Thanks, Emma, for this helpful advice - the Camden Roundhouse could have used it!
Going to the beach is awesome; getting sand in your house and car, not so much. It’s funny how a great afternoon playing in the sand and running in the waves can be dampened when you realize how much of a mess you’ve made tracking all that sand back inside with you. It almost looks like you tried to bring the beach home. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent your car and house from looking like a hurricane hit them by getting the sand off your feet after you leave the beach. Some are inventive, some are obvious classics, but they’re all worth incorporating into your next beach day.
Seriously. Toss a bottle of baby powder into your beach bag and get ready to have your life changed. When you leave the beach, apply a nice heap of powder to your feet and rub it in. This absorbs the moisture that’s causing the sand to stick to your feet, and you’ll be able to brush off the excess and walk away. Plus, now your feet smell nice and clean.
Portable water supply
One of the best ways to wash sand off your feet is to use, well, water. A lot of beaches have shower-type stalls where the sand meets the parking lot and you can spray down your legs and feet and knock off the worst of the dirt. Sometimes, though, that’s not enough. (And sometimes you’ll still have to cross some sand to get to your car, in which case, you’re back to square one.) The solution? Pack a small plastic tub and a big bottle of water before you go, then use them when you’re standing next to your car. It doesn’t take much; just enough for you to submerge your feet and rinse them down. Then you can towel off, dump the water and be on your way.
This one’s so obvious that most people overlook it. Take a welcome mat with you — or buy one for the occasion that you can leave in the car — and set it down next to your vehicle before you get in. Use a towel to knock off the bigger chunks, then wipe your feet on the welcome mat to clear out the rest of the sand.
Dry sand can actually adhere to the wetter sand on your feet and help to remove it. It’s a little like how lint sticks to itself, so a ball of lint can help you clean the lint trap in your dryer. When you’re ready to leave, scoop up some dry sand and rub it along your feet and legs, making sure to rub it into the wet sand that’s stuck to you. The dry sand can help slough off the wet stuff, making it easier to just dust off your feet with a towel before you go.
Staying sand-free is such a problem that there are a growing number of specialty products available to help you clean up after a day at the beach. For example, Sand-Off uses a special mitt that comes with a powder built right in, so all you have to do is apply the mitt to the sandy part of your body, let the powder squeeze out and wipe away the sticky sand. It’s good for multiple uses, and it’s a small enough product that you can toss it in your beach bag and forget about it until you need it.
Keeping excess sand out of your car and house can feel like an endless battle during beach season, and there’s always the chance that you or your kids will track some home no matter what you do. However, with the right preparation, you can go home clean and happy and leave the beach behind.