Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Urgent Cleaning: Paint Spill on the Driveway

This past weekend, our two-year-old son was helping by taking a turn shaking a can of white latex paint to mix it up. Of course, with his experimental, two-year-old way of doing things he dropped it a couple of times, inevitably leading to the lid popping off and leaving a puddle of white paint on our driveway. We didn't panic. Okay, we did - but we managed to take turns in panic mode, so that one of the two of us would remain competent enough to deal with the mess, and that our son was assured that no one was mad at him and this was just an accident. Here's how we got the mess cleaned up:

  • Wipe up the excess paint with some paper towels, rags, or whatever is on hand as soon as possible. Dispose of them in the garbage or just drop them in a handy cardboard box for now.
  • Squirt some dish soap over the giant splop of paint.
  • Scrub, scrub, scrub away at it with the sort of brush you use for cleaning bathroom tile.
  • Rinse with the garden hose.
  • Squirt more dish soap.
  • Scrub, scrub, scrub. Keep a positive attitude in the face of the fact that your next door neighbor's entire extended family is showing up for a visit at this moment, and numerous other neighbors are driving by on their way to and fro, making you feel paranoid and clumsy.
  • Rinse more with the garden hose. It should look quite a bit better by now. Keep repeating the soap, scrub, and rinse steps until you are pleased with the look of your driveway. We ended up with only a few stubborn specks of white, which don't stand out and should wear away this summer.

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