How to handle a heatwave: keep cool in the summer with these 6 tips

A boy uses a garden hose to spray water on a girl who is laughing and shielding herself with an umbrella.
Enjoy the summer heatwave by ensuring you stay cool

Relaxing in the summer sun during a heatwave can make you feel like you're on holiday. But to make sure you keep your cool, we've come up with six great tips to cope with the summer heat.

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Use salt and ice: cool refreshment in 90 seconds

Bottles filled with various brightly coloured drinks are shown in a bowl of ice and water.
Adding a few ice cubes and a pinch of salt to a container is a simple way to keep your drinks cool

You can easily turn any drink into something cool and refreshing: simply fill a suitable container with water and ice cubes, add a pinch of salt and then stir the mixture. Then place your drinks in the water. Leave them to chill for 90 seconds and they should be refreshingly cool. (Warning: don't keep glass bottles in cold water for too long as they might shatter.)

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How to handle a heatwave Try cooling down your feet

A close-up shot of a child's feet in a metal tub filled with water.
Quick relief: a tub of cold water will keep your feet cool ©iStock

No time and space to build a big pool? Then how about a foot bath instead? Fill a tub or a planter with cold water, then simply put your feet in it and keep them still. This can be a useful way to keep cool on hot summer nights if you do it in the evening before you go to sleep.

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Cool muzzle, cool paws – cool down your dog

A woman gives her golden retriever a shower using a Bosch Fontus.
Whether you've taken your dog out for a long walk or it just needs some cooling down in the summer heat, your four-legged friend will appreciate a shower and you'll appreciate its clean paws!

You're not the only one who'll benefit from some cooling down in the summer heat: your dog will too! The Bosch Fontus is ideal for this task: you can use it to give your dog a cooling shower and clean-off. And of course, it can be used in the spring and autumn, too! If you happen to use the pressure washer to wash your dog on a hot surface like your patio, you'll notice that the air around you will feel fresher thanks to the cooling mist that forms as the water evaporates after it hits the hot ground.

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Keep your home cool: build your own air conditioning unit

A thin, white curtain hangs behind a table. There are four flower pots on the table.
Hanging up damp cloths indoors can make the air noticeably cooler ©Adobe Stock

Here's a cool tip: try draping a damp cotton cloth or bed sheet over a chair or hanging it from a curtain pole. This will help to cool down your home. As the cloths dry, they will absorb the heat from the air, which effectively does the same thing as a simple air conditioning unit. But to make sure your home doesn't turn into a sauna, it's best to air it out early in the morning or in the evening.

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Build a bird bath

Four yellow silvereyes bathe in a bird bath.
A pot saucer is ideal to use as a bird bath © iStock

Even insects and birds will be thankful for a water fountain to bathe in and drink from in the summer. So why not build a bird bath? It works well as a garden ornament and it will attract some feathered friends for company, even on a balcony. You just need a bowl or a shallow container such as a planter that measures around 30 to 40 cm in diameter. The water should be a maximum of 5 cm deep. A bird bath won't just make the local birds happy – you'll love it too. Here's why: birds often like to nibble on fruit such as cherries when they're thirsty. So if you give them water instead, they'll ruin less of your fruit harvest. Are you looking for some suitable shelter for your bird bath? Find out how to build your own bird feeder – that you can also set up as a watering hole.

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Turn on the garden sprinklers

A boy and a girl in swimsuits jump over a garden sprinkler.
Garden sprinklers can be a quick source of refreshment for you and your plants © iStock

They can quickly cool down the whole family: whether you're young, old or four-legged! In summer, your lawn will need more water, so you can kill two birds with one stone. If you fancy a bit of DIY, you can simply make your own sprinkler system. Cut open an aqua noodle, seal off one end with tape and then make a series of holes in the noodle, attach it to a garden hose and it's ready to go. It's best to water plants early in the morning or in the evening during a heatwave. That's when the ground is cool and the water evaporates more slowly.

Do you want to make the most of the summer and spend more time relaxing in the garden instead of working in it? Then take a look at our 10 hacks for a low-maintenance garden.