How to clean up after Halloween: Top tips to tackle spooky stains and spills in your home

Jeremy Vine and guests discuss children eating sweets at Halloween

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Halloween might not be for everyone but these cleaning hacks stretch far beyond this spooky-season event. As many of us prepare to decorate our homes, carve pumpkins and dress up, few of us dare to think of the aftermath of the pumpkin flesh, fake blood and candle wax on our furniture. While baking soda and white vinegar might just come to the rescue, what really works when removing tough, festive stains from your property?

How to clean melted chocolate stains

Trick or treating is all fun and games until the chocolate-covered fingers of your children or grandchildren end up on your sofa.

Sticky sweets and chocolate stains can linger around your home if left to dry out, but there are ways to get rid of them before they set.

Regina Ocampo at Cleanipedia recommends using a dull knife or spoon to scrape the surface residue of those sweet treat stains before wiping away.

Dip a clean cloth in washing up liquid or fabric detergent and cool water to gently blot the stain.

Move the cloth inwards, towards the centre of the stain to prevent it from seeping further into your sofa or other soft furnishings.

If you’re dealing with a boiled sweet or gummy treat, head to your freezer and grab a bag of frozen ice or peas to blot and solidify the stain.

Use a blunt utensil to chip it off and wipe again with detergent and water.

How to clean fake blood stains

The eerie truth about fake blood is that it can actually be harder to clean up than real bloodstains.

Oil-based fake blood and costume makeup is tricky to clean up with just water.

Instead, the experts at Cleanipedia recommend:

  • Blotting wet stains with a paper towel before applying shaving cream to clean the stain with water and a clean cloth.
  • Tackling fake blood on clothing using talcum powder to absorb the oil, then use white vinegar to soak the clothing overnight before washing.
  • Soak face paint stains with rubbing alcohol or nail varnish remover, followed by cold water and a hot wash.

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How to clean adhesive tape residue

Halloween decorations are fun but sticky tape really can make its mark when attached to glass surfaces like windows and mirrors.

Once the decorations have been taken down, use a little rubbing alcohol to buff the sticky stain with a soft cloth.

If you’re dealing with sticky walls, dry residual tack with a hairdryer to loosen the stickiness and gently peel off using a little lemon juice to help you.

Pumpkin stains

There’s nothing like a jack-o’-lantern to get you in the Halloween spirit, but the orange pulp of these festive vegetables can leave orange stains on carpets if carved carelessly.

Use a dull knife to peel away surface residue and use water mixed with equal parts washing up liquid to blot the pungent orange stain and wash with clean water.

Melted candle wax stains

Real candles add a spooky touch to any Halloween celebration, but melted wax stains can make for an even scarier display.

If wax melts and hardens onto your carpet or upholstery, try holding a bag of ice to free the stain before chipping away with a blunt knife.

Experts at Cleanipedia also recommend placing a folded, damp cotton towel over the stain and ironing it at a high temperature for 10 seconds.

A simple stain remover should do the trick to remove any deep-rooted residue once the surface wax has been removed.

Always use candles safely, keeping away from flammable objects and soft furnishings.

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