Macaroni and cheese. Bert and Ernie. Kids and messes. Some combinations just make sense. Little ones learn through doing, so it’s impossible to avoid occasional kid-created chaos. Luckily, there are fixes for most of these mishaps; below are solutions to some of the most common kid messes. 

Play-dough: Whether homemade or storebought, that colorful dough has parents cringing as it makes its way to the carpet and upholstered furniture. Fortunately, it’s simple to remove. 

  1. Let the abstract sculptures dry where they are. Whatever you do, avoid applying cleaner as it may unintentionally dye your carpet the color of the dough.  
  2. Once it’s completely dry, break up the pieces with your vacuum brush. 
  3. Vacuum up that art. 

Stickers: They make for great entertainment, but like all artsy kid items, it’s a struggle to get them to stay.on.the.paper. Here’s how to remove stickers from non-paper surfaces. 

Hard Surfaces 
  1. Soak the sticker in coconut or vegetable oil. 
  2. Using a hairdryer, blow on the adhesive in order to soften it. 
  3. Wipe it off. Then clean the remaining bits with hot, soapy water. 
  1. After scraping as much of the sticker off as possible, remove whatever is left with a pencil eraser.  
  2. As described above, use a hairdryer to soften. 
  3. Clean leftover residue with hot, soapy water. 

Milk: Perhaps it’s nothing to cry over, but some left unattended, spilled milk can spoil and become stinky. Here’s what to do. 

  1. Mix two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of gentle dish soap.  
  2. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the mixture and use it to soak the stain. 
  3. Continue to blot the area until the milk stain has disappeared.  

Permanent marker: When a kid has snagged this precious item from a parent’s desk, or “need it” for a poster board presentation, it’s inevitable that the ink will end up on an unintended surface. But you don’t have to accept the new, custom design; do this instead. 

  1. Cover the permanent markings with alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Make sure the liquid is covering all parts of the marker. 
  2. Allow it to sit for about 30 seconds, then wipe with a paper towel. Repeat as needed until it’s gone. 

Gum: Finding a wad of gum tucked into the carpet is a parenting rite of passage. The solution for this one is a little more involved, but it can be done. 

  1. Fill a small, plastic bag with ice and set it on the affected area. Allow it to freeze the gum completely. 
  2. When it’s hardened, scrape off what you can of the gum. 
  3. Use a liquid spray-able cleaner on the remaining bits. Cover the area with a dry towel or sponge and dab until all of the gum has been removed. 

Have a mess, kid-created or otherwise, that you need some assistance with? Call The Maidsthere’s nothing we can’t handle. 

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