Little Monsters Leave Big Messes, Halloween Cleaning Tricks


From pumpkin carvings and creepy, crawly décor, to face paint and sweet treats, Halloween brings unlimited fun for kids, but unlimited cleanup for parents. This year, Merry Maids, the nation's leading home cleaning company, is sharing its expert tested tips and tricks to tackle some of the biggest messes your little monsters make.

"Kids everywhere are thrilled about the spookiest day of the year, but it shouldn't bring added stress for moms and dads," says Debra Johnson, home cleaning expert for Merry Maids. "As the kids excitedly dress up in their costumes and delve into pounds of chocolate, don't let their treats trick you out of a good night. Most messes can be easily resolved with Merry Maids expert tips -- so unleash your little monsters for a night full of fun!"

Johnson shares her tricks for keeping the boo's out of Halloween cleanup:

Mummify Your Pumpkin-Carving Workspace
Pumpkin-carving is a family favorite, but after the fun is over, you might be frightened by the pumpkin remnants. Johnson says the best way to enjoy pumpkin carving is to stage the activity ahead of time. Pick a spot in your home that is easy to clean up -- a patio or garage if weather permits -- and wrap the carving area like a mummy with plastic table covers to allow for quick cleanup. For a more festive workspace, you can even consider using newspaper or old sheets to wrap the surface. Just don't make it too spooky!

Witches Brew to Dye For
Making Halloween treats spookier and frighteningly more fun with food coloring seems like a great idea, until it ends up on your carpet or upholstery. Have no fear -- fill up a cauldron with this homemade witches brew: Johnson says to mix one tablespoon of vinegar with a few drops of mild detergent and two cups of cold water. Dip a microfiber cloth into the concoction and blot the stain with both sides of the cloth until the coloring has vanished. After patting the area dry, Johnson says you may need to spray the area with a carpet or upholstery cleaner to make sure the stains have been scared away for good.

Frightening Face Paint… Poof
It's the one night a year when kids can let their imaginations run wild with costumes and disguises… and to make this come to life, face paint is a must. But with all the excitement of eating candy and getting ready to trick-or-treat, the paint has a tendency to smear on unwanted surfaces, such as clothing or sofas. Take a bite of candy, relax, and let your children have fun. Once they head out, you can turn yourself into a wizard and make the face paint stains disappear. Johnson says all you have to do is wet your magical, white towel or microfiber cloth with cold water and, using different sides of the cloth, continue to blot the soiled area until… poof! The paint stains are gone.

Mad Scientist's Baking Laboratory
Transform your kitchen into a mad scientist's lab and mix up some Halloween treats with your kids for a school costume parade or neighborhood party … but don't let the cleanup scare you. Before the baking experiments begin, use your sink as a beaker for a mixture of warm, soapy water. To help ease the cleanup process, Johnson suggests placing the used lab tools -- the mixing bowls, spoons and spatulas -- directly into the soapy water as soon as you're done using them. Then you can spend the time decorating and enjoying the baked goods, instead of going mad scrubbing dishes.

Creepy, Crawly Treasure Hunt
Before the trick-or-treaters arrive, it's fun to get into the Halloween spirit and decorate the house and front yard with spooky decorations. But when All Hallows' Eve comes to end, no one wants to run into those creepy, crawly surprises. Get the family together for a Halloween treasure hunt to find all the spiders, witch hats, cobwebs and skeletons throughout the house and front yard -- whoever finds the most might just be rewarded with an extra piece of Halloween candy. Johnson suggests storing all your ghoulish décor in one labeled place so you can easily dig it out when October rolls around next year.

Halloween is a time to dress up and have fun with friends and family, but the messes it brings shouldn't cause more work. A local Merry Maids team can create home cleaning plans customized for each home's needs to ensure a consistent, reliable, and thorough cleaning process every time. To find the Merry Maids location nearest you, visit merrymaids.com. For more information and to stay up-to-date on the latest Merry Maids news, visit merrymaids.com, "Like" the brand's Facebook page or follow Merry Maids on Twitter.

About Merry Maids
Merry Maids is the largest home cleaning franchise network in the United States. Merry Maids provides services in 48 states and the District of Columbia through approximately 370 company-owned locations and franchised outlets. The company also provides home cleaning services in Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom and has licensing arrangements whereby licensees provide these services in Hong Kong, Japan, South America, South Korea, Southeast Asia and Australia. Through its company-owned and franchise locations, Merry Maids employs more than 8,000 home cleaning professionals that service homes on four continents, including more than 200,000 homes in North America every month.


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