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How to Tackle Summer Messes

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Tackle Summer Messes

Mess doesn't take a vacation. To help parents reclaim their summers and not spend all of their time cleaning up after the kids, we are excited to share some cleaning solutions for the top five kid-made messes from Debra Johnson, a national cleaning expert for Merry Maids. Check out Debra's simple solutions for moms and kids to conquer the sandiest and stickiest messes this summer.

The Ice Pop Drips: Ice pops are always a fan favorite once the weather warms up – but when the frozen treats start melting all over the carpet or furniture, they are not always a favorite to clean up. Johnson explains the best home remedy for removing an ice pop stain from upholstery or carpeting is to dampen the stained area with dish washing liquid solution. From there, place a white terry cloth towel over the solution and run over the towel with a hot iron – this will help transfer much of the stain to the towel.

  • Get the kids involved: An easy way for kids to help keep their hands clean and the floors dry is to make a DIY ice pop holder. Johnson suggests parents help their kids cut a hole in the bottom of a cupcake wrapper and place the wrapper around the base of the ice pop stick – use multi-colored or printed wrappers to make it fun and personal. This will catch all of the drips and drops and keep kids’ hands (and moms’ floors) from getting sticky.

Surviving Rainy Days with Glitter: On rainy summer days, keeping the kids entertained indoors is a survival coping skill, and many times, the best forms of entertainment involve glitter, glue, paint, and markers. A day of arts and crafts can be fun for the whole family, but leaves a lot to clean. Cleaning up glitter can be a nightmare, but Johnson has some simple steps to help contain the sparkly mess. She suggests spreading paper or plastic over the table before starting any craft projects – hopefully most of the glittery residue will stay on the paper, but prepare for some spillover.

  • Get the kids involved: Make DIY lint rollers with the kids so they can own the cleanup responsibility. Help them create a loop of tape, sticky side up, that fits loosely around their fingers or hands so they can tap the sparkly surfaces and capture any glitter that got left behind.

Sticky Season: Neighborhood lemonade stands and juice boxes are summer staples, but there’s no avoiding the spills when the kids are running in and out of the house for refreshments. To help prevent the spill area from being sticky, Johnson says the best trick is to wipe up the lemonade or juice immediately – first with a paper towel and then with a wet microfiber cloth, soaked in warm water, to ensure no residue is left behind. If the juice spill occurs on a cloth surface, rub the wet area with ice cubes and blot the area with a dry microfiber cloth.

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  • Get the kids involved: Turn the cleanup task into a team project and get the kids involved by having one person rub the juice stain with an ice cube while the other pats the area dry.

Sand-y Days Ahead: One fun way to entertain the family during the long summer days is to plan a day at the beach. However, before leaving the beach, make sure to use a towel to dust as much sand off of the kids’ feet as possible, to avoid tracking the sand inside. Johnson also recommends keeping a bottle of baby powder nearby. The baby powder helps remove moisture from the skin, making it easier to wipe the sand off before it gets into the house.

  • Get the kids involved: Before entering the house, Johnson encourages kids to do a little dance on a door mat with bare feet –taking four or five steps on the mat will transfer the sandy soil from their feet to the mat, instead of from their feet to the floor. This will keep debris out of the house and help prevent any scratching of the floor.

Water, Water Everywhere: Warmer weather means kids are spending more time in the water – whether it’s jumping into a neighborhood pool, splashing friends with the garden hose, or running around on a slip ‘n’ slide. However, water activities lead to wet swim suits and soggy towels that can leave marks and water stains throughout the house. Once the kids are done playing in the water, Johnson recommends parents entertain the kids outside for five to ten minutes before heading back into the house, allowing enough time for swim suits to dry.

  • Get the kids involved: To make it easier for the kids to help prevent any slippery messes, Johnson recommends setting up a towel tree by the pool or placing a laundry line in the bathroom on which kids can hang their swimsuits and towels to dry completely.
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