Whether you spent time doing crafts with the little ones in your life or you took on a scrap book project of your own, if glitter was involved, you’re likely struggling to clean up the sparkly pieces which stick to anything like a magnet. “Glitter is engineered to be lightweight and flat, which means it clings easily to surfaces,” explains Maira Urzua, Housekeeping Director at Nanny’s and Granny’s. Throw in the fact that it’s really small and you have a problem on your hands that resists most basic cleaning methods. No need to panic, however. We tapped cleaning experts for their fail-safe advice on how to clean up glitter from hard surfaces, rugs and carpets, upholstery, clothing, hair and skin!
How to clean up glitter from hard surfaces + what *not* to use
When it comes to cleaning up glitter from hard surfaces like floors and tables, experts agree that a multi-pronged approach is best and that it’s best to avoid the two things you would most likely grab first: a broom and/or a vacuum.
Urzua insists that If there’s anything you shouldn’t do to clean up glitter from a floor, it’s pull out your broom — “sweeping tends to spread the glitter further.” And Rochelle Wilkinson, Lead Dirt Detective at Dirt Detective Cleaning recommends that you avoid using a vacuum to clean up a large glitter spill since the glitter is at risk of irritating the filter and getting stuck in the vacuum.
Instead, Wilkinson suggests using disposable pad such as the Swiffer Sweeper Heavy Duty Multi-Surface Dry Cloth (Buy from Target, $14.49) to clean glitter up from both floors and tables. “It has deep pockets that trap debris, until most of the glitter is taken care of.” Then for any leftover pieces, you can use the vacuum or Urzua says you could just “use a sticky lint roller to capture the smaller particles, and then a damp cloth to help pick up the rest.”
Another easy way to remove glitter from a table, especially if you have kids around who want to help? Grab some play dough and watch how well it works in this YouTube video from @innerchildfunmedia
How to clean it from rugs and carpets
While enlisting a vacuum to remove glitter from the more embeddable surfaces is almost unavoidable, Wilkinson always saves the vacuum for second, preferring to minimize the amount of glitter in its filter. Her first order of business is using a washable lint roller on a long pole (Buy from Amazon, $18.99). “Since you need to rinse it once the roller is full, use a small bucket of water and then flush the glitter water down the toilet when you’re done.” Then vacuum whatever is leftover.
Urzua does the opposite: She starts with a vacuum cleaner using a brush attachment to loosen the glitter. “For a deeper cleaning, a mixture of water and fabric softener sprayed lightly over the area can help.” After a few minutes, vacuum the area again. Then, she enlists the washable lint roller to pick up any excess.
How to clean up glitter from upholstery and clothing
The experts agree that you don’t need anything fancy to clean up glitter from upholstery and clothing — just a lint roller and tape, both of which have a gentle touch and won’t damage the fabric.
“Do a couple of big sweeps with a handheld lint roller first, and if there’s any glitter left, wrap some packing or duct tape around your first two fingers and use a dabbing motion,” Wilkinson says. “Pull it off, toss and repeat until it’s all gone.”
If you’re dealing with clothing, Urzua recommends turning the garment inside out and washing it on a gentle cycle as a finishing touch.
How to get it out of hair
Glitter can be just as tricky to remove from your hair as it is from clothes and surfaces in your home. “The lightweight and often static-filled particles tend to cling to strands, and can be difficult to wash out completely,” explains celebrity beauty expert Millie Morales.
She recommends first using the Garnier Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Smoothing Oil (Buy from Amazon, $5.69) which helps loosen the glitter from strands while also nourishing and softening the hair thanks to its ingredients. “Apply the oil in your hands, rub it gently into your hair, and use a mouse tail comb to gently remove the glitter,” she explains. Afterwards, Morales says you should use the Garnier Whole Blends Legendary Olive Replenishing Shampoo (Buy from Amazon, $17.69) and the accompanying conditioner (Buy from Amazon, $9.99) which “hydrates the hair, making it easier to manage and remove stubborn glitter.”
Finally, for post-glitter care, she suggests the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream (Buy from Amazon, $20.50), saying it’ll keep your hair smooth and manageable while protecting it from any potential damage from the glitter removal process.
What you shouldn’t do to get glitter out of hair, according to Morales:
- Avoid using excessive force or aggressive brushing, as this can damage your hair and worsen the glitter situation.
- Be cautious with using just water to rinse; glitter tends to resist water alone.
- Skip using regular shampoo without any added conditioner, as it may not provide enough slip to release the glitter from your hair strands.
How to clean up glitter from skin
When it comes to removing the sticky stuff from your hands, or your face if you applied glittery makeup, oil to the rescue. Just grab some cotton rounds, soak them in a face-cleansing oil, baby oil or even olive oil, say experts. Dab the cotton rounds onto the areas with glitter and it should come right off.
Still have some stuck? Try some clear tape, Apply onto glitter then pull off!
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