The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Craft Cleanup


girl paintingDon’t let the crafty kid messes add to your stresses. The American Cleaning Institute offers these tips for cleaning up after your budding Picasso has finished with arts and crafts.

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.

Finger Paint
Prevention is the key. Use a plastic tablecloth or tape down a large sheet of paper to help keep the table clean. If you have painting smocks or old T-shirts, have the kids wear them to avoid getting paint on their clothing.

For regular felt-tip markers (those that aren’t labeled “permanent”), rinse the stain with cold water until no more color is being removed. Then place the stain face down on some clean paper towels and sponge with rubbing alcohol. Apply the alcohol first to the clean area around the stain and then directly to the stain. Replace the paper towels as often as needed. Launder using the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric.

When it comes to washability, not all markers are alike. In addition to permanent markers with ink that doesn’t come out, no matter what you do, there are water-based markers that use water-soluble inks. They are generally nontoxic, but not necessarily washable. When purchasing markers for children’s use, read the marker package instructions carefully so you are sure to select ones that specifically feature washability.

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.

To remove water-based craft glue, scrape off the excess glue. If the glue has hardened, you may need to soften it before you scrape it off. Fold some paper towels into a 1/8"-thick stack. Saturate with warm water and then place the stack on top of the glue stain. Leave the paper towels in place for about an hour until the glue softens.

Once you’ve scraped off the glue, pretreat the stain with a prewash stain remover and launder, using the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric.