Time to update your cleaning schedule so that it accommodates the date October 31st, or rather, the day after. Halloween is coming and you know what that means. It means getting ready for the aftermath home cleaning. You know it will be big, and you know it will be messy, and you have to be ready for it. Schedule a day for cleaning after the big party, and do make some time for this job – you know it will take quite some time and effort.
The Clear Up
What will you need to take out after Halloween? Well, take out a rubbish bag and get ready to find out. Starting with the obvious, you know that there will be plenty of candy wrappers around the house. This is the one day of the year when parents are not allowed to be afraid of their kids getting diabetes, and the kids will take full advantage of that. Candy, chocolates, sweets, liquorice, they will all be expertly and expediently consumed, and you will be busy cleaning hidden wrappers for days to come. For now clean only those you can see. And you also have to clear out all the jack-o’-lanterns, so get busy.
The clearance effort will have to be as big as the one you put into decorating the house. What else did you add? More carved pumpkin figurines? Decorative cobwebs? A few hanging rubber bats? They all have to go – no need for them until next year.
The Stain Removal
Oh, you know there will be stains. And most of them will be chocolate. So you can turn on your laptop and sit tight as you browse through the numerous recipes of removing chocolate stains. But to save you some time, here are a few ways that should suffice:
• Scrape off any chocolate leftovers on the stain with a knife, then put the piece of clothing (and you know it will be mostly clothing) in the laundry machine. Wash with detergent, and you’re fine.
• For things you can’t shove in the laundry machine – like carpets, you will have to practice some carpet cleaning, though the difference is not as huge. Scrape off the chocolate leftovers with a knife, then take an old toothbrush and a stain remover. Scrub for a bit, wash with cold water and the stain should be gone.
• You can also make your own stain remover with dish soap and diluted peroxide. Mix a bit of both together and apply to a stain with a toothbrush or a small rag. Rinse and voila! The stain is no more.
Check your carpets, your sofas, your counters, the beds, the sheets – scan for stains throughout the house. And yes, be thorough. Children’s hands can reach more places than you ever imagined possible. Look for stains everywhere and deal with them on the spot, do not make a mental note where you saw the stain, or that upholstery cleaning will cost you after a few days.
Another problem you may face, if you were not careful enough, are pumpkin stains. Yes, those do exist, and you will be more challenged than you anticipated when cleaning them. Always act as soon as you see the stain as they become more problematic over time. Scrape as much off the stain as you can with a dull knife, then you have options:
• You can use white vinegar’s acidic properties to eat through the stain. Just make sure that the surface you are using it on can handle it.
• Liquid dishwasher mixed with water will also help, but don’t use a mixture ratio bigger than 1:4. Rub on stain, rinse with lukewarm water and repeat if the stain is not yet gone.
• If you are dealing with clothes, you can apply the aforementioned options and then wash the clothing with the hottest water the fabric can handle. You can use a laundry machine as well.
And with this you should be able to deal with Halloween’s aftermath. Be diligent and make an effort, and your house will soon shine up once again. And don’t forget to take the kids for a dental check up! All that chocolate might have done some damage.