August 15, 2016 by Jake Clayton
You’ve given your kids several warnings, threats and driven yourself crazy while trying to stop them from making a mess on your just cleaned kitchen floor or newly acquired couch. Since you can’t stuff them in a straitjacket for the rest of their lives, you’ve just had to accept that there’s really no way you can stop your kids from making a mess. So how can you make home cleaning easier?
We’ve got 8 helpful tips for you.
1. Play-doh on the floor and carpet
So your kids are done with their little session of snake rolling and cookie cutting and now they’ve left tiny pieces of their snakes and cookies all over the floor and on your carpet.
Your first instinct would be to sweep or wipe them up immediately! This is a HUGE mistake because you’ll only be doing more damage.
The tiny pieces of play-doh are still pliable and if you try to wipe them up, you’ll only be smearing them on the floor or embedding them into your carpet. So what should you do?
To clean up your floor, let the dough dry out first. It should take an hour or two. Then vacuum, sweep or wipe up with a dry paper towel.
To clean up your carpet, let the bits stuck to the rug dry up then scrape and pick them up with a knife or credit card. A stiff brush should loosen up any stubborn bits.
If the dough happens to leave behind a coloured stain, wet a paper towel or cloth with rubbing alcohol or dish soap and cold water and then blot.
2. Chewing gum
Kids love chewing gum but not when it gets stuck to their hair and it sure isn’t much fun for you when it gets stuck to your upholstery.
If gum gets onto your child’s hair or on your upholstery, rub some ice on it until it becomes stiff. It will be much easier to get it out of your child’s hair and from your upholstery when it’s stiff because it will be less sticky and chewy. If your fingers get too cold while holding the ice, put it inside a plastic bag and hold it over the affected area.
If any gum remains on your upholstery, brush it away using a soft brush and a solution of gentle dish soap and water.
3. Dinner disasters
If you are like most mums, you know by now that feeding your child certain foods leaves a huge mess. Take for example feeding them rice. Half of the serving usually ends up on the floor. You can stop giving them rice until they learn to eat it without leaving a mess behind or you can get a dog to eat whatever spills on the floor. Unfortunately, those options aren’t practical for most people. So just like cleaning up play-doh, you’ll have to let these tiny dinner disasters dry up then sweep them up. Wipe up any marks left on the floor with a damp cloth.
4. Pee stains on the couch, mattress or carpet
If you witness them peeing, you can act fast and soak it up with a towel then dilute the stain by pouring a glass of lukewarm water over the area. Apply pressure with a towel and soak up the stain. Alternatively, you can use a pet pee cleaner. Spray it on the stained area, rinse with water and blot with a towel.
If you notice a lingering odour, you can make your own deodorizer to get rid of the smell. Mix half a cup of lukewarm water with half a cup of white vinegar and add a pinch of baking soda. Spray onto the affected area as needed and let it dry. This method works on mattresses too.
5. Crayon on the walls
Give a kid a crayon and the only place she’ll be colouring will be your walls. Maybe next time you’ll strap them into their high chair and let them colour from there? But for now, just grab your hair dryer and paper towels or cloth.
Blast heat onto the crayon to warm up the wax then just wipe away. Alternatively, you can remove the stains naturally using some essential lemon oil, water, a Q-tip and a wash cloth. It’s not advisable to use a magic eraser because it could remove the crayon stains as well as your paint.
6. Poop in the bathtub
Yeah, it happens and if it hasn’t happened to you, you should consider yourself lucky. So here’s what you should do if it ever happens…
Get your kid out of the water immediately. If you have another bathtub or somewhere else you can finish washing them up, do that first and then go back to deal with the mess.
If the poop is watery or tiny, let it drain. If it’s solid, you have to do what dog owners do. Get a plastic bag, stick your hand in it and fish the poop out. Turn the bag inside out over your hand and throw the mess away. Drain the water and wipe away any stains with baby wipes or paper towels. Sanitize the entire tub with a sanitizing spray. Don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards.
7. Milk on the couch
Just like pee, if you notice it happening, act fast and soak it up with a towel. Remove the cushion cover to prevent the milk from soaking in. Clean the remaining milk from the cover by wiping it away using a damp cloth and gentle dish soap. Or you can toss it in the laundry.
If it’s old milk, the smell will definitely let you know what happened. Get the stain wet again and then follow the steps we’ve mentioned. If the smell won’t go away, try the DIY deodorizer we mentioned in tip number 4.
8. A soiled onesie
Do you know what can unsoil a soiled onsesie after a diaper blow out? No, not your ordinary laundry soap but the sun. As soon as your little one stains their onesie, rinse it out with cold water and let the sun bleach the stain away. If it’s an old stain or the sun is a rare commodity where you live, you can always use a pet stain remover. However, you should be careful with the pet stain remover because it might be too harsh for your baby’s skin.