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How to Clean Your Halloween Messes


Thick makeup, crazy hairspray colors, fake blood, and chocolate. All are staples of Halloween, but all have a tendency to make a big mess, too. If you want to prevent your new homes in Minnesota from looking like a crime scene after Halloween, grab some rubbing alcohol, Shout, and pre-stain laundry treatment so you’ll be ready to clean up just about any gory mess.

First off, unless you want to add to the spooky decor and cover everything with drop cloths, you might want to avoid any light-colored furniture, clothing, sheets, and other similar items. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that any colorful hair or makeup is going to end up where you don’t want it, especially if you don’t feel up to a full shower before bed after the big party. Halloween makeup, in particular, tends to end up on pillowcases and sheets in ways you wouldn’t think humanly possible.

When a mess inevitably happens, start by running cold water over the stain, preferably from the back side of the fabric to help flush out some of the makeup. Once you’ve given it a good rinse, go ahead and treat it with a pre-laundry stain remover. If you don’t have a stain remover, apply some rubbing alcohol, which should help cut through the oiliness of makeup. These same treatment methods can be used to get rid of stains left from color hair spray.

If the makeup or hairspray color ends up on furniture, you won’t be able to just treat it with some stain remover and throw it in the laundry. Fortunately, the rubbing alcohol method still works. Simply apply some to cotton balls or a rag and keep applying it to the fabric until the stain is gone. Of course, you may want to check an inconspicuous area first, just to make sure it won’t react badly with the fabric.

If you have a furry costume that you need to clean, your best bet is to soak it in some cool water with a touch of shampoo added to it. Then rinse gently, shake off any excess water and let it air dry flat on a towel. If any furry bits are looking a bit matted, you could try taking a slicker brush used on pets to help give new fluff to the fur.

Finally, there’s the inevitable chocolate stains. Hot fingers sneaking pieces of chocolate left and right are likely to end up leaving a few smudges where they shouldn’t. And imagine the messes the kids will make! This is where Shout comes into the picture, as it seems to work the best on chocolate stains. Spray some on the stained area and if possible, rub the fabric together until the stain disappears. If you can’t do that, use a rag or sponge to gently rub at the stain with the cleaner until it’s gone and then wipe any remaining cleaner away with a damp towel.

As long as you have some combination of stain remover and rubbing alcohol, you should be able to get most Halloween stains removed from your new homes in Minnesota. Now if it comes to real blood and gore, you’re on your own!

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