Summer Cleaning Checklist With 10 Time-Saving Tips

You know all about spring cleaning, but what about those summer chores?

Summer is for outdoor recreation, cocktails on patios, scenic dog walks, waiting in unreasonably long lines for ice cream, crashing pools and catching free music in urban parks. Summer is for camping, fireworks, BBQs and sunburns. Summer is for watermelon, salt water and road trips.

Summer’s not for cleaning, but summer is for maintaining! Summer happens fast. There are dandelions, pollen, ants and crazy thunderstorms that strike with little warning. There is still lots to clean during the summer, especially when you’re out of town for long stretches of time. Your house isn’t going to keep itself up. You’ll still have to put in minimal effort to ensure you’re not totally overwhelmed once your tan fades and the days grow shorter and it’s time for your annual fall cleaning.

The more you maintain during the summer months, the less tedious the next seasonal deep clean will be. Trust us.

Bathroom summer cleaning

  • Dust from top to bottom weekly.
  • Sweep, dry mop and/or vacuum the floors weekly.
  • Disinfect high-touch areas weekly.
    • This includes doorknobs, light switches and, of course, the toilet handle.
  • Scrub your shower, bathtub and sink weekly. Get that grout, too.
    • Be sure to always run the exhaust fan during and after your shower (for about an extra 30 minutes or so) to keep the bathroom humidity level reasonable and discourage mildew and mold growth.
  • Clean mirrors weekly with store-bought cleaner or DIY glass cleaner solution.
  • Sanitize hard surfaces weekly with a ready-made cleaner—we like Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner to prevent the growth of mold and mildew for 7 days on hard surfaces.*
  • Wash your shower curtain, towels and bathmats weekly (but not all in the same load).
    • Make sure to read the care instructions on the respective labels.
    • Spritz your shower curtain and liner with distilled white vinegar weekly to discourage mold growth.
  • Deep clean the toilet monthly, including the nearby floor, hinges, flusher and attachments.

Kitchen summer cleaning

  • Clean your microwave monthly.
    • Yes, both the inside and outside of it.
  • Clean out your fridge and freezer weekly.
    • Toss expired food and freezer items that are over 6 months old.
    • Wipe out shelves, drawers and handles.
  • Clean out and organize your pantry monthly.
    • Throw away long-opened and/or expired items.
  • Disinfect high-touch areas weekly.
    • This includes cabinet handles, light switches, sink faucets and countertops.
  • Wipe down countertops daily with a multipurpose cleaner or a DIY solution.
    • You don’t want to give all those summertime critters an open invitation into your kitchen—clean countertops are a good way to prevent unwanted guests.
  • Clean out your garbage disposal monthly.
    • Toss a few ice cubes and fresh lemon peels down the drain and let ’er rip.
  • Sweep, dry mop and/or vacuum the floors weekly.
    • Especially if you’re hosting lots of indoor/outdoor gatherings, where people may be accidentally traipsing debris in.
  • Clean the fingerprints off of your stainless steel appliances monthly with Mr. Clean Clean Freak Mist.
  • Clean your kitchen blinds monthly.
    • They’re probably greasier than you think they are.
  • Wash the windows monthly.
  • Wash the trash and recycling receptacles monthly.
  • Clean your dishwasher by running it on an empty cycle with Cascade Dishwasher Cleaner monthly.

Bedroom summer cleaning

  • Dust everything weekly, from top to bottom.
    • This includes your dressers, lamps and bedside tables.
  • Vacuum your curtains and/or wash the blinds monthly.
  • Stay on top of your laundry piles.
    • From hiking gear to wet bathing suits, don’t let it all accumulate on the floor.
  • Sweep, dry mop and/or vacuum the floors weekly.
  • Wash windows, window sills and ledges monthly.
  • Wash all of your bedding weekly.
    • This includes sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers and shams (if they’re washable). Read and follow the care and cleaning instructions on the labels.

Living spaces summer cleaning

  • Dust everything from top to bottom weekly.

    • Swiffer Dusters are awesome for reaching all those hard-to-get ceiling fan blades and light fixtures, plus the dust pads actually trap and lock dust particles instead of spreading them around.
  • Wash the windows, window sills and ledges monthly.

    • Especially if you keep your windows open all summer long!
  • Wash the walls monthly.

    • You don’t even notice it happening, but walls actually absorb and trap all sorts of smells, including that smoky burger scent wafting in constantly from all your neighbor’s BBQs.
  • Do all the floor stuff weekly.

    • Sweep, vacuum or dry mop. Then run a wet mop across the hard floors. We suggest the Swiffer Sweeper Floor Mop, which takes care of the dry and wet mopping—no mop bucket required.
  • Vacuum everything weekly.

    • Especially if you’ve got pets. And they’re probably shedding extra these days.
    • We’re talking couches, chairs and even the curtains. Anything that’s upholstered.
  • Hit upholstered items with some Febreze Fabric to banish undesirable odors and replace them with a fresher scent. (You can do this daily!)

  • Disinfect high-touch items weekly, such as doorknobs and light switches.

  • Dust your plants. Seriously. And water them, while you’re at it.

  • Organize and declutter weekly (or monthly, if you’re spending most of your time away on vacation).

    • Sort through items on your coffee table, end tables, those piles of cords in the corner, old mail, records, books, pens, empty cups and miscellaneous paraphernalia.

Outside summer cleaning

  • Check your gutters and downspouts monthly.

    • Those big storms may have blown some debris onto your roof that could clog the gutters, causing water to drip, leak and pool in undesirable places.
  • Clean your grill regularly in between uses.

  • Sweep your deck or patio weekly.

  • Water your garden often (enough!), depending on what you’re growing.

  • Do the lawn stuff and yard work.

    • Mow the lawn every other week (depending on how quickly it grows!).
    • Trim any hedges, prune plants and pick weeds.
  • Dust and wipe down patio furniture and outdoor pillows weekly to prevent mildew growth and water damage (and awkward dirt spots on the seat of your friends’ pants).

  • Attempt to maintain organization in your garage.

    • Put away any gear or toys as you use them (yeah right, we know … but try!).
  • Clean your window screens once a month to keep the pollen and dust at bay.

Kid areas summer cleaning

  • Move furniture, and vacuum beneath it weekly, especially those playpens, beds, kiddie tables and crafting stations.
  • Spot clean your walls weekly with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
  • Sanitize plastic toys monthly. Especially bath toys. (And if they're bath toys that squirt water, it’s best to buy new ones every few months because they can get moldy.)
    • A tiny bit of dish soap (like Dawn) and warm water works great for cleaning kid’s toys.
    • Or you can add a couple drops of bleach to a gallon of water, soak them overnight and let them air dry.
  • Hand wash or launder plush toys monthly. You can use a hair dryer to fluff their fur back up afterward! Your kid will never know the difference.
  • Organize clothes, books and toys in your kids’ play areas weekly (if not daily!). Savor this one moment, while everything is in its place.

Pet zone summer cleaning

  • Vacuum all of that hair off of the carpet, couches and the pet bed weekly (and don’t forget to hit the back seat of your car to eliminate pet hair after all those trips to the dog park and nearby hikes!).
  • Run a dry mop, like the Swiffer Heavy Duty Pet Dry Sweeper, over your hard floors to collect and trap loose hair and dander weekly (if not daily!).
  • Wet mop the floor weekly, especially those suspicious corners where the dog lingers and/or around the litter box and food bowls. We like the Swiffer Heavy Duty Pet Wet Mop because you don’t have to fill a mop bucket, and you can just trash the mop pad when you’re done.
  • Launder the pet beds monthly. If they’re super haggard, toss them and buy new ones.
  • Clean and sanitize hard plastic pet toys monthly, the same way you’d clean your kids’ toys.
    • Throw out any especially gross toys, and replace them with fresh ones.
  • Neutralize potent pet odors weekly.
    • Sprinkle baking soda on everything, letting it sit overnight and vacuuming it up in the morning. This works great on upholstery, pet beds, soft toys, etc.
  • Spray some Febreze Fabric Pet Odor Eliminator around the pet zones for a burst of freshness. You can do this daily!

Bonus: car summer cleaning

  • Clean your car weekly. Remove all those coffee cups, food wrappers, broken sunglasses and empty tubes of sunscreen. Doesn’t that feel better already?
    • Wipe out the center console, cup holders, steering wheel and dashboard with a rag soaked in a gentle dish soap, like Dawn, and warm water. Rinse soap residue with a clean, damp rag.
    • Vacuum the seats, beneath the seats and the trunk with the upholstery attachment.
  • Clean your car windows monthly, both inside and out. The view sure is better without all that bird poop.
  • Check all the fluids, especially if you’re planning a road trip.
  • Wash the exterior of your car monthly, or as necessary if you’ve been doing some muddy excursions and dusty adventures.
  • Check your tire’s air pressure, especially if you’ve been road-tripping (big temperature fluctuations and changes of altitude may affect it!).

Time-saving tips for summer cleaning

  • Keep your drains (and especially your garbage disposal!) mold and bacteria free during the warm weather months by pouring some boiling water down them, followed by a dollop of baking soda and dash of white vinegar. Finish with more boiling water to flush.
  • Keep an eye out for leaks, whether it’s your AC unit or outdoor hose. Not only will leaks rack up your water bill, but they could cause mold to grow and also unwanted puddling near your home’s foundation. Fix leaks by tightening any loose hardware, valves or hose attachments.
  • Dry brush outdoor couch cushions (or hit them with your vacuum’s upholstery attachment) to remove pollen and pet hair before hosting company.
  • Clean and reverse your ceiling fan blades each summer, so they’re not just aimlessly swirling dirt and pollen around in your home. By reversing the blades to turn counterclockwise, the fan will push cold air, rather than warm air, downward.
  • Invest in a few inexpensive brooms and dustpans to stash on each porch, patio or deck. These are handy for spot cleaning all your window treatments, screens, railings, ceilings, window boxes, etc.
  • Buy a new summer shower curtain liner, and pretreat it by running it through the washing machine on the cold, gentle setting with ¼ cup of white vinegar. This will prevent mold and mildew from forming on the shower liner during the warmer, more humid months.
  • Give your gas grill an exfoliating spa treatment in between uses to keep the grates fresh.
    • Just turn it on high, and let the grates get hot (or use this technique when you’re done cooking, while the grill is still hot).
    • Hold a cut lemon with long-handled tongs, or stick it on the end of a long-handled fork (either way, be careful!).
    • Dip the lemon into a bowl of salt and then rub it across the grates from front to back. The lemon's acid will cut grease, while the salt is a scrubbing agent.
  • Crush grass stains by pretreating them with a DIY solution of 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts water. Let the solution sit for 5 minutes before machine washing stained items with an enzyme detergent on the hot setting.

A little maintenance goes a long way. Now enjoy your summer.

Click here to download your Summer Cleaning Checklist.

*Effective against Aspergillus niger.

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