Sand. If it’s one thing beaches have lots of, it’s sand. After a long drive home, curling up under your own sheets can be a blessing. However, in your haste to unwind, you had inadvertently brought in all the sand that came with you.

It can be quite a pain cleaning sand from your home, and for many people, it only takes once before they adopt a post-vacation cleaning ritual to keep the grit out of the house and off the floor. If you find yourself in a similar situation, or if you’re planning ahead to prevent a potentially sandy disaster, we have the steps that’ll help you keep your home clean and sand-free.

Remove Sand Before Going Inside

Before setting foot inside your house, a good place to start with sand removal is yourself and anybody else who went along with you. Starting from the top, shake out your hair all the way down to your feet.

If any stubborn sand lingers behind on your skin, use baby powder to effortlessly remove it.

Unpack Outside

Before dragging all of your luggage over the threshold, leave your bags outside and unpack them item-by-item there. Here’s a list of common luggage items, and how to remove sand from them.

  1. Shake out clothing and bedding materials individually.
  2. Clap all shoes and sandals together until sand is dislodged.
  3. Use a baby wipe to clean off lotion bottles, water bottles, and anything else that went with you to the beach. Set aside in a clean, dry container.
  4. Once suitcases have been cleared, shake them out and run a baby wipe along the sides and corners.

If you brought along any coolers, umbrellas, or chairs, be sure to run a hose over these items before storing them.

Remove Sand from Floors and Carpets

For anyone who’s lived through it, sand can leave gritty remnants behind on both hard surfaces and carpet alike. Stepping barefoot on sand in either scenario is never pleasant, and for those coming home from the beach, getting sand in your house seems inevitable.

For hard surfaces: Sweep and follow up with a wet mop. Pay special attention to corners and sides.

For hallway runners and remnant pieces: Take outside and shake them off. Follow up with a thorough vacuum.

For carpets: Vacuum as normal, taking care to hit high-traffic areas and corners alike.

Begin Sand Removal Before You Come Home

Clothes and bedding tend to be the main vehicle on which sand stows away into our homes. Doing laundry on the last night of your vacation is a good way to mitigate sand before it even gets back to your home.

Place these in an airtight container to protect it from sand-contaminated luggage. If one if not available, a dry, clean suitcase will work as well. Just be sure that you yourself are clear of sand before removing it.

Moral of the story: much of keeping sand out of your home involves preparation and forethought.