Uh, oh! Those words, spoken by a child, can send a chill of
dread down the spine of every teacher — what catastrophe awaits?
Kids seem to naturally attract small disasters…it’s a wonder the
custodian and church board don’t grill you weekly about the state
of your classroom carpet!
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Never fear — our disaster guide is here! We’ve got simple ways to
solve some of your worst problems. Use these solutions to get out
of a jam the next time classroom disasters strike — and your reply
to “Uh-oh!” will be a calm, “No probem!”
Gobs of Glue
Glue: a classroom necessity, a potential cleanup
nightmare. Here’s what to do when you’ve got glue everywhere.
• Fresh Glue-Scrape off as much of the glue as possible,
blotting fresh glue with paper towels while it’s wet. Scrub the
area with a cloth dipped in white vinegar. Then soak the area with
warm water and blot it, repeating with vinegar if needed.
• Dried Glue-For dried glue, scrub the area with a cloth
dipped in Goof Off solvent (available at hardware stores or www.valspar.com).
Do a color-safe test before applying this solvent.
Marker lesson number one: Never allow permanent markers to
infiltrate your classroom. Marker lesson number two: Follow this
guide the next time markers leave a colorful impression on your
• Fabric Stains-For marker stains on fabric, dot the stain
with a baby wipe. The glycerine content in the wipes will keep it
from setting in. Then apply a spot remover (pet stain spot remover
works well), and wash.
• Dry-Erase Boards-For regular or permanent marker on a
dry-erase board, simply color over the entire area of the marker
stain with a dry-erase marker, let it sit for about 10 seconds,
then wipe it away. For older stains, you may need to do this a few
times. This technique can be used on other nonporous surfaces as
• Wood Stains-For marker on wood, gently erase the marks
with a pencil eraser.
• Fresh Marker-For fresh marker stains, put white
toothpaste on a toothbrush and gently scrub the surface for 45
seconds. Let it stand for one minute, then wipe away the stain wih
a damp cloth.
Kids love crayons. After all, they color on just about anything!
Here’s what to do when kids color a little too far outside the
• Carpet and Clothing-Surprisingly, Murphy Oil Soap will
pull crayon out of carpet and clothing. Apply it full-strength to
the stain and use a wet white cloth to wipe away the stain.
• Hard Surfaces-On walls, rub the area with a dryer sheet
to remove crayon marks. This also works for removing crayon from TV
• Wall Marks-Use WD-40 to remove crayon from walls. Just
spray and rub away the marking with a cloth. After removing the
crayon, wipe the area with a gentle cleanser.
• Other Surfaces-To remove crayon from various surfaces,
mix a little baking soda and water together to make a paste. Scrub
the area with the mixture on a sponge. Spray the area with a
cleaner to remove the mixture, and you’re done.
• Almost All Other Marks-For a chemical-free solution to
remove crayon marks, just raid the pantry for a piece of bread and
rub the spots with it.