Mess management: Some solutions for all those stains kids can create

MILWAUKEE -- Having kids is messy business! Especially when they start doing crafts. Local blogger Krista Bainbridge joins Real Milwaukee with some surprising ways to clean up stubborn messes.

Permanent Marker

  • They say nothing is scarier to a mom than finding a solo Sharpie cap and being unable to locate that marker. When you find that kids have accidentally colored on something with that permanent marker don`t throw it out - often times it can be saved!
  • Dry erase boards: color over that permanent marker with a dry erase marker and erase! Say goodbye to those permanent marker stains for good! For more stubborn marks, a microfiber cloth works wonders!
  • This tactic works on windows and mirrors, too!
  • Wood floors: kids draw on your wood floors? Try toothpaste (regular not gel) and gently scrub in a circular motion with a damp cloth rinsing the cloth regularly (again microfiber is your friend!).
  • For more stubborn ones, try isopropyl alcohol or a bit of nail polish remover

Crayon on the wall or chalkboard

  • Your little Picasso made a mural on the wall or picked up the wrong art supply for that chalkboard? Warm up the wax with a blow dryer and then using a microfiber cloth with warm water and dish soap, gently wipe away the warmed up wax. Magic erasers are great but can sometimes pull paint off of walls, so I like to try with the blow dryer and dish soap first to protect the paint.

Ink on a dolls face

  • Who hasn't tried to give their dolly a makeover with some pens or markers? But try to get that off and you learn that their porous plastic 'skin' isn`t the easiest to clean up! This trick uses a common teen ailment medication (acne cream with 10% Benzoil Peroxide), a Q-tip and warm sunshine!
  • Apply the acne cream with the Q-tip to the ink and then place the doll outside in the bright, warm sunshine (an overcast day will not help!) and wait for the magic to happen!


  • Anyone with a 8-12 year old in their house is likely living in the realm of making oodles of slime and investing in gallons of glue. But what happens when it gets into your carpet?
  • If the slime is still wet, use your hands to pull as much out as possible. Next mix up 2 parts white vinegar to 1 part water and saturate the area (do a test spot to make sure your carpet is A-OK with the vinegar!) As soon as you start to spray, you`ll see the slime start to breakdown and you can blot up with a paper towel. If color remains, use a mix of OxyCLean or a similar product to clean that up as the slime gooeyness will be all gone!If the slime is stubborn or has dried - try adding baking soda or go with the surprising WD-40. The WD-40 will start to break up the slime and the stain! Allow to sit saturated for 15 minutes and then clean thorough with a clean towel and water.


  • The art supply that keeps on giving and giving Krista's favorite glglitter hack is a lint roller and make up wipes (coconut oil based ones seem to work best!) but ultimately, be comfortable that a few specks will elude you and you`ll catch that glimmer from time-to-time!
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