How to clean up on (and after) a trip to the beach

Keep beaches clean, make ocean-positive choices, and don’t forget that Speed Cleaning™ Red Juice contains seaweed!

August is a great time to head to the beach, and we hope you get a chance to visit one this summer. When you pack up your car with chairs, towels, coolers, and sunscreen, don’t forget a trash bag to pack out your own garbage. While you’re at it, why not bring along a few extra bags to carry out any other trash you see? When you get to the beach, you can help out by picking up any litter that is blowing along the edge of the water or dotting the sand. Keeping the beaches clean has a huge impact in helping to keep the ocean healthy. 

Ocean health = people and planet health

Why is it important to have healthy oceans? They hold 97% of the planet’s water, regulate the earth’s climate, and produce more than half the oxygen in the atmosphere. And they’re teeming with fish that more than 1 billion people depend on for basic protein.

Oceans nourish us with food and oxygen, but we are dumping more and more plastic into the ocean than ever before. It’s estimated that 12 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year, or the equivalent of a truckload of trash every minute. This is everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads in shampoos and toothpastes. Once the plastic is in the ocean, currents carry it to every corner of the planet, from uninhabited islands in the Pacific to Florida beaches.

What can you do to help, besides cleaning up the beach when you visit? Here are a few areas you can make a difference.

Keep beaches clean, make positive choices

1. Just say no to single-use plastics

This includes things like straws, plastic forks, the lids on coffee cups, disposable water bottles, plastic shopping bags, balloons, produce wrapped in plastic, and takeout containers. It’s easy to bring along your own reusable shopping bag when you buy groceries, your water bottle when you’re out hiking, and a travel coffee mug when you hit up your favorite coffee shop in the morning. 

2. Use plastic-free alternatives

Many products in your home have plastic microbeads that you might not be aware of. This includes shampoos, soaps, even your toothpaste! Check the ingredient list for polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate, polylactic acid, or nylon; these are the most common plastics that make up microbeads.

You can feel comfortable purchasing any of our eco-friendly cleaners, like Speed Cleaning™ Red Juice—the degreaser in Red Juice is made from environmentally-friendly seaweed! We also offer all of our cleaners in concentrate so that you can reuse your spray bottle and reduce the amount of plastic you consume. 

3. Don’t buy any ocean-harming products

This sounds like a no-brainer, but there are many products directly linked to harming endangered species, pollution, and unsustainable fishing. Certain cosmetics contain shark squalene, for example. Avoid buying jewelry made from coral or sea turtle shells, or buying souvenir conch shells. And avoid those single-use plastics that we warned you about earlier.

4. Choose sustainable seafood

Choose to eat seafood that is healthy for you AND for the oceans by supporting well-managed, wild fisheries. Seafood Watch has a guide to help you with these choices.

5. Take only pictures, leave only footprints 

When you’re having your day of fun on the beach, try not to load up on shell souvenirs that you’ll only dump into the garbage in a few months or years. And more importantly, don’t leave any trash behind to get blown into the ocean. Be a good citizen and pack out your garbage, and clean up any litter that might not be yours but that you spot along the way. 

Cleaning up after a trip to the beach

Managing moisture is the key to keeping sand off your clothes and shoes, and ultimately out of your house. Wear flip flops or sandals you can kick the sand out of. Keep your gear as dry as possible so sand doesn’t adhere to it. And at the end of the day, give all your items a hard shake once you’re back in the parking lot. 


  • Bring some baby powder or talc to sprinkle on your hands and feet. It soaks up the moisture, making the sand easy to brush off.
  • Bring a bristly welcome mat for everyone to wipe their feet on before they get into your car.
  • Line your car trunk with an old blanket or towel, and do the same for your car seats.
  • Place wet items in a mesh bag before putting them into the car, then put on top of that old blanket which you’ll shake out when you get home.
  • Once home, hang up wet clothes and towels outside and let them dry completely. Then shake well before bringing inside to wash. 

If all of this preparation failed to prevent sand from creeping into your house, a vacuum with a deep brush can pull out sand from your carpet. For moveable rugs, you can hang them outside and beat the sand out of them.

Have fun at the beach! Thank you for doing your part to keep the beach and ocean clean. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

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