Summer may be the season most of us look forward to, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without its own set of hurdles. All of that fun in the sun also tends to bring sticky messes, home-invading bugs, and the heat we’ve been craving (yet will eventually complain about). Swapping one weather extreme for the next isn’t always easy, however, there are things you can do to help make your summer breezier.
We’ve compiled a list of summer hacks to save you time and money while still getting the most out of sun season. From camping to neighborhood barbecues, the right preparation can make any summer staple go swimmingly.
Here are 25 summertime hacks to help you make the best of the dog days.
1. Brush Off Sand With Baby Powder
Nothing says summer like walking across the beach barefoot, but most of us would prefer to leave the sand there. It’s not always easy to clean sand off yourself before heading home, and once it ends up in your shoes or house, it can be a real nuisance. However, baby powder helps soak up moisture so you can brush off the beach with ease.
2. Keep Ice Cream Soft
There’s no tastier way to cool down than with an ice cream cone, but cartons tend to be difficult to serve from right out of the freezer. To make sure that your ice cream is always ready-to-serve, simply place the carton in a gallon zip lock bag before putting in the freezer. This also helps prevent freezer burn!
3. Quick Fix Broken Flip Flops
Flip flops make for a great summer shoe, but they can become pretty useless once the strap breaks through the bottom (and anyone who has had a pair knows they rarely last throughout the season). Luckily, there’s a way to fix them if you have a bread clip handy. Simply wrap the clip around the end of the strap to secure it from slipping through the hole.
4. No Mess Popsicles
Save yourself from sticky hands by cutting a slit into a cupcake liner and using it as a makeshift drip catcher. The cupcake liner will catch the melted Popsicle your mouth couldn’t get to in time. This is a great hack for parents to prevent sticky messes.
5. Brighten Your Patio Furniture With Vinegar
Unless you got yourself a new set, you probably have to clean up your old patio furniture that’s been either hibernating in the shed or has been weathered by the winter months. Luckily, there’s an easy way to brighten your furniture by taking a spray bottle filled with vinegar and spritzing it over your set.
6. Keep Your Iced Coffee From Being Watered Down
Most coffee drinkers will switch to iced coffees for the summer season, but it doesn’t take long until the ice melts and you’re drinking watered down coffee. To keep your coffee cold and flavorful, pre-make ice cubes made out of coffee to use instead of frozen ice.
7. Cool Off With A Makeshift Sprinkler
Looking to cool off but don’t have a sprinkler? Well, if you have a hose handy then all you need now is an empty water bottle. Simply poke some holes in an empty 2-liter plastic bottle, duct tape it to a hose, and you’ve just created your own little water park.
8. Serve Condiments In A Muffin Tin
If you’re having a barbecue, it doesn’t take long until your serving table can become cluttered with paper plates, cups, and buns. However, the condiments can end up taking up the most room when they’re in individual containers. You can save space by serving condiments in a muffin tin for easier access.
9. Keep Sand Away With A Fitted Sheet
It’s only natural to pack a towel or blanket to lay on when visiting the beach, but it doesn’t take long until it’s covered in sand. You can keep your lounge quarters sand-free by utilizing a fitted sheet. Just take use four items to prop up these sheet walls.
10. Sanitize Plastic Pool Toys With Bleach
Blow-up pool toys can truly add some extra fun when it comes to swimming, but they are prone to collecting plenty of germs outside. Luckily, it’s easy to sanitize these toys with just a bit of bleach. Make a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water then wipe the toy with it, let it stand for two minutes, and then wait for it to air dry.
11. Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning
When you don’t have air conditioning, super hot days can become quite a nightmare. Even with a fan it can feel like you’re just pushing around hot air. However, if you place a bucket of ice in front of the fan, you’ll get a nice cool breeze to help you beat the heat.
12. Use Limes For A Natural Mosquito Repellent
No one wants to stay inside on a nice summer night, but mosquitoes can certainly damper the experience. There are a variety of repellents on the market, but if you need a quick one on-the-go, you can use sliced limes lined with cloves to keep those pesky little vampires away.
13. Protect Your Phone From Water Damage
It’s only natural to want to be by water during the summer, but many people lose their cell phones because of it. To make sure your phone doesn’t accidentally get water damage, bring along a plastic baggie with you to keep it protected just in case.
14. Soothe Sunburns With Frozen Aloe Vera
There’s no worse feeling than the pain of a sunburn after having a little too much fun in the sun. Most people will turn to ice to help soothe themselves, but an even better way is to freeze aloe vera in an ice cube tray. The cold will help alleviate pain and the aloe vera gel will work to heal the sunburn and prevent peeling.
15. Ice Cold Water On-The-Go
No one wants to drink lukewarm water on a hot day, but it can take awhile for a bottle of water to get to the perfect level of chilly. You can make sure you have an icy drink every time if you fill a quarter of a water bottle with water and then freeze it on its side. Now when you need a ice cold glass, you can fill the bottle with water and it will be cold within seconds without blocking the opening.
16. Keep Away Ants Naturally
If your summer season has been plagued by invasive ants, you can create a natural form of pest control with the help of some popcorn kernels. Simply take a cup of kernels, blend them on high speed for half a minute, and then create a few piles of your new batch of cornmeal to keep ants away.
17. Help Get Rid Of Fruit Flies With Red Wine
If you’ve got a fruit fly problem, it’s time to save a little bit of that red wine when making your summertime sangria. Simply pour a glass of red wine in a cup, put plastic wrap over the opening and poke tiny holes in it. It won’t be long until your glass of wine becomes a fruit fly graveyard.
18. Use A Beer Bottle To Open Your Beer Bottle
Nothing says summer like enjoying a beer in the sun, but fear not if you’ve forgotten to bring a bottle opener. You can use the cap off another bottle of beer to use as leverage to open yours. Unfortunately, you’re on your own when you get to the last one.
19. Keep Your Beach Belongings Safe
It’s hard to trust other beach-goers when you want to leave important items by your towel like keys or a wallet. One way to make sure no one will touch your things is to hide them in a disposable diaper, making it look like it’s been used. Another option is to empty out a container of sunscreen and use that as a safe disguise.
20. No Mess Ice Packs
Ice packs can be an essential when you want to keep your food or drinks chilled, but they can result in a mess once they begin to melt. One way to make your own no mess ice pack is to wet a sponge and freeze it in a plastic bag. When the water melts, the sponge will soak it back up and the bag will prevent any slip-away drips.
21. Swap Scrubbing For Onion Halves
Cleaning the grill is probably the least enjoyable thing about barbecuing, but you can save yourself the labor by using half of an onion. The onion bulb can help clean the grill when rubbed over a hot grate. This will help loosen and lift food residue off of the grate without having to scrape with a grill brush.
22. No Bowl? No Problem
While there’s nothing wrong with passing around a bag of chips among friends, those who want a more aesthetically pleasing display will appreciate this hack. You can easily convert a chip bag into a makeshift bowl by folding the top edge inside the bag, rolling down the bottom corners up into the base of the bag, and pushing the chips up during the process.
23. A Less Messy Burger
Burgers are a summer food staple, and if you’re one who loves a lot of condiments, you know how messy they can be. A simple way to a cleaner eat? Flip your hamburger upside down when indulging. The top bun is generally much thicker than the bottom and is usually more durable as well.
24. Make Your Own Floating Cooler
Coolers are great for saving you a trip inside to the fridge while you’re enjoying the outdoors, but when you’re swimming, why not bring the drinks one step closer? With some rope and cut up pool noodles, you can create your very own floating cooler so you don’t have to leave the water.
25. Make Multiple S’mores At Once
S’mores are a great campfire treat and many of us would eat much more if we didn’t have to wait for each individual marshmallow to get all toasty. However, this clever s’more lover found a way to make multiple s’mores simultaneously using a rake. Just make sure the rake you’re dealing with is clean.
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