Paint, Crayon & General Grime: How to Clean Kid Messes 

These days, parents are expected to do it all. While TV moms and dads might make it look easy to move from conference room to playroom, it can be incredibly frustrating to come home to a messy house after a long day at work – and the last thing you want to do as a parents is take it out on your child. After all, spills, stains, sticky fingers and general gunk come with the territory. 

So, we thought we’d gather some how-to tips for cleaning up the classic kid messes, allowing you to calmly tackle whatever calamity happened while you were on the clock. Here are some of our best solutions for stains in clothes, on walls… really, wherever your kid can reach. 


  • Pre-treat stains as soon as possible. Don’t hover every time the crayons come out, though – just have some OxiClean or a Tide pen on hand for when things get out of hand. 
  • Use hot water when washing stained items for the best results. 
  • Avoid harsh chemicals for stain-removal, as they have the tendency to damage colors.  


Alright, now let’s talk types of stains. Trigger warning to the neat freaks out there…  



When dealing with stained walls, make a solution of liquid laundry detergent and warm water to soften the paint. Scrape with a dull knife, rinse and repeat, finally blotting dry with a clean cloth. For clothes, machine wash. 



If crayon marks get on clothing, you can spray the area with WD-40 and let it sit for a few minutes. Do this on both sides, then dab the stain with dishwashing detergent and wash it in hot water. If we’re talking walls, try a dry-cleaning sponge like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser – it’s a quick fix and it won’t damage paint. 



Lay the stained clothing item on a clean white towel and blot at the stain with rubbing alcohol. Rinse it, dab with liquid laundry detergent and throw it in the wash. 



Do get rid of that gooey gunk that kids love to play with, mix white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spraying and blotting the stain until it is gone. 



Most kids go through a short bedwetting phase – and that’s totally normal. The best way to treat these stains is to start by blotting the affected area with towels and then spraying a mixture of white vinegar and water on the area, blotting again to dry. After that’s done, cover the entire stained area with baking soda and let it sit for at least eight hours. Vacuum the baking soda up, and you’re good to go. 


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