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Top Tips For Cleaning Up Craft Spills

Top Tips For Cleaning Up Craft Spills
published in Cleaning How-Tos

Don’t let crafting get out of hand

Crafting can be a distraction or your passion - it is always messy! Whether you are scrapbooking, creating DIY gifts, or keeping the kids busy, crafting usually requires some serious cleanup. What to do about glue on the furniture, crayons on the carpet, and glitter, well - everywhere? We are here to help.

We understand the science of cleaning and how the right tools can make a cleaning task more efficient.

Before we get to the specific crafting clean up challenge you are facing, let’s take a moment to explain more about the fundamentals of cleaning. There are three main strategies in cleaning - chemical, mechanical, and temperature.

Crafting and Cleaning working together

The chemical strategy uses a fluid or product which interacts with the material you want to clean. The formulation and pH level of the product you choose is specifically developed to match what you are cleaning. This is why the detergent you use in your dishwasher is not the same as what you use in the laundry machine, and why your shampoo is different than what you use to clean your face. Understanding the chemical needs of what you are cleaning is critical to effectively and safely cleaning the surfaces of your home.

Another cleaning strategy is mechanical - using a tool to physically remove the soil. This may be a brush with the density and placement of bristles needed for the cleaning task at hand. It could be a scraper, or a sharp edge like a razor. Microfibre cloths and vacuum cleaners also fall into this category of mechanical tools used for your crafting clean up.

The other effective cleaning strategy is temperature - using heating or cooling to support the cleaning task. You may be most familiar with this in the laundry room. Hot water is used to boost the cleaning power when laundering heavily soiled items, but will damage delicate fabrics, which is best cleaned in cold water. Similarly, hot and cold can be used in special ways to help with household cleaning.

Now that we have a foundation of the three strategies for cleaning, let’s get to the crafting clean up challenge!


There are a few effective options to clean crayon from where you don’t want crayon to be. A toothbrush is an excellent tool to scrub away the stray crayon marks. Use vinegar where it is safe to do so - which means avoiding soft stone like marble counters. If vinegar can’t be used or is not working, try a little baking soda on your toothbrush instead. Toothpaste can also work very well for cleaning away crayon. Remember to test in a hidden area first, especially if you are cleaning a painted surface like a wall.


When crafting with kids, non-permanent markers are the best choice. Markers are fun and little hands so easily get carried away! When markers end up marking surfaces of your home, clean up with some chemical solutions like rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover. Never pour directly onto your counter, floor, or table. Rub the marker with a soft cotton or microfibre cloth dampened with the solution. This may require some dwelling time - which means letting the solution do it’s chemical work. Hold your damp cloth on the mark for up to 1 minute and then scrub again.

Acrylic Paint

Water based paints are the easiest to clean up when they are wet. Once dry, the polymers bond and it is very difficult to clean. For this reason, timing is critical when cleaning up acrylic paint. We recommend having a small bowl of water and dish soap with a couple of soft cotton cloths ready at the start of your acrylic paint crafting session. Wiping up any spills right away is the easiest clean up strategy. However, life is not perfect and we have ideas for how to clean up dried paint drops for you! If paint is dried on a hard surface like a counter, table, or floor, use a scraper to physically remove it. Paint on carpet or a couch is more of a challenge. For this, the chemical action of the acetone in nail polish remover is the best approach. Blot the spill with acetone to dampen, and then use a fresh dry cloth or cotton to soak up the paint. Never pour acetone directly on your carpet, because it can dissolve the glue at the back of the carpet which binds the fibres together. Cleaning up acrylic paint from carpet or fabric requires time and patience!


Ahh glitter! So much fun to work with, and so persistent. Like pine needles from holiday decorations, glitter can hang around the house for a long time. The best approach is containment and timing. Contain the working area to one table or space - the more places glitter is used, the more clean up required. Clean up each time glitter is used. Leaving it on the floor or on the table after a crafting session will increase the chance of it spreading throughout the house. We recommend a vacuum to gather up piles of glitter. Another effective glitter cleaning strategy is to dampen a paper towel and wipe down the surfaces on and under where the glitter was used. This will help pick up stray glitter flakes your broom or vacuum missed.

Glue (White Crafters)

Cleaning white glue from carpets and couches uses a strategy similar to cleaning acrylic paint. Prepare a bowl of warm water and dish soap and get some clean dry cloths. Use a scraper to scrape away as much of the glue spill as possible. Then dab the glue stain with the warm water and soap to wet it, then blot up with a dry cloth. Repeat many times until the glue is removed.

Glue (Glue Gun)

Dried hot glue is a true challenge to clean. After all, we use glue guns because of the excellent bonding it provides! If you get hot glue onto fabric, use cold to cool it so that you can scrap it off. Put that tablecloth in the freezer, or use ice cubes on the couch. Use a small scraper and a brush to pick the cold glue away from the fabric. Cleaning hot glue from solid surfaces like a countertop or table is easier. If it won’t easily scrape off, loosen by dabbing isopropyl alcohol on it and letting it dwell for a few minutes before trying again to pry it away.

One more thing before you go, don't wait to protect your kitchen table, countertop, desk, or floor - protect your surface now instead of trying to fight pesky permanent stains and irreparable damage later! You never know when you'll have an oops moment, no matter how careful you're being.

Crafting is a great way to let your creative juices flow and create a bonding experience with family and friends. An orderly and clean environment will help free your mind and allow creativity to flow. If you are crafting in your kitchen, livingroom, dining room or den, these cleaning tips will help keep your home free of crafting spills and finding glitter for the next year!

Whether it is time for a deep clean or glitter keeps popping up in odd places, Concierge Home Services can help you with all your home cleaning needs!

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