Sand is one of those tricky messes that are a part of a fun day at the beach. Those tiny grains stick to wet and suntan-lotioned bodies, find their way into bathing suit pockets, beach totes, shoes and just about anything else you take on your day trip. Getting rid of sand after a beach day takes effort, but with these handy tips, you can get your kids, car and home sand-free.

Phase 1: Stop the Sand at the Source

No, not the beach. The sources we’re talking about here are you and your family, your beach gear and all that stuff you’re hauling home after a day of playing in the sand and water. Start by getting sand off of you and your family before you even get in the car.

Start From the Top and Work Your Way Down

Before you leave the beach, get sand out of everyone’s hair. Shake your hair and give your scalp a good scratching. No matter how hard you brush sand off, there always seems to be some hanging on to your skin and swimsuit. If possible, have everyone rinse off at an outdoor shower, change clothes in a bathroom or changing room and put those wet, sandy bathing suits and towels in a plastic bag or your cooler.

If you aren’t able to rinse off or change into dry clothes, one of the best ways to get sand off your feet is to use baby powder. After you brush the sand off your body, make sure your feet are dry and apply liberal amounts of baby powder. Any remaining sand will fall off, and the baby powder will keep feet from picking up more sand.

Give Your Gear a De-Sanding

On a boardwalk or other area away from the beach, remove everything from your beach bag and other containers and shake all the sand out. Brush the sand off of your items before you put everything back in the bag and be sure to shake everyone’s shoes. For those sticky suntan lotion bottles, use a baby wipe or damp cloth to get the residue and sand off before you put them back in your beach bag.

Coolers, umbrellas and chairs collect more than their share of sand after a beach day. Knock your gear against a post or on the ground to loosen sand and use a brush to remove any remaining sand. The goal is to get rid of as much sand as possible from your gear and family before loading up the car. You’ll take home as little sand as possible and make cleaning up the car later easier.

Unpack Your Beach Gear and Start Washing

Once you get back home, unload all your beach gear, rise everything off with a hose and let it all dry before you store it. Grab your plastic bag with wet and sandy towels and bathing suits and make sure you don’t track sand into the house from where you cleaned your gear. Carefully unpack your sandy suits and towels in the laundry room and run everything through a rinse cycle. Once the bulk of the sand is removed, wash and dry it all as you normally would.

Phase 2: How to Clean Up Sand Around the House

No matter how thorough you are in getting rid of sand after a beach day, some stubborn grains are determined to get on to your carpets, floors and even your bedding. Here’s how to get rid of any sand that found its way into your home.

Sweep, Mop and Vacuum

Start by sweeping up the laundry room after you throw your sandy laundry in the washer and move on to the rest of the house. Once you have everything put away after your beach day, take floor mats, rugs and runners outside and give them a good beating. A stiff brush will help loosen any sand. A quick vacuum should finish the job.

On hard surface floors, begin by sweeping thoroughly. Follow up with a good vacuuming, especially in the corners. The final step is to use a damp mop to get rid of any leftover sand. Rinse the mop frequently for best results. For carpets, start by vacuuming the whole house and for any areas that still feel sandy, grab a stiff brush, loosen up that sand and vacuum one more time.

De-Sand Your Bedding

Nothing ruins your sleep like beach sand that somehow found its way into your bedding. Carefully fold up your bedding to contain the sand and move everything outside. Shake out your sheets and blankets thoroughly and toss them into the wash. Before you make up your bed, it’s a good idea to vacuum your mattress, too. Make up your bed with fresh sheets and covers for a good night’s rest after all your hard work getting rid of sand.

Clean Up the Car

Take the car to the car wash. Wash the outside and clean the inside, too. Salt air and sun can wreak havoc on a car’s exterior, so the quicker you get the car washed, the better. For the inside, start by wiping down any vinyl, plastic or leather to dislodge any sand.

Nooks and crannies in cars can be catch-alls for sand. Use an old toothbrush to loosen up the sand and dig it out. Vacuum the interior, paying special attention to those areas you had to use the toothbrush. You’ll need to vacuum the dash, in between seats, carpet and upholstery. Now that the family car is nice and clean, you can keep it that way with a little help.

If you followed the helpful tips above, your home should be sand-free. If you’re too tired to get rid of sand after a beach day, you could skip the tips above and let The Maids®  get rid of the sand for you!

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