Earnest Parenting.com logo

Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Children are wonderful and curious little people. Loving and caring for them usually includes also cleaning up after them. There are some common messes that children will make, no matter how vigilant you are about keeping at eye on them. It is prudent to think and plan ahead about how to deal with the following messy possibilities so that you have the skills and supplies necessary when the time comes.

Art Related Messes
Children often show a flair for artistic expression. While it is wonderful to nurture these artistic explorations, keep in mind that crayons and markers sometimes find their way onto walls, and paint sometimes stains clothing or gets spilled on walls and carpets. Sometimes paint splashes can even mysteriously be found on ceilings. Luckily, washable crayons, markers, and paints are easy to remove from smooth surfaces with simply a wet paper towel or rag. If you find yourself dealing with an unexpected non washable art design, try using a small amount of baby oil to remove it. Vinegar and magic erasers can also be used to remove stains. When dealing with a spill on a carpet, remember the rule of blotting, rather than rubbing.

Milk Spills
While you may have heard the saying about not crying over spilled milk, be ready to deal with cleaning spilled milk. Deal with milk spills promptly. Old milk tends to acquire a sour smell that lingers. Blot milk spills on carpet, and then use warm soapy water. Consider treating stains with lemon juice.

Water Messes
The bathroom is the scene for many kid messes. Many children are delighted to unroll toilet paper or squirt out the contents of a tube of toothpaste. These messes, however, are minor compared to watery bathroom messes. When curious children jam way too much toilet paper in the toilet, or attempt to flush away a toy, there is often an overflow. In the bath tub, although there is an overflow drain, children sometimes create their own sea of waves, which wash out onto the floor. Some water messes can be cleaned up with extra towels and disinfectants, but others require professional water extraction. You’ll need to contact a company like AAA Restoration & Carpet Cleaning to avoid needing extensive water damage restoration in Salt Lake City or wherever you live. After the issue is resolved, try to emphasize leaving the toilet alone and monitor bath time. Also try to avoid storing anything on top of your toilet tank. This removes the temptation factor for flushing items down the toilet.

Gum Messes
Kids love chewing gum, but they often don’t realize the sticky mess that can ensue when gum gets stuck in hair or on upholstery. If you need to remove gum from your child’s hair, try rubbing an ice cube over the involved area. If you need to remove gum from a car seat or furniture, you can also rub an ice cube over it. Put the ice cubes in a plastic bag if your fingers get too cold holding them. Next, use a soft toothbrush and a solution of gentle dish detergent and water to remove any remaining gum.

Juice Spills
Children also love juice, but juice spills can be tricky and sticky to clean up. Deal with them promptly, and blot, rather than rub. Doing this will allow a paper towel or cleaning rag to absorb most of the liquid. Use some water and gentle detergent. If you have a portable deep cleaner, use this to remove evidence of the spill. Many compact deep cleaning machines even come with special stain tools and accessories. Treat juice quickly, other grape juice or other dark juices can leave stains on carpets or paint.

Preventative planning is a good way to fend off messes. Teach your kids common sense rules such as only drinking juice while seated at the table, and using the bathroom facilities for their intended purpose. The fact remains though, that kids need to explore their world, and also that they are developing motor skills. Spills and messes happen. It is a good idea to just take a deep breath and remind yourself that childhood is precious and there are many solutions for any type of mess.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who need to clean up messes.