It seems like an inevitable part of summer — at some point, sand will get tracked inside. Then it will find its gritty way absolutely everywhere. When a friend recently shared her aunt’s secret for getting sand off everyone before they come inside, I knew I had to try it for myself.
Her aunt’s trick is to make pouches out of flannel, fill them with cornstarch, and use them to wipe down sandy legs and hands. She keeps one in her car for beach trips and another by her backdoor for trips to the park and sandbox.
Since I remembered the tip right before my friends came in from the beach, I improvised quickly, cutting out the pockets of an old, stained work shirt, filling them with cornstarch, and rebuttoning. They worked perfectly and the sand brushed right off.
If you only have a piece of fabric, rather than a pocket, don’t worry — it’s a quick sewing job. Just cut out a square of flannel, sew up the sides, twist the top and tie it off with some ribbon so you can refill later. It works best if you use a single layer of flannel, so the cornstarch can come through easily. Of course, craftier people can also make refillable drawstring pouches like this one from Skip to My Lou.
Either way, it’s a lot better than hauling out the broom or vacuum after every beach trip.
Images: Kathleen Luttschyn
After a collection of heat-wave-days getting a good night’s sleep can be almost impossible. Even if it cools down in the evenings, some homes remain infected with a lingering warmth, making dream time a bit of a nightmare. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up to help me cope, but please share your own —for the summer has only just begun!
Clearly, there is no A/C in my humble apartment, so scratch that from the list. What I have done to beat the heat is the following:
- • Use 100% cotton bedding, preferably the crisp vintage kind.
2. • Wear loose cotton PJs, or none at all.
3. • Take a quick cool shower before bed.
4. • Fill a bucket of cold water to dip my (clean) feet into periodically throughout the night (and to water the garden with in the morning).
5. • Wet washcloths or hand towels with cold water and drape them over the hot spots. (Does anyone else’s lower back seem to emit an inordinate amount of heat?) Recharge the cloths in that bedside bucket of water.
6. • Keep widows open and unobstructed. I will sacrifice the privacy of curtains for max air flow on the hottest nights.
7. • Bring on the fans. I actually subbed out an overhead light in the bedroom for a simple stainless steel fan. As hard as it is to navigate the room in the PM, I certainly do not regret the decision!
8. • Floor-fan fort: Okay, this is a bit ridiculous, but on one of the hottest days last year we rigged a floor fan at the foot of the bed and clothes-pegged the sheet to the top of it, creating a billowing bedding wind-tunnel. Not entirely practical, though the cats rather enjoyed this approach!
Related Post: 9 Tricks To Beat the Heat Without Turning Up the A/C
(Image: Tina & Lizzy Sawdon for Apartment Therapy)