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7 easy hacks to stay cool without an air conditioner this summer

Preview: From bamboo to frozen dish soap in your pillowcase, here are some unexpected ways to stay cool this summer — no AC required.

Though we typically use our blogging platform to share helpful tips on how to prepare your heater and AC for the changing seasons, this year’s summer tips are a bit different. We’re sharing different ways you can stay cool without an AC this summer.

For one, we’re excited that we’re actually able to go outdoors! Everyone deserves an enjoyable and cool summer. Back in the day, we would go to the movie theaters (nice and cool, right), take a dip in the pool, or visit an air-conditioned public facility to find some relief from hot summer temperatures. But sometimes going out isn’t always an option (we’re looking at you, 2020).

After last summer’s lockdown fiasco, we’re especially excited to present these tips. They’re low maintenance, affordable, accessible, and home-friendly (even though we assume just about everyone plans to be outdoors this summer). These tips are ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy summer without burning up.

So, whether you want to save more by using your AC less, you don’t have an AC, or something else, here are some unique ways to keep yourself cool besides drinking lots of water, eating loads of frozen treats ice cream, and collecting portable fans.

1. Sleep on a bamboo mat

If heat is and sweating plague your sleep because of a mattress being too warm, a bamboo mattress can be the answer you’re looking for. Besides being hypoallergenic and anti-fungal and providing spinal support, a bamboo mat is also known for regulating your body temperature (and they’re budget-friendly)!

Combining memory foam and bamboo fibers, a bamboo mat creates proper air circulation and breathability that ensures that you stay cool while you sleep. You can enjoy the relaxing feel of memory foam without the heat that tends to come with it. If any moisture accumulates on the mattress, it’s simply absorbed moisture! The moisture evaporates through the pores of the bamboo mat design, keeping you dry even on hot summer nights.

Related article(s): The Beauty of Bamboo ~ All Natural Answers for your Mattresses

2. Use peppermint soap or body scrub when you shower

We all know that taking a cold shower is one of the easiest ways to cool down in the summer, but take your cold shower experience to the next level by investing in some peppermint products.

Peppermint has natural cooling properties which makes it ideal for making your body feel cooler. The key to this is an organic compound: menthol. Menthol can be found in most mint related products and cools you down by tricking your brain into making you feel cool.

While we’re on the topic of showers, you can also make your own body scrub by combining Epsom salt, coconut oil, and, of course, a few drops of peppermint oil. Slather that on and scrub. It’ll leave you silky smooth and the cooling feeling of the peppermint oil lasts longer than the shower.

Related article(s): How to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning (#1)

3. Place a cool washrag on your neck or wrists

Place a cold washrag on your wrists or drape it around your neck to cool your body. These pulse points are areas where blood vessels are close to the skin, so you’ll cool down more quickly.

The reason we don’t recommend freezing, ringing out, and sleeping in clothing items such as wet socks, shirts, or blankets is because these items can absorb a lot of energy from your body that night. They’ll be warm in just a matter of minutes then you’d be left sleeping in a pile of damp stuff that could mold your mattress.

Like we mentioned above, when it comes to cooling parts of your body, focus on your wrists and neck.

4. Curtains/blinds: Close ’em or black ’em out

If you have windows that face the sun in the morning through the afternoon, it’s wise to close the curtains or blinds. This is a no-brainer, but you could also install blackout curtains to insulate the room and reduce temperature increases that would happen during the day.

Insulated blackout curtains can also keep your room dark (and essentially cool) while also preventing warm air from escaping through windows in the winter. So, it’s a win-win investment for any season of the year!

Related article(s): How To Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning (#2)

5. Swap your sheets and sleepwear to cotton

Not only does seasonally switching your bedding freshen up a room, but it’s also a great way to keep cool. While textiles like flannel sheets and fleece blankets are fantastic for insulation (think fall and winter seasons), cotton is a smarter move during spring and summer because it breathes easier and stays cooler.

Sorry, but you should save the ooh-la-la satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton (Egyptian or otherwise) or linen are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow.

Did you know that cotton sleeping wear will also help you fall asleep faster in the heat? According to research, they’ll soothe you into the deepest, most restorative sleep stage better than bulkier fabrics like wool.

As an added bonus, buy yourself a buckwheat pillow or two. Buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them so they won’t hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows, even when packed together in a pillow case.

Related article(s): 30 Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC)

6. Avoid using the stove; cook in the morning, use a slow cooker, or cook outside with a grill

Using your stove or oven will add unwanted heat to your kitchen and can spread throughout your house. If it already feels like 100 degrees in your home, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven.

Try to limit your cooking to the early morning and plan dinners that don’t require heating up, like pasta salad or lettuce wraps. If you need to heat up food, you can keep the heat centralized in one area by using a slow cooker. Or, cook outdoors on a grill.

7. Use blue ice packs or DIY an ice pack with green dish soap

Are you familiar with the blue ice packs they sell at grocery stores? Even if you’re not, you are. They get cold but don’t get damp. This means you can put a few under a sheet, or lay them next to you in bed without worrying about moisture and mold.

For another option that lasts longer and can be DIY’d, you can use green dish soap! Just fill ¼ of a bag with some green dish soap, put it in a freezer bag for several hours, and stick it in your bed after it freezes. The soap also won’t harden so you can place it in a pillowcase and sleep comfortably.

Related article(s): How to Keep an Apartment Cool Without Air Conditioning