15 Tips for Cleaning Tough Kids Stains Up Around the House

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Where there are children, there will be stains. From overzealous artists to accidental spills and loss of bodily fluids, there are few areas that kids are more adept in than creating messes that are difficult to clean up. These 15 tips can help you remove the most common and most stubborn stains, allowing you to have kids and nice things in your house at the same time.

  1. Zap Bedwetting Stains With a Black Light and Cornstarch – Potty training isn’t always easy, and accidents are especially common at night. Getting those urine stains out of a mattress isn’t a lost cause, though. Mix cornstarch with enough water to form a paste and allow it to dry for several hours. Vacuum the dried paste, then hit the lights and examine the mattress with a black light. If there’s any remaining urine, it will glow under the black light. Another treatment with the cornstarch paste should do the trick if there’s anything left.
  2. Remove Blood Stains with Hydrogen Peroxide – Kids skin their knees, scrape their elbows and find creative ways of injuring themselves. When those war wounds leave blood on your carpet, treat them with hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Treat All Stains With Urgency – Regardless of the stain or your removal method, the most effective stain treatment is urgency. The sooner you start working on a stain, the less likely it is to be permanent.
  4. Use Wall Erasers to Remove Crayon Wall Art – If a budding Picasso becomes so overeager that the walls are adorned with her artwork, commercially-available wall erasers will usually remove the colored wax without stripping the paint.
  5. Clean Up Permanent Marker Ink With Hairspray – Should a small child get his hands on a permanent marker, you can rest assured that he will end up using that marker on a surface you’d rather not be decorated permanently. Spritz the stain with a liberal amount of hairspray, then follow with soapy water.
  6. Get Crayon Marks Out of Carpet With Lubricant Spray – Crayons aren’t intended for use on carpet, but your child probably doesn’t care. Should you find crayon marks on the carpet, the spray lubricant will lift it from the fibers without spreading the pigments around.
  7. Remove Tree Sap With Glycerin and a Spoon – When an adventurous kid learns to climb trees, you can bet that she will promptly track the sap into the house on the bottom of her shoes. Saturate the sap with a bit of glycerin, then scrape it away with a spoon. When the sap is gone, clean up the glycerin mess with warm, soapy water.
  8. Use Enzyme Cleaners to Remove Protein-Based Stains – Protein-based stains that result from spillage of bodily fluids don’t have to be permanent. Treat them promptly with an enzyme cleaner that will break those proteins down.
  9. Attack Chocolate Stains With an Iron and Paper Towels – Chocolate stains are common when there are kids in the house, and they can be a real challenge to remove. The next time your bundle of joy smears chocolate into fabric, reach for your iron and a paper towel. Cover the stain with the paper towel and iron over it. The heat from the iron will melt the chocolate, and the paper towel will absorb it.
  10. Remove Grass Stains With Meat Tenderizer – Instead of using chemical pre-treatment products on grass stains in kids’ clothes, try sprinkling a bit of meat tenderizer on them and rubbing it into the stain before laundering as normal.
  11. Clean Up Ink Stains With Rubbing Alcohol – The same rubbing alcohol that kills germs will also kill the ink stain left behind after your child finds a ballpoint pen and promptly breaks it open.
  12. Use Ice To Remove Wayward Chewing Gum – Chewing gum can end up anywhere in your house when kids chew it, except for their mouths. Apply an ice cube to the sticky mess, then crumble the gum when it hardens for stress-free removal.
  13. Clean Tea and Coffee Stains With Vinegar and Baking Soda – Kids don’t just spill their own drinks, they’re also pros at knocking over coffee cups and glasses of tea. A bubbly mixture of vinegar and baking soda will remove those stubborn stains from your carpet, though.
  14. Don’t Rush to the Steam Cleaner – Investing in a heavy-duty steam cleaner for your carpet may seem like a smart move when you have kids, but just five uses can remove the stain-guarding treatment. Try to hold off on using the steam cleaner to preserve the life of your carpet.
  15. Remove Mud Stains With Dish Soap and Water – Mud stains contain a wonderful variety of organic substances, from greasy particles to proteins. After you’ve vacuumed dried clumps of mud out of your carpet, the same soap you use on your dishes and a bit of water will usually do the trick.
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