Wet swimsuits, schmeary sunscreen, muddy thunderstorms, color run clouds—summers don’t come clean very easily. What should be a more relaxed season ends up being a much more messy one, which brings its own layer of stress, chaos, and grime.

The only way true way avoid the hot messes of summer is to move to the Arctic, which isn’t recommended (and comes with its own complications). In the meantime, here are some quick solutions to several of summer’s messiest moments.

Melted Popsicles

If enjoying popsicles and ice cream inside, keep a warm dishcloth handy to wipe up any drips or spills before they have a chance to stain or stick to your socks. Better yet, make it a rule that frozen treats are an outdoor activity, complete with a hosing off through the sprinkler.

Sand in the Van

Making beach memories is one thing; carrying them with you is another. If your van is as gritty as a Metallica concert, it’s time to hit up a vacuum and suck the life out of it. Use a lint roller for particularly stubborn areas.

Grill Spills

While it may be tempting to clean your grill before you light it up, you’d be doing yourself a favor if you do it the other way around. Get the internal racks nice and hot and then attack the built-up grill gunk with a long-handled, heavy-duty grill brush. If the racks are pretty far gone, you can put them in a large trash bag with a cup of ammonia and let sit for several hours; the fumes help release grease from the metal. Get more grill tips here.

Glitter Bombs

When it’s too hot or rainy to go outside, it’s time to get crafty. Crafts with small kids almost always mean glitter, so capture the pixie dust with a lint roller when playtime is over. (This is actually a fun job for kids, so delegate away!).

Swim Season

Wet swimming suits and towels don’t dry well when they are heaped on the floor after a day at the pool. Set up a clothesline in the bathroom or outside so kids can hang their suits as soon as possible, eliminating the need for excess laundry and extending the life of your family’s swimwear. Read more on how to get your home ready for swimsuit season.

These tips help maximize summer fun while minimizing summer drama. We’re sure our fabulous readers have other great summer cleaning tips, so let us have it. Share in the comments below!

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