One of the scariest parts about Halloween is the frightening mess that’s always left behind. Between the prankster's toilet papering your trees and chucking eggs at your house, to the ooey gooey candy and pumpkin leavings and makeup left behind on the carpet, cleaning up can take the fun out of the holiday for mom or dad (mostly mom). Well, you don’t need to dread Halloween’s ghoulish aftermath any more thanks to the following quick, easy and cheap ways to clean up those ooey, gooey, gloppy Halloween messes.
The Halloween Treats
Oh, that dreaded gum! What’s the point of gum anyway? Sure, the kids enjoy it for a couple of minutes, but then it ends up in their hair or on the floor. Well, instead of giving the kids an unsightly haircut to get rid of it, you can gently rub peanut butter or olive into their hair, gently rolling the gum off before shampooing; this actually works great.
Next, let’s move on to chocolate, just about everybody’s favorite and a nightmare to get out of fabric. The best thing you can do is to get to the stain early using a pre-treatment detergent, or using a good dishwashing detergent, treating the stain until it’s gone before laundering it – and definitely before putting it in the dryer.
Then there’s caramel which can seem like a real headache to clean up, but it’s actually not that difficult. Caramel drips on the stove can be removed by letting the area soak in a bit of dish soap or all-purpose cleaner and tougher spots can be removed by scrubbing the area gently with baking soda. To clean up caramel or marshmallow or other ooey, gooey messes off of cooking pans and utensils, just fill the pans with dish soap and water, add your utensils and bring the mixture to a boil. Next, just let everything cool off enough to handle and rinse off any remaining goo.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to removing candle wax is not to try to remove hot wax because you’ll both burn yourself and cause it to spread. Instead, wait until it has cooled and break it up with a Popsicle stick or a butter knife (or something else with a dull edge), throwing away the big chunks. Next, use a rag to cover any remaining bits of wax and run a warm iron over it, replacing the towel as you go to prevent the wax from being re-applied to the next area. Replace the rag frequently to avoid spreading any wax that may be left on the towel. Wax is fairly easy to remove from scratch resistant countertops as well, using a dull knife or paint scraper, followed by using a gentle all-purpose cleanser.
Those darned eggs! If your home has “egged” time is definitely not your friend; you’ll want to get it cleaned up right away. Once it has had time to set in, baked into your siding, you’ll be faced with a stain that’s hard to remove. To clean it off, using a hose, wet the area below the egg, followed by gently spraying above the egg on the siding. This way, as the water falls over the area, it will flush away the entire mess. For more stubborn spots, fill up a bucket full of warm sudsy water (using dish soap), and lightly scrub away the remainder of the egg/shells.
Nothing represents Halloween more than a festive, carved pumpkin, but the mess that’s left behind can be a real pain to deal with. The best way to clean up the slimy insides and pumpkin seeds you scoop out during the process is to lay down newspapers first or an old towel. If these messy pumpkin bits and pieces end up where you don’t want it, just get out your all-purpose cleaner and spray the area, letting it sit for a bit, then wipe it clean.
Halloween Makeup; Boo, Hiss
Sure, it’s not really Halloween without fun, colorful makeup (how can you be a clown or vampire without it?) but it can be a challenge to clean up. The good news is that, if it’s on your carpet or furniture, good upholstery or carpet cleaner should do the trick but you’ll want to test it out first on a small, inconspicuous area, also keeping in mind that you should never rub the cleaner in; just dab the spot, working from the outer edge in. To remove Halloween makeup from skin, a gentle baby oil should work and to remove it from clothing hydrogen peroxide will do the trick.
So, to avoid those ghastly Halloween messes, keep some Pure Care dish soap or all-purpose cleaner handy and you’ll be good to go.