Your Post-Halloween Cleanup Guide

If you wound up with more tricks than treats this Halloween, you're likely to have your hands full with a mess: toilet paper in the trees, eggs dripping on your house, maybe even chocolate mashed into the carpet. There’s no reason to get spooked: These 8 strategies for dealing with Halloween hazards will make your post-holiday cleanup a breeze.

  1. Toilet Paper

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    When it gets wet, toilet paper falls apart and can be difficult to remove, so you may be left with some strips still hanging around. Go out around noon, after the dew has evaporated—sooner if rain is in the forecast—and use a leaf blower to remove the tissue. Bag up the paper and add it to your trash.

  2. Smashed Eggs

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    Smashed eggs are no good for your exterior, as the yokes can stain and shell shards could scratch the exterior paint. Hose down the wall just below where the eggs hit and then again gently above the mess, so it slides down the siding easily. Scrub any leftovers with a brush dipped in a mixture of warm water and dish soap.

  3. Melted Chocolate

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    The worst thing about chocolate is how quickly it melts. If you find a chunk mashed into the carpet, let it harden and scrape off what you can. Then mix one tablespoon dishwashing liquid with two cups cool water, and use a microfiber cloth to dab at the stain repeatedly until it disappears. Sponge down with clean, cold water, and dry.

  4. Stuck Gum

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    If at the end of the night's candy count one little monster drops a half-chewed piece of gum onto your upholstery, don’t fret. Freeze the gum by applying ice; the gum should then lift off in one piece. If not, reapply the ice until the gum has hardened, and scrape it away.

  5. Rotten Pumpkins

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    A jack-o'-lantern set outside on a wood stool will most likely leave behind a moldy stain as it decomposes. To remove it, dampen a microfiber cloth with warm water and a squirt of toothpaste, then rub it on the stain in small circles until it lifts. Once the stain is gone, reapply wood polish.

  6. Wax Drippings

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    Undo spilled wax from eerie candles quickly and easily. If wax dripped on wood, warm it with a hairdryer, then wipe away with a cloth. Any remaining residue can be cleared off with a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water. Spot wax on the tablecloth? Scrape the bulk of the wax away with a butter knife. Then, place a clean paper towel on the stain and iron over it with low heat—the towel should soak up what’s left.

  7. Costume Makeup Smears

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    Commercial upholstery cleaner can remove costume makeup smears from a seat or carpet in a snap. Apply it using a microfiber cloth on a hidden spot first to see that the upholstery's color doesn’t bleed. If nothing comes off onto your cloth, use it to blot (not rub) the stain away.

  8. Glitter

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    The fairies, princesses, and ballerinas who visited your home on their candy-collecting mission may have left behind a dusting of glitter—a craft supply notorious for hanging around months later. Rather than trying to wipe it away with a wet paper towel, swipe a lint roller anywhere you see sparkles.

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