You finally have a moment to yourself, a chance to unwind with a good book and a glass of wine. The book is so good you can smell the chocolate… Wait, this book doesn’t have chocolate in it! You look over at your two-year-old daughter happily playing tea party – with her pink teacups full of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Chocolate sauce is smeared all over her, the dolls, and your white carpet. Gasping you look around and find a trail of chocolate footprints coming from the kitchen; you sigh, this will take a lot of cleaning.
Kids have a habit of producing messes. Rarely is it on purpose, they’re just having fun, but it can be overwhelming. Some days it seems all you do is clean your home. Here are four tips for cleaning up after your little (and not so little) ones, using everyday items in your home.
Accidents happen, especially while potty-training, and at night. Instead of trying to soak up the mess with ten bath towels, and using room spray to mask the smell, grab your salt cellar. Soak up any standing liquid, and cover the wet spot with a decent layer of salt. Go about your normal life for a few hours and let the salt do all the hard work. Once it’s dry, vacuum up the salt. Not only does the salt absorb the moisture, but it also absorbs the odor. This trick works on furniture, carpets, and mattresses!
Children struggle with the concept of only coloring on paper and many walls have fallen victim to the wandering crayon. But there is hope! Make a paste of baking soda and water, and scrub the artwork with a rag – or for tougher marks use an old toothbrush. For extra stubborn marks add a dash of vinegar to your paste (finally, that volcano experiment for grade school is coming in handy), and scrub away. If you’re concerned about damaging the wall, please test in a corner.
Baking soda also absorbs odors. Sprinkle some in the diaper pail to help keep smells from escaping. Or put a cup in a disposable plastic container and punch a few holes in the lid, put this in the closet to keep it from smelling like the boy’s locker room after a football game.
Injuries happen when kids are being kids. While you might reach for the hydrogen peroxide to dress a small wound, you should also use it to treat blood on clothes. Instead of tossing out that new shirt that was a casualty in a sword fight, drip a little hydrogen peroxide on it. The bubbles break down the proteins in the blood that cause stains. Wash the garment as usual and Viola! Just like new.
Bubblegum is so much fun! Until it ends up stuck to clothes, faces, and in hair. Instead of panicking or cutting those beautiful curly locks, grab an ice cube. The coldness of the ice cube hardens the gum, so it peels off easier. Once you’ve removed it, the hardened gum won’t immediately attach itself to something else. Now blowing bubbles won’t cause as much anxiety.
So next time Jr tries to be the next Picasso or an intense battle draws blood, you’ll have a few tricks up your sleeve. Or you could call a professional cleaning company, after all, you earned a break. Maybe one day you’ll get back to that book without being interrupted by a chocolate invasion.