Many houses these days have hardwood, tile, etc. But many of us have carpet. It is generally easy to take care of, and doesn’t show dirt as quickly as hard floors. But with kids around, it’s not so much a matter of IF they will leave a stain, but rather when and how bad. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for getting them clean, but really the trick is getting to that stain as fast as possible.

1. Crayon

With crayon, you will need to be very careful. Start with a dull butterknife, and scrape off as much as possible. If needed, put ice in a plastic bag and set it on the area for a few minutes to harden the wax, and try scraping some more. Vacuum over it to pick up what you scraped off. Then, using a brown paper bag with a clean, dry cloth underneath, carefully iron the area on low heat (no steam) for a couple minutes at a time, checking in between and adjusting the towel as needed until it is completely gone. This should work whether your kiddo has colored straight on the carpet, or if it somehow melted into it.

2. Marker

Marker (even permanent) is somewhat easy to remove, as long as you have a little patience! The process is very simple, but will need to be repeated until the stain is gone. All you need is rubbing alcohol, hairspray, and a clean, dry cloth. Blot the area (NEVER rub) with the alcohol first, then with oil free hairspray, spray generously straight on the stain and work in with a soft bristle toothbrush. Blot again with a clean, damp cloth. Repeat as needed. With washable marker, you would likely only need to use rubbing alcohol, but you may need to use the entire process if it’s been there a long time. For a step by step that I found very helpful, Check Out This Housekeeping Tips Video!

3. Stickers

If your carpet has been decorated with stickers, then you may need a little help in getting them up. Of course, if they’re freshly on your carpet, they will likely just peel right off, but if it’s a highly adhesive sticker, or if they got into your duct tape (you may think I’m exaggerating, but kids will go for ANYTHING you turn your back on for one second!) or some sort of adhesive, it may take a little time to remove. Thankfully, WD 40 exists. Spray some directly on the adhesive, and scrape off as much as possible carefully with a fork. Blot with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat as needed.

4. Food Stains

This is the toughest of all. If the stain has been there a long time, you may be better off renting a carpet cleaning machine, or better yet hire a service. If the stain is fresh, it will be a piece of cake! My go-to for ANY carpet stain is vinegar and water. Just 2 tablespoons in a spray bottle, fill to the top with water. Simply spray generously on the stain, and blot with a clean, dry cloth (or paper towels.) Repeat as needed. If it’s a larger stain, spray it down with the vinegar solution, and cover the entire area with at least 2 layers of cloth or paper towels. Set something with some weight on it, such as glass baking trays, and let sit for about 15 minutes. As always, repeat as needed.