviving the winter. And the third wave is, as always, the floors. 

If you’re not familiar with my three wave system, I definitely recommend reading My Secret 3 Wave Cleaning System. And for more detailed instructions about cleaning the deck or patio read, How to Clean Your Deck or Patio. 

Chad and Melissa cheers in front of the barbecue

2. Clean the Air Conditioner Filter

As much as I love the summer heat, sometimes I need a break. Which is why cleaning the air conditioner is so important. If you don’t clean your air conditioner filter, your air conditioner might not work at peak performance. Or, even worse, it could get clogged and damaged. 

Cleaning the air conditioner filter before every hot season is a must. Luckily, it’s really easy. Use a vacuum on a low power mode to suck up any big chunks of dust. Then, a microfiber cloth and some warm water with dish soap will take care of the rest. 

2. Wash the Windows

Picture it: you’re sitting by the window. It’s a beautiful summer day. You peer through the glass, and you can barely see anything but cruddy fingerprints and dirt!

Cleaning your windows is a must-do at least once a year, and when the good weather hits, that’s the best time to do it. To clean interior windows, simply mix one cup of water and one cup of vinegar in a spray bottle. Then, using a microfiber cloth and the “S” pattern, go to town!

To clean exterior windows, mix one gallon of water, one cup of white vinegar, and one teaspoon of dish soap in a large bucket. Then grab your squeegee and give your window a good scrub. For a more detailed guide, read, How to Clean Interior and Exterior Windows. 

4. Swap Out Seasonal Clothes

Bulky winter clothes can take up your whole closet, and they’re not nice to look at when you’re trying to pick out a cute summer outfit. I always swap out my seasonal clothes for every season so that my closet is neat and organized and I can find garments more easily. 

Take items out of your closet and evaluate. If they’re not appropriate for the season, but you want to keep them, store them away. If you haven’t worn them for a long time, consider donating them or giving them away. This is a great way to get two tasks done at once: swapping seasonal clothing and cleaning out your closet. 

This is also a great time to wash your winter coat, so it’s fresh and clean when you need it next (but also, let’s just pretend summer will never end). 

5. Dust Off (and Clean) the BBQ

A dirty BBQ can leave a bad taste in your mouth, literally! Grilling on a dirty BBQ will probably cause weird odors and bad-tasting food. So absolutely get it clean before your first cookout. 

Cleaning a BBQ is a dirty job, and it can be a dangerous one if you don’t follow safety instructions. Be sure to unhook and turn off the gas before you start, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

I have a whole article detailing step-by-step instructions for cleaning the BBQ, so I recommend you give that a read. 

Chad stands at the BBQ

6. Clean Your Summer Hats

Don’t wear a musty old hat that’s been languishing in the closet all winter; clean it! For baseball caps and bucket hats that can be washed in the washing machine (check the fabric care labels, people!), toss them in there. 

Use a cap washer to preserve the shape of baseball caps and a laundry bag for bucket hats. A couple of teaspoons of detergent will do here and always wash in cold water. To dry your hat, keep the baseball cap in the cap washer and fill the bucket hat with a mesh or breathable fabric to preserve its shape. Then, let air dry. 

For a lot more info on washing hats, including hand washing hats and cleaning those fashionable summer straw hats read, How To Clean A Hat: Baseball Hats, Bucket Caps, & Straw Hats. 

Melissa wearing a baseball cap and drinking a smoothie

Summer Cleaning Checklist Complete

Your summer cleaning checklist will change depending on what you like to do in summer! If you have a pool, you’ll need to add pool cleaning to the list. And you might want to read Does A Pool Really Need A Robot Vacuum? Plus, you’ll have a lot of extra towels, bathing suits, and the like to launder (and for that read, 4 Easy Hacks for Clean, Fresh Bath Towels). 

But for now, forget about cleaning and enjoy your summer! Let me know in the comments below what your favorite summer activities are. 

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

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