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Around The House
Summer Cleaning Tips in the Age of Social Distancing
May 13, 2020
With social distancing still in full swing for the majority of the country, many families are finding themselves having to get a little creative prepping for summertime fun – and we don’t blame you! After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy the sunshine?
Going to the playground, the public pool or even enjoying the air conditioning at the mall aren’t things folks will be able to easily do this summer. Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do right outside your home – and they all abide by social distancing guidelines.
In order to do this, you’ll naturally want to make sure everything is ready to go. You’ll want to finetune machines, uncover the pool, dig out all equipment, and of course, do some summer cleaning. Here’s some ideas of what sorts of appliances and fixtures you can clean before the summer weather really starts coming in.
Summer Cleaning Tip #1: Spruce Up Your Pool Steps & Siding
Got an above ground pool? We bet you’re just itching to uncover it, fill it with fresh clean water and jump right in on the first hot day of the year. Heck, just thinking about it gets us super pumped. But not so fast! After sitting outside throughout the windy Autumn and snowy Winter, you’ve probably noticed that the pool siding is less than fresh looking and the steps and banisters have lost their luster.
While grime on your pool siding and rusty banisters won’t necessarily impact your swimming experience, it isn’t exactly pleasant to look at. Additionally, you don’t want your steps and banisters to become so rusted that they end up causing corrosion/deterioration – which is unsafe for everyone.
To clean your pool’s siding (often made with aluminum or steel), we recommend using our Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser or Soft Cleanser. If using the Powder Cleanser, create and apply a paste, let sit for 5 minutes (if badly stained), wipe using a hand towel or soft cloth and rinse with a hose. If you want a cleaner that spreads most easily, use your Soft Cleanser and use the same instructions. We recommend repeating those same steps for your pool steps and banisters.
If your steps and banisters are very badly rusted over, you’ll likely want to use a little more product and leave on a little longer. Just make sure to not exceed 10 minutes. We also recommend a soft cloth to rub the product in, along with a little elbow grease.
Summer Cleaning Tip #2: Clean Your Sliding Patio Doors
If you have sliding doors, they’re probably getting a lot more use now that the weather is getting nicer. A lot more folks are going in and out and a lot more families are keeping those sliding patio doors wide open to let the fresh air in. Even though Spring has definitely Sprung, and those doors are getting lots of use, it isn’t too late to show those doors some TLC. Autumn’s wind (and dirt), Winter’s snowfall and Spring’s rainy weather have all created a perfect storm (pun very much intended) of sliding door windows caked in dirt and unsightly water spots.
If the unpleasantries of dirty and water spots weren’t bad enough, the tracks of those sliding patio doors are likely filled with gunk from the previous seasons. Not only is this not great to look at, but any sort of grime in the tracks of your sliding door can cause problems with the actual sliding mechanism. While it’s important to occasionally let fresh air into your home, you’ll certainly want to close those doors back up before night time rolls around. That being said, cleaning out that grime is of the utmost importance.
To combat the water spots on the sliding door, we recommend using Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser. Create a paste using water, rub into the glass and let sit for 5 minutes max. Once the five minutes is up, wipe away the soap using a wet cloth or paper towel. Keep in mind that a little BKF goes a long, long way. To prevent post-cleaning residue, use less BKF than you think you need.
As far as the tracks go on your sliding doors, we recommend our BKF MORE Spray + Foam cleaner to get rid of the dirt and grime that accumulate over time. On top of using the MORE Spray + Foam, we also recommend using a multi-use lubricant like WD-40 to ensure the sliding mechanism works flawlessly.
Summer Cleaning Tip #2: Clean Your Bicycles
Although extra caution is crucial when leaving your home, the CDC still encourages people who are in good health (and haven’t been exposed to COVID) to get some fresh air and exercise. Walking and running are excellent forms of exercise, but there are lots of folks who enjoy bicycling. In fact, it’s an activity that many families enjoy doing together.
If you haven’t used your bike in six months or more, chances are good that it’s collected quite a bit of dust. Or worse, if you haven’t used your bike in a few years, chances are good that some parts have become rusty and some mechanisms have come stiff and difficult to move. Regardless of your bike’s condition, with a little know-how and elbow grease, you can get that bike looking as good as new.
For bikes that have been sitting around for just a little over six months, BKF’s MORE Spray + Foam can do just the trick. Spray (or foam) the cleaner into a soft cloth and wipe the frames, spokes and handles. Wipe clean with a damp cloth & dry off. If your bike has stainless steel components, you might also consider trying out BKF’s Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish for some added shine.
Now, if your bike has been sitting in the garage for a few years, you’ll likely need to put in just a little more work. For areas of your bike that are a tad rusty (the frame, handles and spokes), we recommend applying our BKF Soft Cleanser, rubbing vigorously with a soft cloth and rinsing away. Of course, if your bike is REALLY rusty, here’s a pro-tip: repeat the same steps mentioned with our Cookware Cleanser & Polish. The power of 50% more grease-cutting detergents is great for helping the rustiest of appliances. Why wouldn’t you use it on your bike too?
As for the mechanisms that make the bike move (gears, chains, cogs.), multi-purpose lubricants can help get your bike moving like normal. Of course, if you suspect any major issues with your bike, we highly recommend taking it to a local bike shop to be repaired!
Summer Cleaning Tip #4: Prep Your Grill for Summer Cookin’
Last, but not least, is the almighty backdoor grill. While many folks have already broken out the grill, some folks have been waiting for a special occasion like Memorial Day or Independence Day to get out the propane or light up the charcoal. If you’re one of those folks who hasn’t prepared their grill for the summer yet, now’s the best time.
If you’ve uncovered your stainless steel grill and found that it isn’t in too bad of shape, we recommend using BKF’s Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish to bring back the lustre that may have dulled from light dust or dirt that accumulated over the winter. If, however, your grill was uncovered and available to all the elements, you might need to put in a little more work first. BKF’s Soft Cleanser or Powder Cleanser are great options for getting rid of rust and bringing back your grill’s original shine. Always clean with the “grain” or brush lines of the grill’s stainless steel surface.
Assuming the inside of your grill needs some TLC as well, you can use a grill brush to get rid of any food particles and “gunk” from previous uses. After that, you can take the grates out of the grill and use our Soft Cleanser to ensure they’re completely clean. Just make sure to rinse those grates thoroughly.