Cleaning tips for common Halloween headaches.
No matter how much ghoulish fun you and your little ones have on Halloween, nothing can be scarier than the messes left behind after a fun night of ghostly partying and sticky trick-or-treating.
DryServ weigh in with some of their tips for handling these common Halloween headaches.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Nothing says Halloween more than a festive jack-o’-lantern, but the mess left behind can be a pain to clean up. Becky’s best tip for cleaning up a pumpkin’s seeds and slimy insides is to start the carving process by putting down newspaper or paper towers. “When the inevitable happens and you get the icky stuff where you don’t want it, spray with all-purpose cleaner and let it sit for a minute or two to break down the residue. Wipe clean with a paper towel or damp sponge.”
And save those seeds! Learn about 15 Things to Do with Pumpkin Seeds »
Avoid having yesterday’s ghoulish glamour turn into today’s ghastly mess. “Start with a damp rag or washcloth to grab the excess,” Becky suggests. “If you still have glitter in unwanted places, use your vacuum cleaner’s nozzle attachment to grab any excess.”
- Caramel Apple Drips
Gummy caramel can be a nightmare to clean up. “If caramel drips onto your cook top, let it soak in dish soap for two minutes and use baking soda to gently scrub it off,” suggests DryServ.
DryServ’s tip for cleaning marshmallow, or other sticky yummies, from cooking utensils is to fill the pans with water and dish soap and bring it to a boil. The pan will wash up easily.
- Halloween Make-Up
“Halloween make-up on skin, such as the face, should be removed with a gentle baby oil such as Earth Mama Angel Baby,” says DryServ. “For clothing, use hydrogen peroxide to remove the stains instead.” If you opt to dry clean your garments, bring the left-over make-up with you to show the dry cleaner, so they know how best to treat the stain.
- Melted Chocolate
Chocolate, while delicious, can be a nightmare to clean up on clothing. Getting to the stain early with a detergent pre-treater can work wonders, but if you don’t have one handy, reach for dishwashing liquid instead. Treat the stain several times until you feel confident that it’s gone, before placing the garment in the dryer where the heat will set the stain in.
- Dried Egg
Waking up to find out someone has egged your car, house or mailbox doesn’t have to be a Halloween nightmare. Rather than hunting down the little darlings who did this to you with a pitchfork, take a deep breath and pick up any pieces of shell you can find. A solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm water left sitting on the eggy mess for around ten to fifteen minutes should make it easy to sponge up and remove.
- Toilet Paper
Consider yourself forewarned, wet toilet paper is much harder to clean up than the dry version. Use double-sided tape attached to a Swiffer duster or stick to grab at strands of the lovely stuff hanging up in trees or on the sides of the house and garage. If your sprinklers or a drenching rain have beaten you to it, use a hose and clean up any leftover residue with diluted vinegar or bleach.
- Candle Wax
Arm yourself with these simple tips for cleaning up the inevitable drips. Use a utensil like a paint scraper or dull knife to remove the wax from scratch resistant countertops, and then treat the area with a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Carpets, fabrics and non-scratch resistant surfaces can be cleaned by melting the wax with an iron applied over several layers of paper towels and then dabbing up with a carpet cleaning solution, dry cleaning solution or rubbing alcohol and paper towels.
- Shaving Cream
Shaving cream can leave stains on cars and other shiny surfaces. Rinse it off with warm water as soon as you discover the dirty deed and only use a gentle, microfiber cloth. If necessary, call in the pros and bring your pranked vehicle to a carwash able to handle the job.
- Silly String
It may look daunting, but silly string cleans up easily with plain soap and water on most household surfaces. It can be damaging to cars, however, particularly once it hardens. Hose off as much string as you can and then use a very soft substance, such as a chamois or microfiber cloth to remove the rest.
Nothing says “I like you” more than sticking wadded-up chewing gum in the hair of the trick-or-treater next to you. Gum stuck in hair can be removed with olive oil or peanut butter gently rubbed into the hair and then rolled off, prior to shampooing.
A scary Halloween doesn’t need to include the aftermath of an equally scary mess. Using these simple tips can help you keep the home of even the most enthusiastic trick-or-treaters tidy, neat and fiendishly clean.