9 magic cleaning tips for when crafting turns messy

Posted in DIY Activities & Play.

how to get rid of permanent marker and texta and other toddler messes

Yikes! There’s play dough in the carpet, crayons on the walls and little artists sprinkling glitter down the hall. When the house looks like something out of Charlie and the Crafty Factory, there’s just one thing to do. Pull out these golden tickets (ok, toddler cleaning hacks) for when art and craft goes wonky.

Doodles on walls, stains on fingers and splats on clothing are easily fixed with these magical DIY solutions.

Food colouring

food colouring stained hands toddler cleaning hacks

Get off hands: Food colouring makes its mark wherever it lands (eek!) but toothpaste is the great unstainer. Just rub this minty abrasive over the affected area for fresh, cavity-free fingers. But make sure it’s old-style toothpaste, not your new-fangled mint gel. (image via PinkStripeySocks)

Get it off counter tops: When food colouring misses the mixing bowl, the kitchen bench gets it! Soak up the excess with paper towels, then scrub the area with a cloth dipped in white vinegar.

And if stains persist, call on a paste made from baking soda and water. This works for stubborn finger stains too.

Crafty crayons

how to get crayon off walls

Get it off walls: With a wall as their canvas, mini-artists and crayons make for a lasting collaboration. Until now. Here are four ways to ‘decommission’ their work:

1. Heat up the crayon wax with a hair dryer, then wipe it clean with a soapy cloth.
2. Scrub the wall with hot, soapy water. Elbow grease essential.
3. Spray glass cleaner on the mess wall art, leave to infuse, then wipe clean.
4. Mix up a baking soda and water paste, then scrub-a-dub-dub.

Acrylic craft paint

get paint off kids clothes

Wet Paint: For poster and acrylic paint, strike while it’s wet. Rinse the stain under water, rub washing detergent into the mark, rinse again, spritz the spot with stain remover and then hit up the washing machine. Repeat if necessary.

Dry Paint: If the paint has dried, there’s hope yet. Soak the area with rubbing alcohol and gently scratch at the paint with a fingernail or icy-pole stick. Then cross fingers and toes, and let the washing machine do its thing!

Play dough

How to get Play doh out of carpet

Get it off soft surfaces: Let the dough dry totally, then loosen it with a stiff brush and vacuum up the ‘crumbs’. Avoid hot water or cleaning products, but for any lingering stains, cold soapy water does the trick.

Glitter off hands (and face!)

glitter girl Facebook video

To untwinklify little fingers (and faces), try this toddler cleaning hack. Rub coconut oil onto the skin, then rinse with soap and water. Last up, clean off the oil and glitter with baby wipes.

Permanent marker

toddler cleaning hacks drawing on walls

Get it off walls: If this treacherous ink has invaded the wall, then use a whiteboard marker to erase its path of destruction. Or try hand sanitiser gel, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover or hairspray. Treat with caution, though, or the paint may come off too.

Get it off clothes or skin: Permanent marker isn’t so permanent when it gets sandwiched between a paper towel and a sponge soaked with rubbing alcohol. P-h-e-w. Rubbing alcohol also works on skin, or give hand sanitiser a go.

Get it off upholstery: To get marker out of couches, cushions and Persian rugs (ok, maybe not Persian rugs), mix washing up detergent with white vinegar and water, then follow these Good Housekeeping instructions.


And that’s it for supremely useful tips on fixing little mess-ups. While we’re on the topic of cleaning, take a look at our articles on sprucing up soft toys and de-moulding bath toys. So. Much. Sparkle.

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