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Cleaning Up After Crafts

How to Minimize the Mess Your Pint-Size Picassos Make

Kids love to create crafts. And the gloomy indoor days of winter are just right for adding some sparkle and shine to their projects. But glue and glitter, finger paints and markers, and all their other favorite art supplies can be stains just waiting to happen. Here are some hints to keep the mess away, courtesy of Nancy Bock, Senior Vice President of Education at the American Cleaning Institute®.

Choose Wisely: Stock your craft closet with washable paints and markers and water-based craft glue. If any of the coloring mediums get on clothes, simply pretreat the stain with a prewash stain remover and toss the soiled items in the wash.

Glue Spills: On washable fabrics, scrape off the excess glue. Pretreat with a prewash stain remover and launder, using the hottest water that's safe for the fabric. For carpets or upholstery, scrape off the excess glue. Then use a carpet or upholstery cleaner, following the manufacturer's instructions. If the glue is not water-based craft glue, contact the glue manufacturer for stain removal recommendations.

Glitter Fallout: Depending on where the glitter lands, the two best ways of capturing errant sparkles are vacuuming them up or blotting them up using the sticky side of masking tape. If you own a hand-held vacuum, keep it nearby for instant glitter control.

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