Halloween spots and stains

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- At this time of the year my email lights up with people who have placed a pumpkin on their tables or porches for Halloween. Sadly, the pumpkin rots on the bottom and when you pick it up you are left with mold and mildew stains that are hard to remove.

To remove this stain from wood, try rubbing with non-gel toothpaste. Work in a circular motion and then rub with the grain. Wash the toothpaste off with warm water and dry. If you still have a spot try rubbing with a little turpentine and a piece of 0000 steelwool. This is very fine steelwool. For cement, spray with a little oven cleaner, let sit and then brush with a stiff brush and rinse well. Do not get oven cleaner on you or on plants or grass.

Now, let’s get to the kids' Halloween stains.

CHOCOLATE: Since there is a lot of cream and fat in chocolate treat it more like a grease stain. Work in 1 part Dawn Original Dishwashing Liquid and allow it to soak. Launder as usual. Air dry to be sure the stain is gone. Once in the dryer the stain will be almost impossible to remove. If the stain remains, soak in ½ cup hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of ammonia for about an hour. Launder as usual.

GUM: Gum on carpet, car mats, and fabric can be removed with Carbona Stain Devils Gum Remover. Follow the directions carefully. Buy Carbona at grocery and big box stores in the laundry spotter area. They are small yellow bottles for stain removal. Be sure you get the one labeled GUM.

HARD CANDY: So the kids got tired of the sucker and it ended up on the seat of the car or in the carpet. First use a blow dryer to loosen it from the fibers. Set the dryer on hot and hold on an angle to heat the candy. Use a spoon or dull straight edge to remove it. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, such as Dawn, with 2 cups warm water in a bowl or bucket. Dip a cleaning cloth into the liquid mixture. Press the dampened white cleaning cloth onto the stain left on the carpet.

Let it sit for several minutes to allow the cleaning solution to soak into the stain. Turn an iron on the lowest setting and press it onto the cloth. Leave it there for 30 to 60 seconds and then remove the heat. The dye from the candy will lift off the carpet onto the cloth. Repeat this until you remove all the sucker color from the carpet. Pour on some club soda and blot blot blot to remove the cleaning solution. Folding paper towels and standing on them will work well.

HAIR DYE: Kids love to spray their hair pink, green, blue etc for Halloween. If you have a child with blond hair, that can be a problem because it stains. To remove it, combine your regular shampoo with baking soda and wash. If color remains, combine baking soda and dishwashing liquid and wash. Once you have the color out, condition hair.

GLITTER MAKE UP: Glitter make up looks great but can scratch delicate skin when you are removing it. Take petroleum jelly and work in gently, then wipe off. The make up will come off without scratching.

For more information on the Queen of Clean Linda Cobb, to find products used and recommended by the Queen and FREE printouts go to queenofclean.com. Find the Queen’s books at national book stores and on Amazon and queenofclean.com.