How To Clean Up The Hard To Clean Messes Kids Make

As a parent, you will end up cleaning at least one epic mess. All kids make messes. One of my kids would ask for food and 10 minutes later and the food would be in the garbage can. After awhile I said no more asking for food if you will not eat all the food. I was so happy when the kid stopped wasting food. Well, I was happy until after I found my child hid food behind the dresser.

Kids can make huge messes. Some of the worst messes are kids coloring all over themselves with a marker. My nightmare mess is when kids spill nail polish all over the floor. When it happens to you, that mess can ruin your day. I wish I could give you a glass of wine and tell you to sit down and relax while I clean. That is not possible. But I can tell you how to clean the mess yourself. 

Kids leave little fingerprints all over everything. It is hard to clean up those fingerprints especially on stainless steel. I’ve bought expensive stainless steel cleaner and tried Method stainless steel cleaner. Nothing worked as good as Lemon Pledge. Spray pledge on the appliance then wipe in the direction of the grain.


The fingerprints on glass sometimes look cuter than the streaks glass cleaners leave. I love Method cleaners but everything I tried left streaks. In the bathroom things like hair spray and other personal care items can leave a residue on the mirror. The best way of removing anything from the glass without leaving streaks is alcohol. A spray bottle filled with 70% rubbing alcohol is perfect for fingerprints. 

Alcohol is a great glass cleaner and kills germs and will sanitize the surfaces in your home. Because alcohol evaporates you need not worry about coming back to wipe up. This will also loosen stickers on glass. They will scrape off with an old credit card. 

After fingerprints the worst thing for me as a mom and a renter are carpet stains. A steam cleaner or stain removing cleaner machine are wonderful to own. Some stains will not come out. Using the machine on the same stains many times will wear down the carpet. For carpet stains try using a spot remover and blotting the stain first. 

One of the scariest and worst spills is Nail polish! Nail polish and magic marker will come out of carpet. Seventy percent rubbing alcohol works great on these stains. You blot the stain with a microfiber cloth. Repeat until the stain comes out. The removal process takes about 5-10 minutes. 

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Alcohol can remove a lot of stains in the carpet and laundry. Some stains may not come out and may take several cleanings to even fade. 

This is why Hawaiian Punch is not welcome in my home. I allowed Hawaiian Punch back in but my husband spilled Hawaiian Punch all over the carpet. Hawaiian Punch is the hardest thing to get out carpet! An unusual method may remove stains from carpets. This will require an old towel, vinegar, and an iron. 

What you do is apply diluted vinegar to the carpet. There are different ratios for vinegar to water. For a set stain resistant to removal, I use undiluted vinegar. Professional car detailers keep vinegar in their kits to pretreat old stains. I suggest you apply the vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes or longer. I prefer to use undiluted vinegar I have put in a spray bottle. After spraying vinegar on the stain use the towel to cover the stain and press. Repeat the process until the stain comes out.

Between the rubbing alcohol and the vinegar and iron trick most of the stains will come out the carpet. If a stain appears on your carpet and you don’t know it is always start with rubbing alcohol. Alcohol is a wonderful cleaning agent that can remove so many stains and is used for many purposes. If your child goes to town with a sharpie on their skin, the ink will come out. Rubbing alcohol will remove or lighten the ink. Alcohol on a cotton ball works best. Permanent marker lightens over time the best way to lighten ink is with rubbing alcohol. 

Most toys like Lego's or Bathtub toys that will get dirty but are hard to clean them. You can put Lego's, kids bathtub toys, or other plastic toys in the dishwasher. A mesh laundry bag will prevent any small toys from falling out of the rack. I turn off the heat so that the toys will not melt. If toys fall out and land on the heating element, they can melt so be sure that the toys are secure on the top rack. If bathtub toys have a hard water residue use vinegar. Vinegar in a measuring cup on top rack of the dishwasher will remove most hard water residue. 

Stuffed animals can get disgusting and many think they cannot machine wash them. If you are afraid that the stuffed animal will rip or you can hand wash the toy. I wash stuffed animals in a pillowcase I tie off. I always use the delicate cycle. You can machine dry many stuffed animals on low heat or lay them on a towel to dry. 

One of the most revolting things you’ll ever smell as a parent is a cup of milk they left sitting out for days. Even if there’s a little milk in the bottom the class is smells disgusting. The easiest way to fix this is to rinse the cup out and fill with cold water and drop a denture tablets in. Let the denture cleaner penetrate the sour milk for a few hours then rinse and wash. 

I use denture tablets to clean my coffee cups and wine glasses as well.

I use denture tablets to clean my coffee cups and wine glasses as well.

This one makes my stomach turn because we all give our kids sippy cups and water bottles. Sometimes our kids use those same cups or bottles for days. What we do not notice is sometimes the inside the cup, or the straw develops a slime on it. I have washed these in the dishwasher and they still had the slime on them! Fill the cup or bottle with fresh water and add a denture tablet make sure you soak the straw in the cup too. I will take a large bowl and fill it water and denture tablets and give cup lids a soak. Let the cups, bottles, and lids sit for a while then rinse. Then was them with soap and water. 

Last but not least is glitter. Play Dough will pick glitter right up. On upholstery I use a lint roller.

As a parent your children will make huge messes and many of them will not need any special tools or cleaner. The problem is messes like nail polish or marker. Those things can damage or even ruin carpets, clothing, and flooring. The right cleaners can tackle them with little hassle. I hope this post helps.

 If you want to learn more about speed cleaning click here.

If you want to learn how I keep my tubs clean without scrubbing click here.

How To Clean Up Your Kids Worst Messes. #cleaning #motherhood