Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hand Sanitizer to the Rescue When Picassos Go Wild

Who knew the hand sanitizer I carry in my purse would come in handy when my microfiber furniture came under attack by a pen wielding three year old.

I am usually really careful about leaving things that can spell disaster by my children hidden or out of their reach.  One night I had been writing (with a good old-fashioned pen) and I thought I had put everything away when I went to bed.  Of course I didn't.  The pen laid behind, forgotten.  That is until Emily found it and decided to pretend to be Picasso.

You know where this is going, don't you?
It was morning.  After getting the girls settled in the living room, I returned to the kitchen to get the girls bowls of cereal and fruit.  I was out of the room for about three minutes when I returned to check on them and saw this:


My little darlings had drawn (scribbled) on our ottoman with my favorite gel ink pen.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry so I did neither.  

I reacted.

Em being the smart girl that she is, knew she had done something she wasn't supposed to when she saw me and laid down the pen.  I immediately removed the pen from their reach and put it on top of the bookshelf mentally kicking myself again and again for not being careful enough.  

I immediately went on the computer to search for how to remove ink from microfiber.  I figured the quicker I reacted the better chance I had of removing the ink without permanent damage.  The suggestions ranged from using rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer to 409.

I chose to use hand sanitizer since that was what I had close by.

To remove ink from microfiber:
  • Squeeze a small amount of hand sanitizer (use only the clear gel) on a white cloth. I used a child's washcloth.
  • Dab and blot. You may need to rub even though that wasn't recommended.  I found you needed to really work at some of the marks.
  • Take a damp cloth (make sure there is no excess water on the cloth to avoid water stains) and gently wipe the furniture.

This is what the ottoman looked like after it had dried and I had finished removing most of the ink.  There are still some faint marks visible but you have to look really close to see them (or know they are there).

Apparently there are other uses for hand sanitizer besides killing germs and removing ink from furniture:
  • Removing labels and price tags from glass (jars)
  • Cleaning permanent marker from white boards
  • Cleaning paint (including acrylics) from brushes (I couldn't put this one to the test)
I had also read that hand sanitizer can remove ink from clothing but when I tried it to remove the ink from Emily's pajama top it didn't work so it may depend on the type of fabric.  It did work wonders on my microfiber so for that I am extremely grateful.
    And now you know what to do if your little ones ever find a stray pen and decide to use your microfiber furniture as their canvas.


    Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

    What a lifesaver! Another reason to never be without your Purell.

    KLZ said...

    This makes me happy. But also a little worried about what kind of chemicals we're putting on our hands.

    Ms Bibi said...

    I need to remember this since I just bought new microfiber sofa and my best friend's two year old visits often and is into the "wall art" tight now.

    Liz said...

    I have never before known that purell had any other magical powers! This is too cool!

    Buckeroomama said...

    I've tried it on white boards and it does work. :) This is good to know. My husband always teases me about the bottle of hand sanitizer that I always carry around with me.

    Lourie said...

    I would have cried. And I would never have thought of google, which is crazy because I love google! Thanks for posting this!

    Joy said...

    It really was a miracle worker. I probably would have cried if it hadn't worked since that was part of the first furniture set my husband and I had bought after we got married!

    Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

    Wow, that worked great. I will definitely remember that. I wonder if it will take off our dried on nail polish off the microfiber.

    That is pretty scary that it removes so much and we are putting it all over our kids delicate hands. Makes me wonder...

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