Summer is just getting started – which means there is still plenty of time to tackle everything on your summer cleaning list. Wait, you did make a summer cleaning checklist, didn’t you? Surely you did… but, just in case you didn’t, we’ve rounded up the most essential summer cleaning tips for every area of your home. #1: Patio Furniture With all of the sitting, spilled drinks, and weather elements, outdoor cushions are bound to get dirty. Depending upon the type of fabric your patio furniture is made of, the best cleaning technique to adopt is spot cleaning. When spot cleaning your patio furniture, take advantage of the convenience of having hose access, and be sure to use a delicate cleaning solution. As always, before cleaning any fabric, be sure to check for care instructions. If care instructions are provided, follow them closely to avoid damaging the material. #2: Concrete Patios & Porches Thanks to birds, mud, and wind-blown debris, concrete patios and porches can take a beating! If the mess isn’t too bad, you may be able to avoid a call to a professional concrete cleaner, and handle the job on your own. Try using a strong scrub brush to spread a mixture of dish soap and warm water over the mess; this is a mighty, yet powerful, concoction that will work wonders on those stains! Soak up the suds with a few towels, and finish the job by renting a (or borrowing your neighbor’s) pressure washer. #3: Barbecue Grills Nothing says summer like a backyard barbecue! To make the most of your cookout, thoroughly clean your BBQ grill every few uses. Consider this: would you eat food that were rinsed in a filthy kitchen sink or prepared in dirty pots and pans? Of course not! Cleaning your barbecue grill sounds a bit more intimidating than it actually is! To get the grates clean, all you need is a wire grill brush and a heavy-duty oven cleaner. To clean fingerprints, sauces, and other messes off the exterior of the grill, use an all-purpose cleaning solution Safety tip: always ensure the grill is off and completely cooled before cleaning it. Click here for more grilling safety tips. #4: Gutters & Downspouts Summer is a prime time for gutters and downspouts to fill with leaves, debris, and gunk. Depending on your location, you may need to add gutter cleaning and downspout inspections to your weekly cleaning chores! For a few quick tips on how to simplify the gutter cleaning process, read: 6 Simple Steps to Simplify Gutter Cleaning. #5: Outdoor Lighting It’s no secret that moths, mosquitoes, and other little critters are drawn to light. During the cooler months, pests see inner areas of lighting fixtures as a place to call home. With all of the time spent outdoors, the summer months are the perfect time to address these pesky pest infestations. With the help of a hose, ladder, and all-purpose cleaning products, your lights will shine bright all summer long. #6: Fountains, Pools & Spas Water features act as leaf, branch, and debris magnets; if you’ve got a fountain, pool, or spa in your yard, you know exactly what we mean! For those with pools and spas, give your maintenance company a call to schedule a cleaning. For those with outdoor fountains, it’s time to strap on your gloves and fish out the accumulated gunk. #7: Ceiling Fans Simply put: summer in St. Louis is hot and sticky! Keeping us cool and comfortable, ceiling fans are quite the luxury. However, ceiling fans have the tendency to collect a ton of dust (which gets spun around a room every time the “on” switch is flipped). Regular cleaning with a feather duster or microfiber cloth is great for a quick fix, but to send the dust packing, it’s best to clean the blades with a damp cloth. #8: Air Filters Breathe happier by changing out your air filters every three months. Before your air conditioner starts running full-force, be sure to replace the filter to encourage a more productive air flow and a healthier breathing environment. With fresh air filters in place, your home will always have that “ahh” feeling, and you’ll save big on home energy costs!