Clean-up guide for common toddler messes
Because your toddler has a creative soul but a limited understanding of how to be neat, messes are inevitable. Things like crayon on the walls, stains on the carpet, and gum in clothes are frustrating, but they’re also very common. That means parents who have come before you have already discovered easy (or at least effective) ways to clean them up!
- Crayon on the walls: You can use glass cleaner, baking soda, and water, a washcloth with hot, soapy water, a blow dryer with soapy water, or WD-40 (plus soap and water to clean off the WD-40 residue…).
- Permanent marker: It depends on the surface, but toothpaste and baking soda can work wonders here! Just make sure you don’t use a gel toothpaste or any weird colors. On laminate, you can color over the permanent marker with a dry-erase marker and then wipe it off. WD-40 works on clothes, and a magic eraser can work on nearly everything without paint or a high-gloss finish.
- Stains on the carpet or upholstery: Try mixing hydrogen peroxide, water, and lemon juice to get out the stain, or you can use a mixture of dish soap, white vinegar, and club soda.
- Juice or flavored drink stain: Mix dish soap, vinegar, and salt and rub it into the stain!
- Baby food stains: Make a concoction of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap.
- Vomit: Baking soda will reduce the smell and form clumps around the vomit that you can sweep or vacuum up.
- Pee stains: Also baking soda!
- Sweat stains: A mixture of lemon juice and salt that you rub into the fabric should help with the stain. Sometimes simply washing the clothes works too – don’t mess with success!
- Stains on stuffed animals: If the animal is too delicate (or beloved) to wash, gentle rub a mix of dish detergent and water with a paper towel or washcloth.
- Gum on clothes: Putting the clothing in the freezer should reduce the gum’s adhesive power and allow you to remove it.
The moral of the story here is that baking soda is a gift to parentkind. For other miscellaneous messes, you can always try vinegar for smells, stain remover pens to keep stains from setting, and magic erasers for…whatever else. Just be mindful that some magic erasers can take paint and polish right off, so don’t scrub too hard!