Our Top 8 End-of-Summer Cleaning Tips

Fall has never looked so clean.

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Some fall-loving folks start celebrating the season a bit early — much to summer fans’ dismay — but it’s no longer up for debate. The first day of fall is this Friday, Sept. 22, which means summer is truly, officially ending, my friends. No matter which side you’re on, it’s time to accept the change of seasons. It’s also time to shut down and stow away your summer things, which entails a bit of cleaning. Sigh. It’s not as bad as spring cleaning, though — I promise! Plus, properly caring for seasonal items ensures a longer lifespan, which saves you money in the long run. Score.

Scrub Outdoor Furniture

Wipe Down Outdoor Furniture

Wipe Down Outdoor Furniture

The gentle abrasiveness of baking soda is perfect for cleaning stains off painted outdoor furniture. And a baking soda mixture works well on outdoor fabric stains, too.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Give your outdoor furniture a thorough cleaning to remove built-up debris. Different types of outdoor furniture require different cleaning techniques. Check out our cleaning guide to see how to clean yours.

Clean Outdoor Cushions

Spring-Inspired Decor With Outdoor Floor Cushions

Spring-Inspired Decor With Outdoor Floor Cushions

Maximize your seating capacity outside with stacks of oversized pillows laid out near sofas and loveseats. As your soiree grows, this will allow plenty of cushy surfaces for guests to gather around one another.

Photo by: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Spot-clean cotton, polyester and acrylic fabrics with a mixture of liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Rinse with clean water, and allow time to air-dry.

Wash Beach Towels

Modern Beach Towel Storage

Modern Beach Towel Storage

As seen on Beach Flip, decorations include beach towels right by the southern exit door in the first floor living room at the renovated Comfort Breeze condo.

From: Beach Flip

Photo by: Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Todd Douglas / Getty Images

Swimming season has come to an end, so give those beach towels a much-needed bath. Use the hottest water the fabric will allow, and add a small amount of fabric softener to the load.

Scrub The Grill

How to Deep Clean a Grill

How to Deep Clean a Grill

Step 3- Scrape Once warm, use a scraper to remove the top layer of cooked on grit and grime.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Thanks to summer’s barbecues, your grill is probably sporting some cooked-on grit and grime. Try our seven-step, deep-clean process to return it to its former glory.

Don’t Forget the Grill Utensils

Tips for Cleaning Your Grilling Utensils

Tips for Cleaning Your Grilling Utensils

Get your greasy grilling utensils clean (and keep them clean).

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Give your grill’s accessories a deep clean, too. Though you probably wash them after each barbecue, they could use one, final scrub-down before being stowed away. We’ll show you how.

Clean + Drain Lawn Mower

Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yardwork easier.

Photo by: Mint Images / Tim Pannell / Getty Images

Mint Images / Tim Pannell / Getty Images

Show your trusty lawn mower some love, and clean out all that caked-on grass. Not sure how? We’ve got you covered. Also, be sure to empty your gas tank, and run the mower dry for the winter months. This will keep your mower’s carburetor from getting clogged while sitting in storage — which will save you a major headache in the spring.

Clean Gardening Tools

How to Clean Garden Tools

How to Clean Garden Tools

Step 1- Remove Dirt Using a powerful garden hose, knock the dirt off and go after any stubborn caked on dirt with a putty knife.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

To prevent rusting, scrub off those hard-worked garden tools. Get helpful tips here.

Sweep Out the Garage

Photo by: Dylan Eastman

Dylan Eastman

Rid your garage of all the grass and debris that get tracked in during the warm-weather months. Have oil stains or garage door issues that need attention? Check out our guide to garage maintenance.

13 Must-Know Cleaning Tips for Pet Parents

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Spend more time cuddling with your furry family members and less time cleaning up after them with these smart tips.

Squash Marking

Do you have a pet that likes to mark her territory indoors? Try this. First, you'll want to blot the soiled area and treat it with an enzyme-based cleaner to get to the root of the smell. Then, lightly mist with an all-natural spritz to deter repeat performances. We love this homemade eucalyptus mix. Simply combine one cup of warm water with 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and shake before using.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Wash Those Toys

Let's face it — dog breath is gross. Now imagine all the germs those slobbery chew toys are carrying. OK, now that you're properly skeeved out — relax. Just toss soft toys into the washer with one tablespoon of baking soda, and toss the plastic or rubber toys into the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. Just be sure to check for loose parts before returning them to the toy box. (If you have a sanitize setting on your washer and dishwasher, use it!)

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Here's the Scoop

When it's feeding time, keep it neat and healthy with this DIY upcycled food scoop. Simply cut the scoop shape from the handle side of a clean milk jug. Wrap the handle with a colorful cord and secure with hot glue. You can even mark on the scoop the proper portion your kitty requires.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Squeegee for Shedding

A fluffy coat is adorable on your pet, but when it starts showing up all over your rugs and carpets? Well, not so much. Simply pull a rubber squeegee across hairy carpets and rugs for a fast fix.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Holy Hairballs!

Cleaning a few too many hairballs these days? Keep some cat grass or catmint on hand. The fiber will do kitty's digestive system good and, of course, she'll love the extra burst of energy catnip gives.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Natural Supplements

Adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to kitty's food can also reduce shedding and hairballs by helping her maintain a digestive tract, skin and coat. But it's always smart to check with your vet before supplementing your pet's diet.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

No Loose Litter

An easy way to keep kitty from trailing litter throughout the house is to create a landing pad outside the box. Make it cute by spray-painting a baking pan and cooling grid a fun color, then lining the pan with a pretty contact paper that's easy to wipe clean.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

DIY All-Natural Room Deodorizer

Create your own natural deodorizing spritz for use on rugs and soft furnishings. Use it where pets love to laze around (hello, sofa!) or have accidents frequently. To make a 16-ounce bottle, mix 1/2 cup of warm water, 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar into a bowl (it will get fizzy). Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, then add 12 drops of peppermint essential oil. Once the vinegar dissipates, you will only smell the fresh peppermint. Lightly spray the offending areas, then let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Paws Off!

If you have a pet that lives to shred toilet paper, this tip is for you. For cats, add a few drops of lavender or rosemary essential oil inside the cardboard tube. For dogs, cinnamon or citrus-based essential oils (lemon, orange or lemongrass) will help ward off playful paws.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Nooks + Crannies

Whether it's in the car or in the house, stubborn pet hair in tight spaces doesn't have a chance against a damp, textured rubber glove. Create a small pile, then vacuum up the hair in a snap.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Easy-to-Wash Pet Beds

When you're picking out that perfect bed for your fur baby, keep in mind that you really want one that can be tossed in the washing machine. For larger beds, make sure you can remove the cover for a quick and easy refresh. Your house will smell better, and the bed will likely last longer, too.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Clutter Control

Not unlike kids' toys, if left unchecked your pet’s toys can quickly take over the entire house. Avoid the chaos with lidded storage. It's easier to wrangle all those plush hedgehogs and squeaky bones when YOU are in control. Leave two toys out at a time, and rotate through the stash to keep your furry friend from getting bored with too many choices.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Get Outdoors

Another easy way to keep pet hair off your furniture and rugs is to brush your pets weekly and do it outdoors. They'll love the bonding time and you'll love less shedding indoors. Go with a grooming mitt or a fine-toothed comb for heavy shedders.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

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