Spending all of this time at home with your kids is far from boring. While staying inside a lot and social distancing, it is understandable that your kids will be doing more than watching TV. From arts and crafts to makeovers, learning new recipes and the occasional accident, there is a lot going on in your home and on your carpet. Don’t let an uh-oh on your carpet ruin your day. Stain possibilities are endless, and luckily each one has a solution. Here are a few of the most common messes—and what you can do about them.
Slime is a YouTube phenomenon among preteens. While it may be popular with the kids, it is not a friend to your carpet. Slime is a unique play material that is commonly made from glue, food coloring, and borax. Sometimes there are decorative items added to the recipe, such as glitter or beads, which creates a fun new texture in the slime but can also mean more stains and difficult messes.
Ideally, if your kids drop their slime on your carpet, you would notice it right away and clean it up. You can clean up slime using a white towel and a mixture of 1⁄4 teaspoon of clear hand dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of water. But if it goes unnoticed and hardens, you should first gently scrape away as much of the dried slime as you can, and then use the same mixture of soap and water to remove any leftover residue.
Who doesn’t love family spaghetti night? Apparently, many Americans do! As families quarantine at home, pasta is flying off store shelves. Spaghetti and tomato sauce is a kid-approved family night staple among many households across America. Since everyone is cooped up at home, meals are taking place all over the house—including on the comfy rug in front of the TV while your kids watch their favorite shows.
Don’t let a little tomato sauce on your carpet leave you in a tizzy. There is an easy solution to clean up this yummy meal. Using a sturdy paper towel, firmly press on the stain to absorb any sauce residue. After that, mix together 1⁄4 teaspoon of clear hand dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of water to create a sauce stain cleaner. Use a cloth or sponge to blot the affected area with the cleaner. Finally, blot any leftover cleaner with cold water and pat dry.
Ah, glitter…your daughter’s first choice when she reaches for the arts and crafts box. To your kids, glitter is an easy, fun way to decorate their paintings, toys, hair and makeup to add an extra twinkle. But to parents, glitter is no friend. Glitter is small, clingy and extremely hard to clean. It can stick to any surface and, if not taken care of, can remain for months.
When cleaning glitter, it is important to remember to be diligent and go back over your work. You will want to start by vacuuming the area, but not just once. Vacuum over the area multiple times and in different directions to get the best results. If you find there is still glitter taunting you with its sparkle, use a broom and sweep the area to bring the glitter out of its hiding spots. Vacuum the space once more and the use a wet paper towel to dab the area and pick up any remnants.
Many parents quarantined at home with small children are using this as an opportunity to tackle potty training. This rite of passage can be a frustrating experience for children and parents, and accidents are absolutely inevitable. Just remember that accidents happen, and one day you’ll laugh about them! In the meantime, here’s how to clean up potty accidents.
For liquid stains, you can create a cleaning solution with a mixture of 1⁄4 teaspoon of clear hand dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of water. Apply your solution to a clean white towel and wipe the soiled area till clean. For solid stains, use a moist towel to pinch the carpet fibers. This will pick up any left-over material. To clean up any remaining residue and prevent odors, blot the soiled area using a cleaner made of 1⁄2 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of lukewarm water. It’s important to never use ammonia on urine stains.
No childhood craft is complete without glue. The material literally holds everything together for your little ones’ arts and crafts projects. Unfortunately, it does the same for the fibers in your carpet. If arts and crafts time accidentally ends up in your carpet, there is no need to fret. Glue may seem like the strongest material to your child, but luckily you know otherwise.
To remove glue from your carpet, you will need to first remove as much of the glue as possible by blotting the area with a damp towel. If the glue has dried into your carpet, carefully use a spoon or knife to scrape the area. Then wipe the area with a mixture of 1⁄4 teaspoon of clear hand dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of water until you’re satisfied that the glue is gone.
While a day at the nail salon may be out of the picture, you can bring the salon home by experimenting with DIY manicures. Unfortunately, nail polish stains are much more permanent than a manicure–and they don’t chip after a week or two. But if an accidental drop of the brush or a spill of the nail polish bottle takes place on your floors, there’s no need to panic. You can quickly switch from client to supermom.
It is important to act fast when cleaning up nail polish stains. Blot the stain with a mixture of 1⁄4 teaspoon of clear hand dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of water. Repeat the process until no more nail polish comes off on the towel. If the stain is stubborn, switch to a mixture of 2 tablespoons of non-bleaching, non-sudsing household ammonia with 1 cup of lukewarm water and blot until the stain is gone.
As much as you love your little one’s art, you might prefer it you stay on the paper. But if your house is full of little Picassos running around, chances are you have a paint stain or two in your home. These “creative liberties” are bound to happen on your carpet eventually, so it is important to know how to clean them.
To clean wet paint out of your carpet, blot the area with a wet paper towel and liquid dish soap. If the paint has dried, carefully scrape off as much of the dried paint as you can with a spoon or knife before blotting and cleaning the area. Then vacuum to reveal a clean carpet.
While keeping your kids happy and healthy at home right now is important, it is also important to take care of your carpet and keep it clean when spills, messes and accidents occur. We hope these tips and tricks help keep your entertaining area clean and ready for your kids’ next big adventure.