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Solutions on the Fly

Kristi Rector

Baby Formula Flubs

Baby formula seems harmless enough, but it can leave foul-smelling stains that are next to impossible to remove. Use these tips to get it out quick.

• Spills on Light Colors-For white items, moisten the stained area with lemon juice and put it out in the sun, then wash as usual. The lemon juice will bleach the stain.

• Clothing-Make a paste of meat tenderizer and water, and rub it into the stain. Let it sit for an hour and then wash as usual. Meat tenderizer breaks down the protein in formula.

• Stain Preventer-Apply a Biz or Axion enzyme presoak.

Gruesome Gum Goofs

It's not an exaggeration to say that gum can be a teacher's worst nightmare. Think gum in hair, gum on shoes, and gum on desks. Need we say more?

• Hair and Clothing-Apply ice to the gum to harden it. Then scrape it off with a dull knife or credit card.

• Carpet-Spray the gum with aerosol compressed air. This will freeze the gum and make it brittle. Lightly rub the gum with a credit card-it'll break into small pieces. Vacuum up the pieces before they thaw. (Don't get the Freon refrigerant from the compressed air on your skin.)

• Other Surfaces-Rub peanut butter into the gum and wipe it up with a paper towel.

• Hard Surfaces-Pull the gum up with a piece of duct tape.


Paint Pandemonium

Kids and teachers love paint-it's a great creative tool. But it's an unmatched disaster when it lands on your floor.

• Fresh Spills-Soak up as much paint as possible with a dry towel; don't rub the spill-that will make it worse. Then pour a large amount of Dawn dishwashing soap into a bucket and add a small amount of water. Soak a clean towel in the soapy water and apply it to the spill. Wring out the towel and repeat the process until the paint is gone. Note: If you've got a large spill, don't try to fix it yourself. Call a carpet cleaner immediately.

• Dried Paint-Gojo hand cleaner will remove dried paint from carpet ( Apply some to the spot and let it sit for a few minutes. Then rub the stain with a clean, dry cloth.

• Carpet Stains-Apply dry-cleaning solution or acetone nail polish remover to a clean cloth and then wipe the stain (test nail polish remover on a hidden area first to ensure colorfastness). Don't pour the solutions onto the carpet or they'll dissolve the carpet adhesive.

Kristi Rector is copy editor for Children's Ministry Magazine.

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