If there is a way to make a new mess, my children will find it. It's like they want to make sure that by the time they are grown, I will be the grandmother figure who knows how to deal with every possible stain, because at one point or another, they've thrown it at me.

The girls were recently in a Christmas show. When the show wrapped, each performer was given a little "thank you" gift. It included a few pieces of ribbon candy, a few candy canes, a few chocolates, and all sorts of treats.

As my second grader sampled her treats on the drive home, she was breaking off little bits of candy cane and ribbon candy, which were falling to the floor. Rather than pick them up (or let me know) when we got home, she walked over them with her wet boots. Since she's old enough to get in and out on her own, I don't open her door often and didn't see. She did the same the next day, in and out, grounding the solid sugar in with her snowy and wet shoes, over and over.  

Then, while opening her door to look for a lost shoe, I saw the three day old results. Globs of red and white and pink and yellow, soggy and congealed and ground in and very, very stuck to the carpet and unholstery. Fantastic. A brand new mess to explore.

I made a huge deal about it to her, but surprisingly, the solution was a lot easier than expected. All you need is:

1 cup distilled vinegar

1 cup of club soda

½ cup of blue dawn

Spray bottle

Scrub brush

Mix the three liquids together in the spray bottle. I like to warm the vinegar - I learned from our gum incident that warm vinegar is even better at getting out sticky stuff. You obviously shouldn't shake this mixture, but get it mixed well.

Spray and saturate the area. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then take the scrub brush and work it in, picking up and discarding the big pieces as they loosen. I was surprised at how little scrubbing it actually took before the congealed hard candy lifted off and left that small area cleaner than before. I did it twice - once to get the bulk off, then again to tackle the residue.

They throw it at me and luckily, I've become good at making it right again!

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