4 Ways to Keep Kids a Little Cleaner

By Aurora McCausland

We love our kids. But we can’t deny, sometimes they can be pretty gross. It’s not their fault, either! They just don’t have a very good sense of hygiene or when something is gross. For example, rolling around in mud? Totally doable! Never mind how gross mom thinks it is. That’s one of the things that we love about our children, though. They are brave and curious and want to learn how things work. Does that mean we have a few messes to clean up sometimes? Yes. And we gladly clean them up, because we love them and we love watching them learn. But when things get to be just a little bit too gross…here are a few tips to help.

Stinky breath

We all know that early morning awakening. Your child jumps into your bed the second the sun hints at coming up, hours earlier than you would choose to get up, if you were actually able to choose. They hold your face between their hands. For a moment, it’s sweet. And then they open their mouth. And icky morning breath washes over you. Now you remember. Your kid is gross. Bad breath is relatively normal, especially first thing in the morning! But if you think it’s getting a little out of hand, there are a few things you can do to improve their breath. It’s possible that your child isn’t getting enough fresh fruits and veggies, which can cause bad breath. Another reason for bad breath is too much dairy, or congestion at night which can cause them to breathe with their mouth open. Check this link for more ideas.

Sticky hands

Somehow, your child’s hands are always sticky. They aren’t even doing things that would be getting them sticky! And yet, every time they reach for your hand, or touch your walls, they leave behind a sticky residue. You may not be able to get rid of whatever is making their hands sticky, but you can encourage them to wash their hands more. I know what you’re thinking. “That’s your tip? Ask my kid to wash their hands more? Please.” However, your child can learn to like washing their hands! You just have to make it a fun activity you do together. Take them to the store and let them smell lots of different soaps, and then let them pick their favorite to bring home! Periodically throughout the day, like after meals or messy activities, invite them into the bathroom to wash their hands with you!

Sticky face

What goes with sticky hands? A sticky face. Chances are, whatever is making their hands sticky, also ended up being rubbed all over their face and cheeks. And children hate having their face washed. They act like you’re coming towards them with a wipe covered in the plague. One way to help them learn to be okay with washing their face is to let them do it. Hand them the paper towel, wipe, or clean rag, and have them do it themselves. You can also give them the option to choose which way they’d like to clean their face.


Red and chapped lips

We’ve all seen the kid (often our own) with a red ring around their lips, making it look like they just had a messy drink of red Kool-aid. Unfortunately, it is not a tasty drink of Kool-aid, and it’s dry lips due to being licked repeatedly. This is usually due to being dehydrated! There are a few ways to help them. The first, is to make sure they’re getting more water everyday. Stop them periodically as they play to remind them to take a drink, even if it’s just a sip. Make sure they drink with their meals, and offer a drink as soon as they wake up in the morning and right before they go to sleep at night. You’ll also want to help moisturize their lips, as the damage is already done. Avoid using a tasty flavored Chapstick, as this may encourage them to lick their lips more. Instead, use a flavorless option or one that doesn’t taste pleasant, like the original Carmex flavor, to discourage them from licking their lips.


"Time spent with cats is never wasted." ~ Sigmund Freud