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Helpful Hints for the Beach: #2 How to Remove Beach Sand

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

a sand covered towel sitting on the white sand beaches of north west Florida

Oh, the beach. The sun, the sand, and the calm Gulf of Mexico surf. It’s the perfect place to unwind, relax, and have fun. But, let’s not sugarcoat it. One of the most annoying things about a day at the beach is dealing with all the sand. It gets everywhere, on your clothes, in your bag, and even in sensitive areas. And don’t even get me started with the struggle of getting sand out of your beach gear and toys. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to remove beach sand from everything, from your beach towels to your body, after a day at the beach in Destin, Miramar Beach, 30-A, Perdido Key, and Gulf Shores.

a man standing on the beach shaking sand from his beach towel
Be sure no one is around before you shake off the sand

Shake it Off

The easiest (and least effective) way to get rid of sand is to shake it off. Grab your beach towels, blankets, bags, and toys and give them a good shake before you get into your car or return to your rental. This will remove any loose sand and prevent it from spreading elsewhere. Helpful Hint: Don't shake the sand from towels or beach gear if someone is directly downwind! If your idea of a good time is getting into verbal or physical altercations - or you simply enjoy the tears of children who get sand in their eyes - then by all means shake the sand off without looking around. But if you value your time of relaxation and are willing to allow others to do the same. Consider walking to an area where the sand could reasonably fly off of your gear and fall back to the moonlike surface of our sugar white sandy beaches. A good place to go and remove beach sand this way, is the foot of the dune where there are typically less people.

a travel size bottle of soap and conditioner by the beach shower
Showering with soap and conditioner/shampoo is the most effective way to remove sand and salt water.

Use the Shower and Hose

For stubborn sand that won’t budge, use water. Rinse off your gear with a hose or shower before throwing it into your car. Most public beach accesses in Walton, Okaloosa, Escambia and Baldwin Counties have showers available, and all of our managed beaches have them too! While this option is not great for towels and beach blankets, it is the single best way to remove beach sand from the human body and/or beach gear. This will help remove any remaining sand and prevent it from sticking to your stuff. For best results, we recommend bringing a small/travel size bottle of soap and shampoo. Helpful Hint: Most Vacation Rental Companies in the area will provide you with a set of soaps and shampoos in every bathroom of your property. Soap, when applied in a lather helps to remove more sand and salt water than a fresh water shower alone. A little liquid soap will lather quickly and allow you a cursory cleaning before hopping back to your car or vacation rental (the person who owns the unit will thank you). Soap and shampoo remove salt water and moisturize your skin. Salt water removes moisture from your skin as long as it's on your skin. That goes double for your hair. So, be sure to clean yourself with soaps and shampoo at the shower.

A man uses baby powder to remove sand from his feet at the beach
Baby Powder or Talc-Free powder is a great way to remove sand from your feet and legs

Use Baby Powder or Cornstarch

This one will blow your mind. If you’re dealing with sand stuck to your skin, here’s a trick: use baby powder or cornstarch. Dust the affected area with baby powder or cornstarch and rub it off. The powder will absorb the moisture that’s making the sand stick to your skin, making it easier to remove. Helpful Hint: Don't use something that may cause cancer. We are familiar with the Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Cancer situation. When we go to the beach, we use a talcum-less version of baby powder made without all the garbage. Here's a link to what we use to remove beach sand so that you can check it out. Baby Powder substitutes are a great way to get rid of the sand, without having to spend a lifetime at the shower with a bunch of people on the verge of heatstroke, panting and barking at you like dogs at the pet store. You put it on, rub it off and then towel off any excess powder before you leave the boardwalk.

washing off beach toys and diving fins with a mesh bag and a hose
Washing off your beach gear is much easier with a mesh bag

Use a Mesh Bag

You cannot keep sand out of your stuff. You may try, and give it a really inspiring effort - but you will not be able to keep from brining at least some sand back to your car or rental. You can, however, limit the amount of sand that comes back with your beach toys and gear by using a mesh bag with drawstring. Mesh bags are designed to allow air and sand to move through, preventing build-up in your bags. If (you or) your child wants to take plastic shovels and sandcastle moulds to the beach, it behooves you to tote these items in a mesh bag. Not only does it make clean up a whole lot easier, but transport and clean up are 1,000 times better too. Instead of a gentle breeze blowing the toys from your hand or the cheap plastic bag that they come with at the store, you can throw the bag over your shoulder and walk casually toward the showers. At the showers you can rinse and shake excess sand from the bag in a breeze and be on your way in no time. When you get to your rental, you can hang the bag outside so that the toys can dry and be ready for the next day. Helpful Hint: Buy a diver's bag from a dive shop. A diver's gear bag is made to keep gear mold and mildew resistant. Therefore you can clean all your gear and hang it up to dry all while keeping it in the bag! Your stuff won't go everywhere and you won't get stressed out [hopefully! We cannot be held responsible for family members causing your anxiety to spike].

Remove Beach Sand: Not The Beach From Your Day

Don’t let the fear of getting sand stuck in your every nook and cranny stop you from enjoying the beach. With these tips, you’ll be able to clean your gear and body with ease, making your next beach trip more enjoyable. Remember, preparation is key. Bring a mesh bag, soap, shampoo, and some baby powder or cornstarch, and you’ll be good to go! Happy beach-going!

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