So, you’re having a Halloween party? Boo to you! A good “boo,” that is. And a bad boo to the things that we’ve come to look for the day after, when all the ghosties have left the building, leaving a trail of the following in their wake:

1101 the day after
November 1, the day after Halloween (via David Morris/Flickr)

Candy Wrappers
Well, yes. Need we say more? Halloween is one of the biggest candy sales events of the year. And you’d know, because you see the chocolate stains the next day. Scrape off excess, and then begin by gently blot with warm water, adding touch of liquid dish soap only if necessary (and after checking in an inconspicuous space to make sure that doesn’t worsen the situation). Which brings us to candy corn…

Candy Corn
Leave aside how you feel about their deliciousness, oh, sorry, their completely fake chemically dubious nutritional content. Whether you eat them by the bag or avoid them entirely, for about a week they take over your world. Then they tend to end up on the floor a lot, and they do so directly proportionality to the amount of alcohol consumed. Our clients being folks who can throw a rockin’ party, it’s not unusual for us to come in the next morning and find a candy corn on the floor, between seat cushions, under the table … everywhere, really. Step carefully, so you don’t mush them. If you do, follow the instructions for chocolate, because those gloriously fake colors are just as ruinous as dark chocolate.

Candle Wax
Ooh the ambience! Ugh with the drips the next day….But there is a way to clean it off. It may not be perfect, but can reduce the damage. First let it dry off completely. Then remove excess off carpet or upholstery with a dull knife. For fabrics, place them in the freezer and then remove the excess. Tackle what’s left with an iron – place a clean white cloth over the wax stain, iron on very low heat, just enough to warm the wax and transfer to the cloth, remove cloth and repeat as needed.

All those costumes, the fairies, the goblins, the glitter…getting into every last corner and crevice. We’d like to tell you there’s a fool proof way of getting it all out of your floors, carpets especially. But there isn’t. It’s easier on floors, which can vacuum first and then pick up any stray bits with playdoh. Carpet? Several vacuuming sessions. They may be gone by Christmas. At which point you’ll have tinsel to contend with.

The party's over
Ah yes, the sign of a good party….drinkables, chapstick, and more. All in one place. (via Elias Gayles/Flickr)

Halloween Make-Up
This usually shows up on the upholstery the day after a well made up Elvira or Frankenstein took a small snooze. Most commercial cleaners will take that stuff off. But the key is to start with a small test in an inconspicuous area to make sure the cleaner works and won’t leave a worse stain.

Shaving Cream
It’s shaving cream – which means you can hose it off, and enjoy the accidental by product of a cleaner car or siding. (Hey, look on the bright side, right?) Whatever you do, don’t pick off dried or hardened spots with a knife or a sharp edge. Go with the hose, and then a sponge if needed. And don’t leave it on in the hopes that it’ll get rained off. It may just end up sticking longer, and can stain. By the way, the same is also generally true for Silly String.

Sigh, yeah. That happens. (Via Paul L Dineen/Flickr)

Get it off before it’s wet. And if it rained before you could get to it, wait for it to dry. So your house will look silly for a bit, but it’s better than the aggravation of trying to get off wet TP. If the local ghoulies did a serious number and got up into the eaves, take care – your pride truly isn’t worth the fall in this case. Aim for stuff in high places with a “sticky stick” – a pole with masking tape or painters tape wrapped around it.

Ah yes, the oldest, smelliest, and unsightliest Halloween prank. The rules are these: Don’t wait to clean it off, unless you want it cooked onto the surface. Don’t clean off with hot water, which will achieve the same result. Don’t go at it full blast, because that’ll just spread the stuff all over AND grind it even harder into the surface you’re trying to clean. What you should do is wet the area below the stain with lukewarm water (enough to hydrate if it’s dry, and loosen from the edges) and then wash off from above so it slides down. Get as much of it off as possible. And go at the remainder gently with different techniques depending on whether its the car or the house.

If you had a helluva Halloween party, the clean up is not hard. You just need to know what to look for!