If you’ve got kids going back to school, you’ve probably bought your fair share of pens, crayons, and notebooks this past week. The thing is, those supplies could end up anywhere – but don’t worry, even if your two year old finds it all, it’s not the end of the world. Here are our best tips for cleaning up after kids when they’ve taken school a little too far!


The Crayon Catastrophe. Cleaning up after kids when they’re little artists is hard.  Guaranteed at some point in your parenting career you’ll find a neon, wax-based masterpiece on your living room wall.  (Heaven forbid it’s when you’re trying to sell the house.)  But should that happen, don’t worry.  We’ve got a quick fix.

  • Take a damp washcloth and dip into baking soda. Work over the crayon with your fingers.  Wipe off with damp washcloth. NOTE: don’t rub too hard!  While you want the crayon to come up, you also don’t want to overwork it and take paint off too.

Ink on Cloth.  My mom used to use this trick when we got pen on our clothes, but it works for any cloth-based item, like your couch pillows.  There are two things you can use: hairspray or rubbing alcohol. They bond with the ink, making it easy to lift up with a paper towel.

  • Spray the ink with hairspray or dab with rubbing alcohol. Let sit for a moment and then press and lift with a dry paper towel.  Repeat as necessary.  The ink should start dispersing in an almost purple color, and come up after a few rounds.  Quick and simple.

The Dreaded Sharpie.  If you didn’t choose to throw away every permanent marker in your home when your baby started crawling, you may find Sharpie just about anywhere.  So if you find a new math problem written on the coffee table, or an uncapped sharpie bled on your girl’s new Elsa backpack… Here are some cleaning tips:

  • Sharpie reacts similarly to ink, so on fabric surfaces, hairspray or rubbing alcohol similar to the above instructions. For wood, pay attention to the finish.  You don’t want to take off the varnish.  Some other options are using regular (non-gel) toothpaste or peanut butter, and rubbing gently with a damp paper towel until the sharpie comes up.  Keep in mind this will probably take a few minutes of continuous rubbing, since it is a gentler form of cleaning.


Hopefully this quick, magic, mom-super-power cheat sheet will help rescue your couch, your wall, and maybe even your sanity.  And if you’re looking to move, don’t worry!  We’re only a phone call away.  We’re a faith and family mortgage company, so we get what you and your family value.



The Christian Mortgage Mom