Household Hacks: How to Beat the Davis Heat This Summer

It will be 107 degrees in Davis today and so we’re all looking for ways to beat the heat. Fortunately we’ve got 107 helpful hints (not really, but close) for how to keep cool in your Davis apartment.

First up is WIkiHow, which has the most comprehensive list with How to Cool Yourself Without Air Conditioning.  There’s tons of great hints. Here’s just the section on how to use water:

Just add water. The relief is almost immediate, and will last for up to one hour or more.

  1. Drink water frequently. Your body will feel cooler if you are hydrated. Try drinking eight ounces of water at least every hour. Adding mint leaves, or orange, lemon or cucumber slices to your water makes it more refreshing. Many people will drink more if water has more flavor.
  2. Get a spray bottle – fill it with water, adjust it to fine mist and spray it on your exposed skin for an instant chill-zing cooling effect.
  3. Keep the back of your neck in shade (wear a cap backwards, or raise your collar) or put a wet handkerchief on the back of the neck. The sensor for our body temperature control system is in this area, and so with this method you can make the rest of your body think that you are “cool”.
  4. Place or tie an icepack behind your head.
  5. Wet all your hair, or just all along the hairline in a pinch. The evaporation of the water will cool your head (though it may make your hair a bit frizzy if it’s curly!).
  6. Wear a bandana with water soaked on it and put it on your head. Or you can relive the 80’s and wear a wet terrycloth headband on your forehead.
  7. Try using a water misting fan. These portable devices are battery operated so you can take them with you wherever you go. As you mist and fan yourself, the water is evaporated on your skin, giving you an instant cooling sensation.
  8. Soak a t-shirt in the sink, wring it out and put it on. Sit in a lawn chair (or other chair that lets air through to you) in front of a fan. Re-wet as it dries. Use lukewarm or cool water (not ice-cold) for this so you do not “shock” your system.
  9. Wear a short sleeved shirt and put water on the sleeves only. If there is a breeze or fan blowing on you, you can actually get cold! Use a squirt bottle, the sink or hose if outside to keep your sleeves wet. If you are outside and wearing long pants and you put water on your legs, the water will cool your legs. Long skirts are also good for this. Just sprinkle the hemline with water.
  10. Run cold water over your wrists for 10 seconds on each hand. This will reduce your temperature for roughly an hour.
  11. Soak your feet in a bucket of cold water. The body radiates heat from the hands, feet, face and ears, so cooling any of these will efficiently cool the body. Kiddie wading pools are great for adults feet too.
  12. Fill your bathtub with cool water and get in. Once you are used to the temperature, let some water out and refill with cold water. Keep doing this until you are sufficiently cold. Your body will stay cool for a long time after you get out. For a fast cool-down, add ice!
  13. Go for a swim. Visit the swimming pool, lake, ocean, or river and unwind.

Next up is which has a whole “Beat The Heat” section devoted to the the topic.


If you’re handy and looking to create a personal cooling system, The Small Object has a tutorial on how to create neck coolers:dryCrystals.jpg

To make these satisfying suckers for an adult, I cut a 4″ band of fabric about 31″ long and fold in half. Leave a 9″ opening in the middle to make three 3″ pockets for the water absorbing crystals. (Thanks for helping me find them!)

After you sew up the ends, turn it rightside out and sew up the three pockets. The pockets help it fold around your neck nicer. They soak up crazy amounts of water and can dry out again. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of crystals to each pocket, see photo below for visual representation, and sew up the opening.

wetCrystal.jpgThis is how big one single crystal gets when soaked for a couple hours.

Finally, has 13 HOT WEATHER HACKS TO COOL YOU OFF THIS SUMMER. Among our favorites hints from this source:

2. Make aloe ice cubes

Odds are you’ll be plagued with at least one sunburn this summer, and it pays to be prepared. Pick up a bottle of aloe vera gel and fill an ice cube tray. Remove them as needed to cool off while mending your beet-red skin.

4. Freeze your pillowcases and sheets

So you can pass out on those particularly humid nights, stash a few pillowcases in a sealed bag in the freezer and slip them on before you hit the hay. You’ll be surprised how well it works to cool you down. For an added thrill, try it with your boxers every once and a while.

5. Turn a fan into a crude A/C

For those days when you’re A/C-less and a sole fan simply won’t do, place a frozen water bottle or bowl of ice cubes in front of the blades. Sit back, relax, and bask in the chilled air whipping across your body.

8. Apply antiperspirant to your hairline

If excessive brow sweat is an issue, try applying an unscented antiperspirant at the top of your forehead before going to bed each night. Sure, you’ll definitely be sleeping alone after your partner watches you do this, but when it’s this hot out, why the hell would you want someone in bed with you anyway?

10. Close your blinds and cover leather furniture with a white sheet

To prevent your place from baking in the summer sun, keep blackout curtains drawn when you’re gone and cover any dark furniture that gets a lot of sun with a light-colored sheet. This makes sure the surface doesn’t emanate any excess warmth into the room.


11. Freeze a sponge

Soak a fresh sponge in water, toss it in a Ziplock bag, and leave it in the freezer. When that unbearable moment of heat comes over you, take it out and rest it on your forehead or wrists. You’ll cool down without getting soaked, since the sponge will absorb any residual moisture as it warms.

12. Wear wet socks to bed

This one’s for those unbearable nights. Place a towel at bottom of your bed and slip on a pair of socks you’ve soaked in cold water. Point a fan at your feet and prepare for a prolonged chill to tingle up your spine.

13. Put dryer sheets EVERYWHERE

Face it, you reek in the summer. To keep things musk-free and smelling fresh leave dryer sheets in your shoes, clip them to your fan, and stick one or two to the front of the air conditioner vents.