Use these nifty cleaning strategies to get rid of all sorts of spills and stains!

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These are among the most common stains in any household with kids. And though we love our kids’ masterpieces, we cringe when we see them on our white walls.
WHAT TO DO Dampen a piece of cloth, then dab it in some baking soda before rubbing them on the crayon stains. Most crayon stains should come off easily. Another method? Grab an old toothbrush, add a small amount of toothpaste, then get scrubbing. Alternatively, smear the stain with some ― believe it or not ― mayonnaise. Leave it for 5 minutes and wipe it cleanly with a damp cloth. If crayon marks happen to get on to your fabric couch or carpet, try this trick: First rub an ice cube over the crayon stain to harden it, so that you can scrape off as much of it as possible. Next, grab a brown paper bag and a hot iron. Place the bag over the stain and hold the hot iron on it for 10 seconds, shifting the bag and repeating the process each time. The crayon stain should transfer from your fabric to the paper bag. If it’s a mild stain, some dishwashing liquid might also do, since it’s designed to remove grease.  



Whether it’s from a leaky pen in your purse, or a permanent marker in the hands of your 2-year-old, ink stains can be bold, stubborn and tough to remove.
WHAT TO DO Create a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and some laundry detergent and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a few hours before throwing it into the wash. Another method you can try is to let a cup of milk sit out in the sun till it starts curdling. Place a few blobs of the curdled milk onto the stain and let it sit while the milk “soaks up” the ink. Wash away the milk and ink mixture after. For ink stains on walls, use an old toothbrush with a dab of tooth paste. Brush gently, then wipe the residue off with some warm water.  



See that faint yellow or pink stain on your cream couch? Chances are, the culprit isn’t going to admit he did it. You highly suspect though, that it was orange juice or Ribena…
WHAT TO DO For fabrics like your couch cover, your kiddo’s shirt, or even the carpet, create your own cleaning solution from one teaspoon of vinegar, one teaspoon of detergent and a cup of water. Using a spray bottle, spray the mixture onto the stain, then use a clean cloth to dab away the excess moisture. Repeat the process several times until the stain is gone. Toss it in the wash, if possible, or rinse with clean water. 


Love finger-painting with your tots? Bet you don’t love the cleanup that happens after.
WHAT TO DO Water-soluble paint is easier to get off, so go for those when you purchase art materials for your brood. For garments, start by wiping off paint residue with a damp cloth. If the paint has hardened, scrape as much as you can with a dull knife. Rub some laundry detergent over the stain, then rinse and repeat as needed before machine-washing normally. For non-water soluble paints, use a small amount of thinner to soften the paint. For walls, dab a cotton ball soaked in alcohol gently on the stain. Don’t scrub as you want to avoid taking the wall paint off as well. 


Any household with tiny human beings is bound to fall victim to some kind of muck or other. Little boys who forget to take off their shoes before bounding on the cream couch, or sticky little finger prints on your lily white walls are just a couple of examples.
WHAT TO DO On fabric surfaces, brush a little bit of detergent or toothpaste onto the stain, then use a warm wet cloth to wipe of the residue. Repeat as needed. For walls, mix half a cup of vinegar with one cup of water and a quarter cup of baking soda. Wipe the solution over your walls with a sponge or cloth, then rinse with clean water.  


Yes, accidents happen when you’ve got a newly toilet-trained kiddo. And have we mentioned the lingering smell? Watch out for those fabric couches, carpets and mattresses!
WHAT TO DO Using a spray bottle, generously spray some undiluted vinegar all over the stains. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, use a dry rag or paper towels to soak up the excess vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda generously over the stains and let it sit for two hours or more. The baking soda starts to cake up as it absorbs the vinegar, along with the stains and odours. Vacuum all the baking soda up.  


Don’t you love it when your little ones chow down all on their own? Indeed, if we don’t mind the mess, eating independently is a wonderful skill for your tot to acquire. Here’s how you can avoid silently weeping when his favourite onesies get stained. 
WHAT TO DO Tomato-based stains are notoriously difficult to remove. First, scrape off any dried up remnants of the sauce, then rub the stain with some dishwashing liquid. Soak the garment in warm water. If the stain persists, soak it in some undiluted vinegar. If it’s still there, apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide ― easily available at the pharmacy ― then throw it in the washing machine. 


Another common kid stain in the household, pencil marks often point to a mini-Picasso in the making…or so we hope!
WHAT TO DO Use a soft eraser to clean the marks on the stained garment. If you still see the pencil marks, brush (with an old toothbrush) some fabric stain remover on it, then throw it into the wash. For walls, try to rub out the stain with a soft eraser. If this fails, put a dab of toothpaste on a toothbrush and gently brush the pencil markings away. Alternatively, a melamine sponge (available at Daiso) might do the trick, but be careful that you don’t remove the wall’s paint accidentally! 


A cut on the chin, a scrape on the knee, or even a nosebleed. Little smears of blood have very high staying power, especially on your little one’s clothes and sheets.
WHAT TO DO If the blood stain is fresh and has not dried, quickly soak it in some vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. Rinse with water and repeat the process till the stain fades away. For stains that have dried, create a paste of baking soda and cold water (one part to two parts), and rub some of the paste all over the stain. Let it sit for an hour or more, then rinse with water. Throw the garment into the washing machine. 

It comes with the territory ― being a parent means living with toy clutter, clunky baby gear and yes, marks and stains on your once pristine furniture, clothes and walls. 

But you have ways to get around this. For one, picking kid-friendly surfaces in darker colours, getting leather instead of fabric couches, while using wash-and-wear paint on walls can help hide stains and spills.

And accept the inevitable ― stains WILL happen ― so, always have your arsenal of cleaning solutions and equipment on hand. Besides dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent, you can also stock up on natural cleansers like lemon, vinegar and baking soda. Also have on standby old toothbrushes, clean rags and sponges.

It’s a good idea to test a small area before you start cleaning ― you don’t want parts of your wall paint to come off, or more stains on your precious wooden furniture. And get the kiddos involved! It’ll help them realise how much work is involved in keeping their possession stain-free. Hopefully, this will prompt them to be more careful in future.

Click through our photo gallery to check out the best ways to tackle all sorts of kid-induced household stains!

Photos: iStock

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