Halloween is fun and all, but sometimes you have to stop and wonder: Is it worth all the mess it causes? The answer is… Of course, it does! But, that doesn’t mean cleaning up is any more fun because of it. From candy to pumpkin and other unpleasant byproducts of the season, your home is a danger zone before, during and after a spooky costume party, so you probably need a few tips on how to handle the situation.
Here are 6 tips to avoid and clean up Halloween messes!
1. Cleaning up pumpkin residues
October and pumpkins go hand in hand like making Jack-o-lanterns and messes. Kids love to carve pumpkins, which means that you’ll often face plenty of pumpkin innards spilling over the table or onto the floor. Luckily, nothing about this season staple is too hard to clean, and you can lay down some newspaper before you start carving to avoid having to clean up afterward. We recommend newspaper because it’s compostable, so you can throw it all together in the green bin once you’re done! The rest can be taken care of with some mild spray and wipe cleaner.
2. Greasepaint and makeup
Makeup is a part of some of the best costumes we’ve ever seen, and some of the worst stains we’ve ever had to deal with, as well. It sticks to carpet, walls, furniture, clothes — you name it! Once it gets caked, the real horror begins. Costume makeup is usually made with oil, so you will definitely need a powerful spot-remover, one that is specifically made for oil-based stains. Pour a little on the spot and let it sit for about 5 minutes before dabbing it with a carpet brush and blotting it out with a kitchen towel. If the stain is on the wall, spray some degreaser on it and let it sit for a couple of minutes before wiping it down.
3. Halloween vomit
This is not something that comes up when thinking about Halloween-themed ideas for your work or house, but let’s just be honest for a moment. There are so many reasons that can make someone vomit around Halloween that you really need to have a contingency plan for it. Did the massive amounts of candy do it? Were the Jell-O shots to blame? It doesn’t matter, you need to be ready for it. The best way to clean a spill of this type is an instant spill absorber so that it gels and you only have to clean a dry, solid residue afterward. For the rest of the residue, a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner will work it out
4. Toilet paper in the garden
Well, it’s not so common anymore, but it still happens and it’s still very annoying. If you got the “trick” end of trick-or-treating, use a common broom handle to wind the end of the paper trail and start rolling it again. Perhaps the only bright side to this situation is that it’s all compostable, so you don’t have to bother with anything else but your regular green bin when getting rid of it. Hey, who said the spirit of the season was all fun and games?
5. Fake blood
Along with makeup, this spooky Halloween staple is a nightmare to clean. Most fake blood products these days are made of corn syrup and red dye, two of the worst partners in crime when it comes to removing stains. If it falls where it’s not supposed to, remove the excess by gently dabbing with a rag or a kitchen towel, then apply rubbing alcohol on the affected area. If the damage is too extensive or the stain has dried already, then you can always use a strong spot remover. If it’s just on the floor, your regular spray degreaser or cleaner should prove strong enough to remove it.
6. Sticky or crushed candy
Half-eaten hard candy, or crushed caramels and other sugary treats tend to leave a sticky mess after the party’s over. Your first instinct might be to scrape and scrub the offending candy as is but that might cause further damage. Instead of just going at it with a metal scrub, try soaking a rag in hot water and wring it out (careful with your hands), then apply it to the sticky mess as if it was a compress. Repeat until the heat and humidity loosen up the candy, and wipe it out. If some color stained the surface, try using alcohol on it.
There you have them. So, now that you’re looking for Halloween office party ideas and decorations, take a minute to think about home and how you’re going to clean up over there. Unless, of course, you have someone to help you out after all the guests go home and you’re left with chaos!