How to Clean Common Child-Induced Messes


Some parents say that you can have a clean house or you can have kids – choose wisely. But at Two Men & A Vacuum, we know that you don't have to choose between your sanity and keeping a clean house, even when your expert mess-makers are on a particularly messy streak as of late.

In the interest of preserving the little free time you likely have, let's troubleshoot some ways to clean up the literal sticky situations kids create.

How to Will Yourself to Clean House When You're Bone-Tired

Whether you're a new parent or your kids are well into grade school, chances are it's an uphill battle to keep the house in order for even a few days. The temptation to submit to the chaos may be strong. Those marker stains will go away eventually, right?

Not so fast, dear reader! Channel your inner strength and know that cleaning the house will make you feel better. After all, clutter creates stress and reduces productivity. By that measure, a clean, organized space can ostensibly boost your spirits.

Convinced? Good. Now use that inspiration to put these tips into practice:

  1. Create a cleaning schedule. Designate days of the week to tackle certain areas of the house so you don't overwhelm yourself. For example, maybe every Tuesday evening you clean the bathroom. Thursdays, the kitchen.
  2. Capitalize on kid-free time. Are the kids at that after-school art program? Taking a nap? Captivated in the playroom? It might be a good opportunity to get some quick cleaning in.
  3. Set a timer. This will help you from spending every minute of your kid-free time on chores. Decide that you're going to spend X minutes on a particular house cleaning task and not a second more. Try to make those minutes as productive as possible, and then treat yourself to a well-deserved break.
  4. Use a cleanup basket. No time to sort through the ambush of toys? Put them in a basket and have your kids sort through and put them in their appropriate places later.

Quick Cleaning Tips for the Strange Messes Children Make

Now that you're ready to clean, let's explore how to undo those creative messes children make around the house.

  • Crayon marks on the wall. Unless your child is the next Picasso, you probably don't want their artwork on your walls. But did you know a little toothpaste (the paste, not the gel kind) can help lift these stains? Apply the paste to the masterpiece, let it dry, and gently rub it from the wall.
  • Sticker gunk everywhere. There will never be a time that you contemplate the function of a sticker more than when you're trying to remove its reside. There are several high-chemical goo-removal products you can use, but if you're familiar with our penchant for green cleaning, you may already know that we prefer safe, natural cleaning solutions (more on that here: "How to Pick Safe Cleaning Solutions for Your Home or Office"). Good thing a little dishwashing liquid or a gob of peanut butter on the sticky area can do the trick! For peanut butter, apply it and gently wipe it away to get the residue off. The dishwashing soap route requires that you rinse the treated area with water.
  • Urine on the carpet. Young children may have accidents in places other than the bed. When your carpet is the scene of the crime, use a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to neutralize the area after you've sopped up most of the urine with paper towels. This works for pet accidents, too! For more on that, read, "Pet Problems: How to Rid Your Home of Pet Smells."
  • Melted crayons on hard surfaces (e.g., a cup holder). You'll need a hair dryer to help with this one. Turn the dryer on low heat, and direct the warm air toward the melted crayon. Wipe the slightly molten mess up with a paper towel while you continue blow-drying the crayon remnants.

No Time to Spare? Let Our Columbus House Cleaning Experts Pitch In

You know the old adage, "a little help goes a long way"? When you have children to care for and a career to build, those words couldn't be truer.

Plus, when you leave the cleaning to the professionals, you know that your Columbus home is getting the cleaning attention it needs on a regular basis. Book a free house cleaning consultation with us today, and we'll plan a cleaning schedule that works for you.