Anything that can make being a parent easier is pretty life changing. Now that it's summer, it seems even harder than usual to keep the apartment clean and entertain the kids at the same time. We talked to mom and self-declared clean freak, Debra Johnson, an expert for the cleaning service Merry Maids, for tips on being the best parent ever without living in squalor.
How to get out ice-pop stains:
Funny how kids just watch it drip...everywhere. Credit: Colourbox
Ice-pops are the essential summer snack, but it's virtually impossible for a kid to eat one without it getting all over his or her face and dripping everywhere. "The best remedy for removing an ice-pop stain from upholstery or carpeting is to dampen the stained area with dish washing liquid solution," Johnson says. "Then, place a white terry cloth towel over the solution and run over the towel with a hot iron. This will help transfer much of the stain to the towel."
How to clean up glitter without getting it all over yourself:
All that glitters isn't helpless. Credit: Colourbox
Rainy day crafts are a great way to keep your kids busy without just sticking them in front of the TV, but cleanup can be a nightmare. The worst craft culprit of all: glitter. "Make DIY lint rollers with the kids so they can own the cleanup responsibility," she advises. "Help them create a loop of tape, sticky side up, that fits loosely around their fingers or hands so they can tap the sparkly surfaces and capture any glitter that got left behind."
Winning the sticky season battle:
Right now you're thinking, "Don't. Touch. Anything." Credit: Colourbox
Between juice boxes, melting sugary snacks and God knows what else, summer is a sticky mess. To keep your counters clean, Johnson says to make it a team effort with your kids. "Teach them to wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Work together by having one person rub the juice stain with an ice cube while the other pats the area dry," she says.
Cleaning up sand:
Go ahead and let him roll around in the sand; we found a way to keep it out of the house. Credit: Colourbox
Beach days with the kids are the best, but it also means you'll be finding sand everywhere for weeks after. "Have kids do a little dance on the door mat with bare feet before coming inside," Johnson recommends. "Four or five steps on the mat will transfer the sandy soil from their feet onto the mat instead of from their feet onto the floor."
Preventing slips and falls:
Prevent slips by having kids hang up wet towels and swimsuits on a clothing rack in the bathroom. Credit: Colourbox
After a day at the pool, kids are bound to get their little wet footprints all over the floor and leave soggy towels and toys wherever they feel like it. To prevent slippery falls, Johnson recommends setting up a towel tree in the bathroom where kids can hang swimsuits and towels to dry completely. Not only does it keep everyone safe, it keeps the apartment clean, too.