Summer Break

How To Change Your Weekly Cleaning Game While School's Out For Summer

by Todd Nelson // July - August - September

Even if you’re an outdoor-living kind of family, summer brings new home-cleaning priorities – especially if you have kids home from school. Some spaces and regular tasks need more attention, others less. Here’s a quick rundown of how to shift your cleaning game for summer.

BATHROOMS. Bathrooms get a double-whammy in summer. With kids home from school, toilet and sink usage goes way up. So too does tub and shower use with post-pool, beach, summer camp, and plain old sweaty-body bathing. Due to high humidity in many areas, bathrooms also become more susceptible to mold and mildew in summer. Tip: No need to change your weekly cleaning routine; just increase the frequency to every few days, and make a point of physically drying tile, grout, and shower walls after last use.

KITCHEN. If your kids are old enough to help themselves to snacks and meals, certain areas of your kitchen need extra attention in summer. Think microwave and refrigerator (inspect frequently for spills), countertops (sanitize more often for food safety), and floors (sweep or vacuum daily to pick up crumbs that attract ants and other bugs). If you tend to grill outside and stick to lighter fare such as salads and sandwiches, your stovetop can probably do with less-often cleaning this season. And, unless you accidentally boil over a summer pie when baking, heavy oven cleaning can wait until the fall.

HIGH-TOUCH SPOTS. All the usual home high-touch spots – door knobs, sink and toilet handles, TV remotes, phones, light switches – get more daily and weekly touches with kids home for summer. No matter how diligently you teach them, you can pretty much count on kids to be less concerned than you are about being sanitary, so be sure to keep up with at least weekly sanitizing or disinfecting of high-touch zones.

BEDROOMS. Dust mites – those tiny allergy-implicated creatures that live in virtually every bedroom – thrive in summer’s heat and humidity. You can make bedrooms less hospitable to the invisible pests by frequently laundering bed linens with hot water; removing unneeded textiles such as extra pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and even window treatments; and leaving beds either unmade or at least neatly turned down during summer months.

DUST ZONES. If you enjoy open windows when the weather’s warm, your home’s quotient of outside dust may rise exponentially. Add ceiling and other fans to the mix, and the places where dust tends to blow and settle also shifts dramatically. Stay up-to-date with at least weekly dusting.

UPHOLSTERY AND CARPETS. This one’s a toss-up. If you’re es-sentially an outdoor family – spending summers swimming, hiking, playing, and eating outside – you can probably get away with less frequent vacuuming of rugs and upholstery (outside of bedrooms). If, on the other hand, you tend to stay inside more since we live in an A/C-essential high-heat zone or you’ve got teens who love to hole up, munch chips, play video games, and binge-watch Netflix and Hulu, you’ll probably need to up your vacuuming game.

FLOORS. Regular floor cleaning is a must in spring (mud season), winter (snow, slush, salt, grit season), and fall when family members are more likely to wear treaded shoes that pick up gravel and other tiny particles that slowly damage hardwood and tile floors. Summer’s smooth-soled sandals, flip flops, and bare feet mean you may be able to reduce frequency of floor cleaning or shift to spot versus thorough mopping.

Todd Nelson

Owner of MaidPro of Raleigh and Wake Forest.