Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What to Clean on Incredibly Hot Days

When it's too hot to burn a candle for fragrance, I spritz my home with Green Tea Lemon Body, Room and Linen Spritz

My house, like so many in Seattle, doesn't have air conditioning. We really only need it a couple weeks a year, usually in late August. Then we finally hit the high 90s or even 100s for a few days. The rest of the summer, we make do with fans and open windows. Luckily we don't have humid, sticky summers like the South or East.

When it's in the 80s or higher, it's too miserable to think about doing heavy housekeeping that might make one break a sweat, or using machinery that might heat up the house. Vacuuming, for example, is banned until evening.

We really can't forego our housecleaning entirely for the summer, but we can find things to do around the house that won't make us too miserable in the heat.


  • Need to water any indoor or outdoor plants? My basil and a potted houseplant are looking a bit wilty today.

  • Need to return any library books, DVD rentals, or items borrowed from friends today?

  • How is your stock of sunscreen doing now that we're over halfway through the summer? Need to wipe off your sunscreens if they're getting gunky?

  • If you have school-aged children, have you done something special and summery with them this week? If not, see if you can plan something extra fun in the next couple days.

  • Need to launder any picnic blankets or beach towels that have been used this week?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Cleaning Despite the Heat

I don't live to clean, and I don't like to make myself "makework" or "busywork." I'd much rather lounge around on my patio with a magazine and iced tea when it's hot. But if I don't keep on top of my housework, my home will quickly become a disaster zone. That's not ok with me.

So on hot days, I'm doing chores that won't break a sweat. I'll put off vacuuming til evenings (with three dogs and a cat in the house, vacuuming is a daily necessity here).

Here are my suggestions for things you can do when it's miserably hot:

  • Dust! Flounce around in a cute sundress, glass of lemonade in one hand, dusting your dining table, coffee tables, curio cabinets, media stands, end tables, nightstands, and bookshelves. As long as you don't rub too hard, you won't work up a sweat. Save the baseboards for another time, as all that crawling around on the floor would get you too sweaty.

  • Wash windows. Spraying a little Windex and wiping down windows with a clean rag won't be too unpleasant as long as you don't work too vigorously.

  • Loading and unloading the dishwasher isn't too sweat-producing. Wait until the dishes have cooled, though, before opening the door. Just be sure not to run the dishwasher until evening - mine heats up the kitchen counter and adjacent area.

  • Wiping down the kitchen sink (without too much scrubbing) and counters isn't too taxing.

  • Use the excuse of cleaning the fridge or freezer out, to stand in front of heavenly cold air for fifteen minutes or so.

  • Fold laundry while watching TV in front of a powerful fan.

  • Declutter a drawer, cupboard, or closet.

  • Start a load of laundry, but wait to run the dryer til evening when it's cooler.

  • Sort out cosmetics, shampoos, and lotions, getting rid of items likely to be unused in the next month.

  • Arrange a sock or underwear drawer, sorting and decluttering as you go.

  • Realphabetize your DVDs/BluRays.

What other hot-weather cleaning ideas do you have?


Ruby said...

Great ideas - I especially like the cleaning the fridge and freezer one! But why would you need to run the dryer when you have 80 degree heat outside? Hang the clothes to dry out on a line! It's a pleasant 'hot weather' activity, it saves a heck of a lot of electricity and the sunshine helps bleach out whites. I line-dry almost exclusively, and I live in England (where the weather is almost identical to Seattle)! :-)

Carrie said...

That's actually a good point!

I'm really texture sensitive, and never like the way my towels come out feeling when they're dried on the line. Too stiff.

And with all our weird days lately where it rains and then is 80 and then drops to 60 and rains again, I'd be afraid my items would get wet!

They sure would smell good after a nice line drying though! You're right!

Ruby said...

You're right about towels being stiff when line-dried. I sometimes give them a quick 'fluff' tumble when I've taken them off the line. Just a few minutes. As for them getting rained on - happens to me ALL THE TIME. Argh. They just dry out again, but it's true I do sometimes have one load out on that line for days. ;-o