Scary Halloween Stain Removal: An Earth-Friendly Guide

Neil Patrick Harris and family all dressed up for Halloween. The scariest part? All that makeup is going to leave a terrifying mess!

Neil Patrick Harris and family all dressed up for Halloween. The scariest part? All that makeup is going to leave a terrifying mess!

Halloween is right around the corner! Everyone at my house is busy decorating, planning costumes, and preparing treats. Every year we go all out on Halloween, trying to outdo each other for the scariest costumes and decorations, and every year the clean up is the scariest part! If your family loves Halloween, you probably know what I mean. But never fear! I have compiled this handy, non-toxic Halloween stain guide to help you combat the ghosties that linger behind on your carpet, your clothes, and even your skin!

I’d recommend reading over this guide thoroughly before Halloween night, so that you’ll be prepared if any of these terrifying stains occur on your watch. Be vigilant! Most stains can be removed, but most require immediate attention in order to prevent them from overstaying their welcome.


Dealing with Common Halloween Party Disasters

Oops! Looks like Dracula had a little accident.

Oops! Looks like Dracula had a little accident.

If you’re throwing a Halloween party, hosting a haunted house, or even having a couple of friends over to sip wine and eat chocolate while you hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, these tips might just come in handy.

  • Wine Stains on Carpet- For a red wine stain on carpet or upholstery, immediately soak the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the peroxide to penetrate the fibers. Then, spritz the area with a mixture of water and white vinegar and blot with a clean cloth until the stain is removed. Note: you must get started on this right away, before the wine dries, or it will be nearly impossible to remove.

  • Candle Wax on Carpet- DON’T ATTEMPT TO CLEAN WHILE WAX IS STILL WARM!!! Wait for the wax to cool, then scrape up what you can with a table knife or spatula. Then, fold paper towels into three layers and place over the stain. With an iron set to low, go back and forth over the stain until the paper towel absorbs the wax. You may have to repeat three or more times with fresh paper towels each time.


Getting Halloween Stains out of Clothes and Costumes

It's all fun and games until someone melts a snickers bar in their back pocket.

It's all fun and games until someone melts a snickers bar in their back pocket.

Post-Halloween laundry is ten times scarier than anything you’ll see on Halloween night. Trust me. In the world of cleaning, it’s right up there with vacuuming between the toddler seats in a minivan. But I do have a few non-toxic tricks up my sleeve when it comes to common Halloween stain culprits. The first thing to remember is that the sooner you attack the stain, the more likely you will be to claim a victory.

  • Chocolate- Soak stained area in detergent and let sit for 15-30 minutes, then launder as usual. Alternately, you might try soaking with an enzyme based stain remover or 3% hydrogen peroxide.

  • Cosmetics- Try 3-5 drops of glycerin, being careful to concentrate the glycerin directly over the stain. Attempt to scrape the stain off with a plastic spatula, then pretreat with your regular laundry detergent and wash in hot water.

  • Fake Blood- Give the tips in this article on how to clean fake blood off clothes a try.


Removing Costume Makeup and Adhesives from Skin

Pro-tip: Don't sleep in your zombie makeup.

Pro-tip: Don't sleep in your zombie makeup.

So you’re home from the evening’s festivities, and you’re probably ready to cue up Night of the Living Dead on Netflix and pass out on the couch. But! You can’t. You have to somehow remove all of that costume makeup from your face, neck and arms first. This is not the most awesome part of Halloween. Not by a long shot. But it must be done, or your skin will break out and your pillow will look like Frankenstein’s monster. First things first. Check the label of the cosmetic in question. Sometimes, it will tell you exactly how to remove it safely from your skin. If not, here are some methods to try.

  • Liquid Latex- Comes off with just soap and warm water.

  • Body Glue- Wipe with rubbing alcohol on a paper towel, cotton ball or cotton cosmetic pad.

  • Cosmetic Stains- If soap and water won’t get all of the costume makeup off your skin, try shaving cream, lotion or a small amount of gentle essential oil like lavender or tea tree oil.

Have a safe and happy Halloween, and don’t let those scary stains drive you to an early grave!