Stay hydrated while you clean
Cleaning is exercise – and like with any exercise, scrubbing, mopping & wiping surfaces will dehydrate you faster.
It’s recommended that you drink 1.5-2 litres of water every day in any case. On hot days, you’ll need to drink at least 2 litres, and even more if you’re working up a sweat. This is to ensure that your body is able to replace any lost fluids.
It's also thought that sipping water is better for the body than glugging it. So sip little & often to make sure you're staying hydrated.
If possible, clean at the beginning or end of the day
If you're cleaning for yourself, it's worth scheduling your cleaning activity for the beginning or end of the day. It'll be much cooler then than it will be during the late morning or afternoon. The same goes for any other physical activity you've got planned.
Get the washing up done - right at the start of the clean
Dirty dishes are a magnet for ants & bugs in the summer months. So if dishes are stacked up on the side or cluttering the sink, make sure they're the first task you tackle.
And once they’re cleaned up, leave them to dry & then put away as soon as possible.
Don’t let the dishwasher heat up the home
We all know the feeling of opening the dishwasher only to be greeted by a gush of unstoppable heat - straight to the face. And that’s the last thing you’ll want if it’s already hot inside.
Thankfully, you can easily avoid this by leaving the dishwasher shut until it’s cooled down.
But with most regular cycles taking at least an hour, you’ll need to get in on straight away to ensure it’s got time to cool down.
Some dishwashers will automatically open at the end of the cycle - to help with drying. If this is the case with yours, make sure to clean the kitchen while the cycle's underway - as you won't want to be working in there when the hot air escapes.
A little note: under normal circumstances, it’s probably better to crack open the dishwasher door slightly, as soon as the cycle's done. It helps the excess steam to escape so the dishes dry faster. But we think it’s worth the trade-off to leave it closed in the sweltering heat.
Close the windows if it’s hotter outside
This one’s a handy trick - whether you’re cleaning or just hanging out at home in the summer months.
Most of us immediately open the windows as soon as it’s hot. But we should actually be trying to keep the inside of our homes cool. If it’s hotter outside than it is inside, opening the windows will let in hot air & heat up the house even more.
Luckily, it's super simple to test if this will be the case. Just stand outside. If it feels hotter than it does inside, keep the windows & doors shut. If it’s cooler outside or there’s a nice breeze, leave the doors and windows open.
Draw the curtains & pull down the blinds
Sunlight equals heat. And keeping the house shady during hot days will help you keep the temperature down.
So, glorious as the sunshine might be, it’s probably best to keep the blinds down or curtains drawn during hot days – especially if your windows tend to get direct sunlight.
Keep your cleaning products in the shade
Cleaning products need to be stored in a cool, dry place. And this is particularly important for any aerosols (think air fresheners, canned carpet cleaners etc.), which can become pressurised and even explode in extreme heat.
So when you're cleaning in these high temperatures, make sure that you don’t leave any products on warm windowsills, or in direct sunlight for prolonged periods.
Don’t let your bin bags hang about
Emptied the bin? Get it straight to the bin store. Left lying around, dirty bin bags will attract bugs & flies. Food will begin to decompose much faster in the heat too - so your bin bags can start to smell very nasty, very quickly.
To keep it fresh, it’s worth giving your bin a spray with an anti-bac cleaning product and then wiping it down too - inside & out. And if the bin is usually kept in direct sunlight, consider moving it to a shadier spot in the home.
Clean the vacuum to stop it from overheating
A fully functional vacuum won’t let out much heat. But if the filter's blocked or the bag is full then it can start to overheat. So empty the bag or dust container before cleaning. Clean the filters. And remove hair and fluff from the floor tool too.
As well as preventing overheating, having a clean, fully functional vacuum will help to ensure it works efficiently - saving you vacuuming over the same spots just to pick up dirt. In fact, you'll remove up-to 50% more dirt from your carpets by de-clogging your vacuum cleaner and restoring its full suction capacity. And that makes vacuuming 50% easier.
When it’s hot - outside or inside - you need to dress accordingly. Loose, flowing clothes are best, and opting for light colours is always a sensible shout in the sunshine.
Avoid synthetic fabrics & instead opt for linen, silk or cotton clothing. They’re generally more breathable, which is essential if you’re working up a sweat with the duster.
Anti-chafing cream actually works
Chafing is super uncomfortable, and can be particularly nasty in the hot weather. Thankfully, there are a whole host of anti-chafing creams that will actually help. Head over to the Marie Claire website for a list of 13 recommendations.
Be economical with your energy
When you're working in the heat, it's essential that you're economical with energy. That means working efficiently so that you don't waste energy or work up an unnecessary sweat.
This can be as simple as leaving dishes to air dry, rather than washing them up by hand. As always, clean from high to low in every room so you don't have to re-clean any areas. And if your toilets are particularly dirty, apply product early and leave it for 30 minutes or so - to save yourself lots of unnecessary scrubbing.
Drink a hot drink to cool you down?!
You may have heard that drinking a hot drink can, surprisingly, help to keep you cool.
And this is actually kind of true. Well, in certain circumstances, at least.
Speaking to the Smithsonian magazine, Dr Ollie Jay, explains why this can sometimes work - “If you drink a hot drink, it does result in a lower amount of heat stored inside your body, provided the additional sweat that’s produced when you drink the hot drink can evaporate”
But as the article goes on to explain, "the tip only works in very specific circumstances: a hot, dry day, where you’re not wearing so much clothing that your sweat is prevented from easily evaporating".
So with that in mind - we'll be sticking to the cold drinks for now.
Get clued up on how & when to use a fan
Fans won’t cool down a room on their own. But by moving air around, they can make a room feel cooler to you.
Fans draw in air from behind them – so if it’s cooler outside than inside, you can place a fan in front of an open window, facing into the room. This can help to draw in some cooler air from outside.
If it’s even hotter outside than inside, then you could try placing a bowl full of ice directly in front of your fan. This will cool down the air that’s blowing from the fan – essentially creating a DIY air conditioning unit.
Consider turning on extractor fans
That’s right. According to the team at Currys, turning on your bathroom or kitchen extractor fan could help to cool down a room. That’s because hot air rises. And extractor fans are perfectly placed to suck this up.
But… this will only really help if the outside air is cooler than it is inside. Otherwise, you’ll only draw in even hotter air from the outside.