Kids painting pottery. Kids painting pottery.

How to Clean Up from Creative Play & Crafting Fun

Don’t let spills and accidents spoil the creative fun. Follow our guide for a quick home or classroom crafting clean-up, whether the stains are on floors, furniture, or fabric.

10 Tips for Quick Crafting Clean-Up

Creative time with kids in the living room or classroom is great for exploring the senses and the imagination. But arts and crafts fun inevitably leads to a few oopsies.

Here’s how you can encourage coloring outside the lines without worrying when paint, ink or crayon winds up in unplanned-for places.

1. Contain the Craft Mess

If you put down craft paper, newspaper, or cardboard prior to painting, using glue, or markers and crayons, you’ll save yourself time and hassle. When it’s time to clean up, roll or fold the paper toward the center to contain any drips and small bits.

Tip: wax paper is also a good base for craft activities, especially if they involve liquid.

2. Let Me See Your Hands!

Before kids get up from their seats, ask them to hold out their hands. Wipe off hands and fingers, and use the time to inspect clothes, hair and faces for any glue, glitter, or paint that may have wound up there.

Tip: keep a container of wipes at the craft table.

3. Not So Fast!

Before letting anyone get out of their chair, do an inspection of feet and shoes to help prevent tracking. Also use this time to pick up any large pieces that may have fallen under tables and desks. If the glitter has gone wild and you can get the kids to stay in their seats and lift up their legs, run the first pass of a vacuum to lessen glitter’s ability to leave the area.

Tip: have the kids listen to or sing a song to give you time to quickly clean while they are otherwise distracted.

4. Off with the dirty, on with the clean!

If socks or shirts have drips or been used to wipe hands, consider making a change of clothes here and now – bring the clean clothes to the art area and gather the soiled ones, instead of letting them wind up mingled with other laundry. Try having a bucket or laundry tub so you can immediately soak dirty clothes in OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover and warm water.

Tip: try having an oversized t-shirt or button down for each child to wear over their clothes during arts and crafts time. Most stains will go on this “art shirt”!

Kids playing with finger paints.

5. Get Up the Big Stuff

Remove any large pieces, splotches, or clumps from the crafting surface you worked on. Wipe everything toward a single pile then use your hand or a dustpan to sweep off the edge or use a sponge or cleaning cloth and rotate the surface to keep a clean section.

Tip: have a garbage can nearby so you don’t have to carry the mess across the house.

6.Get the Goo Off & Glitter Up

If your surface is sticky from labels, stickers or foam shapes, you can use an OxiClean™ VSR solution to help de-stickify, or try using mineral oil or even cooking oil to help clean up a gooey glue mess on a hard surface. Got glitter?

Tip: use a lint roller or tape to get it off furniture and floors. You can even get kids to help “capture” the glitter as part of the fun.

7. Wash the Crafty Clothes Separately

Wash heavily soiled clothes and linens separately and pre-treat with a laundry stain remover such as OxiClean™ Max Force™. You can also add a scoop of OxiClean™ VSR to the drum to boost your detergent’s effectiveness and use the power of oxygen to fight stains.

Tip: set your washer to a smaller load or use its smart sensor to save water.

How to Get Ink or Paint Out of Clothes

Finger paint, watercolors, acrylic paint are no match for OxiClean™. There are two ways to remove ink or paint that’s made its way onto cuffs, pants, shoes or laces. Make a solution of OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover or for 5-in-1 power, try OxiClean™ Max Force™ Spray.

Find the complete instructions for removing marker from fabric in our stain guide.

Girl with broken leg coloring on couch.

8. Clean Hard Surfaces Used for Crafting

For stain-removing power that’s free of chlorine bleach and harsh fumes, reach for your container of OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover or one of the specialized family of OxiClean™ products designed for surfaces throughout your home or classroom.

Glass or granite tables work well for crafting activities because they are durable and easy to clean. Create a simple cleaning solution of OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover and water to safely clean granite and marble.

Always refer to packaging for directions.

MIX Fill the scoop included to line 1 per 16 ounces of water in a bowl.

APPLY using a microfiber cloth or sponge.

LET STAND 5-10 min. Scrub as needed to remove dried on paint.

RINSE well with cool water.

BUFF DRY with a clean soft cloth.

9. Inspect Upholstered Furniture for Any Spills or Stains

Sometimes paint clings to fingers, faces, or clothes and runs away before you can get it wiped up or washed. Next thing you know, there’s paint on your couch or your favorite upholstered chair. Not to worry, even if the paint is dried.

Tip: check furniture arms for swipes and smudges and seats for dribbles and drips. Check along the bottom for any splatters and speckles.

How to Remove Crayon, Marker or Craft Paint from Your Couch

Follow these instructions to use OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover or Laundry Stain Remover Spray to get the paint or ink that found its way to the couch fabric* out.

* Always test OxiClean™ on an inconspicuous area first. Use only on water-washable upholstery. Do not spray directly on stains. Not suitable for leather upholstery.

10.Check for Carpet Mishaps or Deck Stains

If your crafting area is carpeted, it’s a good idea to put down a drop cloth before letting the kids begin. No drop cloth or the kids managed to miss it? Tackle paint, ink, and marker stains on carpet with a clean cloth, a solution of OxiClean™ VSR and water, or a ready-made chlorine-free carpet stain remover like OxiClean™ Carpet and Area Rug Stain Remover.

Had the forethought to set up crafting outside on the deck or patio? If paint landed on your composite or wood deck planks or on your outdoor furniture, follow our guide to removing patio stains and the evidence will soon be gone.

Art teacher helping students.

OxiClean™ for More than Laundry

A scoop of OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover in your washer brings powerful stain- and odor-fighters to bear on whatever you and your kids have gotten into. Flex the “versatile” in OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover on patio furniture, grout, trash cans, couches, and even cars. Grab a tub of OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover today to be prepared for your next crafting mishap.

Bootstrap Carousel Bootstrap Example


quotation marks
Thank goodness for #MyOxiClean products or I’d have one sad boy and one stinky tiger!”
#MyOxiClean is about real people sharing their cleaning tips and tricks.