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The 5 Worst Messes Your Kid Creates (and how to clean them)

Published on Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The 5 Worst Messes Your Kid Creates (and how to clean them)

Cleaning before children was a whole different ballgame.

It was simple, efficient, and free from the sticky unidentified goo and countless interruptions.

Here are the most common kid-related chores and some handy hacks to help you get ahead of the game.

 

5 Most Common Kid-Related Messes

Kids Mess

Life with kids is chaotic and messy. It is quite remarkable how much mess pint-sized people can make. These are the 5 mishaps you’re most likely to encounter when you’ve got kids at home plus the best ways to clean and perhaps prevent the mess being made in the first place.

 

1 Floor Faux Pas

It can often feel that your kids are wreaking havoc on your floors on purpose (they’re not … we don’t think). Here are a few of the floor dramas you’re most likely to experience with children at home.

 

1.1 |Gritty Floors

Gritty Floor

Let me set the scene. It’s been a long day and you’ve just brought your child home from daycare. As you start their bath and prepare dinner, your child takes their shoes off. And empties the entire contents of the daycare sandbox onto your floors. The first thing to do when this makeshift beach appears in your kitchen is to grab a dustpan and brush (or vacuum), contain the sand, and be as thorough as possible. Sand could scratch your hardwood or tiles so it’s best to put the bath on hold and get on top of this.

You could also implement a shoes-off at the door policy to keep any sand or mud outside.

 

1.2 |Sticky Messes

Sticky Chocolate on Carpet

Some sites recommend vinegar, but because it can etch natural tiles and wear down hardwood floors, it isn’t your best option. Mix a squirt of dishwashing detergent (pH neutral) in a bucket of warm water to wipe down the area. Dry the area properly to ensure it isn’t slippery.

 

1.3 |Dragging Furniture

Floor Scratches

My 3-year-old has recently taken to moving her portable step around the house to take on important tasks (such as retrieving snacks from the pantry). Unfortunately, our timber floors are paying the price. How to fix this? Pop felt pads on the bottom of any items regularly dragged across the floor.

Try to minimize the use of items on wheels (bikes, doll prams, toy trucks, etc) on hard floors where you can.

 

1.4 |Dinner Mess

Dinner Mess on Carpet

After dinner, you can usually pick the child’s seat by the circle of mess left underneath. For babies or toddlers, you can put a mess mat under certain seats to keep the scraps in check. It’s also worth giving under the table a quick check and wipes after meals. It takes a minute or two and could save you from uncovering a nasty surprise during your weekly floor clean.

 

2 Classic Carpet Stains

2.1 |Vomit

Vomit

This is one of the most unpleasant stains and it often occurs in the middle of the night. Arm yourself with some old towels and baking soda, and follow our tips here to get that stain (and signature stench) out of your house for good.

 

2.2 |Urine

Urine on Mattress

Toilet training is always challenging. Unfortunately, this means that our mattress, carpet, or lounge become stained with urine that isn’t always easy to get out.

These disposable mattress protectors do a great job of containing accidents – they were a life-saver when we were toilet training. You can also buy washable bed pads, which are more expensive, but still cheaper than replacing a mattress.

For couch or carpet accidents, try our stain treatment tips.

 

2.3 |Red Cordial

Red Cordial Stain on Carpet

Although tasty for kids, cordial is disastrous for carpets. The key factor is to act quickly – following these tips could mean a red cordial spill isn’t necessarily curtains for your carpets.

 

3 Wall Art

Wall art Cleaning

Here’s a handy tip. Rubbing alcohol (also known as Isocol) does a phenomenal job of removing ink. Put some of the alcohol onto a white cloth or towel and gently blot the artwork. Make sure you do a test on a hidden area first if you’re using it on your lounge. It works, but it does take time and patience.

 

4 Endless Laundry

Pile of Laundry

How can someone so small generate so much additional washing? I remember those newborn days well and having to change my daughter’s (or my) outfit a couple of times a day – so much washing! There aren’t many ways around this one, unfortunately. Other than outsourcing to a maid service (the costs are more reasonable than you may think), you’ll just have to make the best of it.

Fold while you’re watching television or listening to your favourite music. Better yet, if the kids are older, teach them to fold their own clothes. At the very least, kids as young as 3 or 4 should be able to take their own clothes to their room.

 

5 Toy Troubles

Toy Trouble

Great storage is the key to a decluttered home and toys are no different. If everything has a place, then clean-up time should be a cinch.

Set aside an area of the loungeroom for toys and ensure nothing leaves that area. Remember to make use of bedrooms as well – here’s how to keep on top of a messy bedroom.

Make a game of quick clean-ups after playtime, or make ‘take one out, put one home’ a playing policy. A new toy can’t be brought out for playing with until one has been put away.

 

And there you have it, a few foolproof ways to keep on top of the kid-related mess. On a side note, embracing a little bit of mess isn’t altogether a bad thing.

Some experts argue that making mess stimulates creativity, motor skills, and problem-solving for small children – a little inspiration to put your feet up and ignore that pile of Barbies in the corner of the lounge room!

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