11 Summer Safety Tips

From spoiled food to buggy backyards, a little planning will keep your holiday weekend problem-free.


11. Gross Grill

The problem: Your crusty, greasy grill grossed everyone out at your last cookout.

Solve it: There are lots of harsh grill cleaners on the market, but who wants toxic residue sticking around to marinate the next round of ribs?

Luckily, green grill-cleaning methods exist. Arm yourself with a stiff wire grill brush, a well-made spatula or spackle knife, tongs, cheap vegetable oil, paper towels, and a load of caution—the best time to clean a grill is when it’s hot. Preheat the grill for 15 minutes and scrape the grate with the wire brush. Use the tongs to pick up a bunch of wadded paper towels, and dampen it with vegetable oil. Using the tongs, rub the oily paper towel over the grill grate. The oil will also help create a nontoxic, nonstick surface for the next time you grill. For more intensive cleaning tips, check out How to Clean Your Grill the Fast, Easy, Green Way. (And don't forget to use a marinade to reduce carcinogens formed on the meat while it’s grilling!)

More solutions: Not sure what to grill for your gathering? Check out 7 Strange but Delicious Grilling Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend. Need to spruce up your backyard before the festivities? Try these 7 Quick and Easy Lawn and Garden Fixes. Find more recipes, tips, and memorable advice on our Memorial Day Weekend page.