The Accidental Housewife

5 Common Back to School Messes Solved

Got stinky lunch boxes, ink stains on your kid’s nice new khaki shorts or bubble gum in their hair? Looks like we moms and dads have our own homework to do! Here’s an easy lesson on how to get rid of them that will save you time and money using items you likely already have in your home.

Stinky lunch boxes: Leftovers hidden in the lunch box side compartment? Pee-yew! First, wipe it out with some dish soap and water, then take out your white vinegar. Soak either a few pieces of bread or paper towels with this multi-tasking household staple and place them in your child’s lunch box overnight to absorb those yucky smells. Baking soda, another household multi-tasker and amazing odor absorber works too if you’re out of vinegar.

Bubble gum: You don’t need to turn your child’s long locks into a short bob! Reach for good ole olive oil. That and a fine tooth comb will break down the gum making it easy to remove. Apply a generous amount to the gummed area and work it in really well. Let it set for 20-30 minutes and feel free to make some dressing for a salad with your child during this time! Then comb through. Depending on how big the wad is, you may need to repeat. Wash hair and enjoy your salad and dressing! FYI: Baby oil and canola oil will also do the job.

Ink stains: Little Liam’s using his nice new khakis to remember his homework assignment? Well fear not, mom! Take aim with your fave styling tool: aerosol hairspray! Place a paper towel under the stain so it doesn’t bleed onto another part of the shorts, creating more work for momma. Saturate the stain with hairspray, which helps to break it up. Next, blot the stain but never rub or you’ll both spread and work the stain into the fabric, making it a more permanent design. And lastly, do not put it in the dryer until the stain is out or it will set it.

Grass stains: Our kids don’t think about sliding or crawling in the grass…and why should they! That’s where one of my favorite cocktail hour ingredients comes in: Vodka! Vodka is made of pure alcohol and has a solvent effect. Put some cheap vodka in a spray bottle and drench, blot, let sit for an hour or so and launder. You can also make yourself a yummy cocktail to celebrate! If you’d prefer to reach into your bathroom cabinet, rubbing alcohol will work too.

Cell phone rescue: Oops. Emma forgot that her cell phone was in her back pocket when she went to the girl’s room (when it should have been in her backpack and turned off during school!). While she has a time out, you can dry her phone out! First off, use a blow dryer on a cool setting to dry out the little openings and plug-in areas. Next, remove the battery and fill a bowl with enough dried rice to totally cover her phone and let it stay in there for at least 48 hours. Grab an old toothbrush and brush away any rice dust.

Have your own solution for back to school messes? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments.

2 Responses to “5 Common Back to School Messes Solved”

  1. Kim Dingman says:

    I have used most of these tips with my husbands lunchbox as well. I do know that baking soda works well with the smell of lunch boxes as well as the vinegar. I also used to use peanut butter on my kids hair when they got gum in it and found that it worked well. I have never tried the vodka for grass stains but am going to try that real soon. Thank you for the helpful hints.

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