Everyone loves summer… the days are long, the weather is warm, and you can spend so much of your time outdoors!

But hold on a second. First, there are some cleaning chores that need to be done – that will help make all of your activities more enjoyable!

June 21st is the official start to summer, but really any bright and sunny day is a good day to get them done. (In fact, many people use the change in seasons as a reminder to tackle seasonal deep-cleaning jobs.)

Here’s a checklist from the cleaning experts at MOLLY MAID to help you organize summer time cleaning.

1. WINDOWS: Windows are a great place to start. Clean the windows inside and outside – wipe horizontally on one side and vertically on the other so if you leave any streaks behind you know which side to touch up quickly. Clean any shutters too; before you start washing them, wipe and dust away any loose dirt and cobwebs. Outside, be on the lookout for hornet nests, bee hives or even bird nests that have taken residence in any nooks or crannies surrounding windows or doors. For the stinging insects, call pest control; for birds, see if you can’t work around the nest until the babies have grown and flown away (sometimes it’s just a matter of weeks, and it’s quite charming to watch moms and their babies).

2. BBQ: This is an important job, especially if you forgot to do it in the fall. Start by removing all the racks and cleaning them thoroughly (soak them in hot soapy water if necessary). Use white vinegar or a special cleaning detergent recommended by the manufacturer to remove all the grease left on the grill’s surfaces from last summer. Wipe down the inside of the barbeque. To keep on top of the task this summer, use a stiff bristle brush to simply give the rack a thorough scrubbing before and after each use. If you use oil to coat your rack, getting the grill clean should be easy with the brush alone.

3. LAWN MOWER: If you didn’t clean your lawn mower before putting it away last autumn, you should really do it now. Having a clean mower will ensure that the grass is cut effectively and efficiently. Of course, you should always be careful when handling the lawn mower – the blades can be sharp and may cause injuries if not handled with care. Here’s how to clean it:

  • The engine should not be on and the mower should be cool. Unplug spark plugs or disengage any mechanism that helps to power the machine.
  • Use a stiff brush to dislodge dried grass from the air intake, cooling fins, exhaust, oil and fuel filler caps and all cables and links.
  • If cleaning a gas mower, protect your working area against possible gas leakage. Then, tip the mower and use a wide blade screwdriver wrapped in cloth to scrape off caked-on grass and dirt from under the mower.
  • Spray bare metal areas with an aerosol lubricant to protect them from corrosion.

4. GARBAGE/COMPOST BINS: As the temperature rises, garbage and compost can often fester and smell unpleasant. Keep on top of this by regularly power washing or hosing down the inside and outsides of your bins. This will help to keep nasty smells at bay and bugs from being attracted to your bins.

5. ANTS: Warmer climates and outdoor dining inevitably increase the risk of small insects temporarily visiting our homes! To keep ants to a minimum, keep all kitchen surfaces and patio furniture clean. Wipe them down with a solution of half vinegar and half water. Inside, store all sweet products and food in closed containers.