How to clean up post-Halloween pranks

It’s after miiiiidnight….and something evil’s lurking in the dark….No, we’re not talking the ghouls in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”… Halloween nights can be a lot of fun for the pranksters, but there’s no fun in the aftermath for homeowners who deal with cleaning a home that’s been plastered by eggs, a car slathered in shaving cream, or trees trimmed with toilet paper. 

If you’re one of those unlucky homeowners faced with a horrifying post-Halloween cleanup job, here are a few tips on how to effectively clean up the mess.


Smashed eggs are bad news because they can corrode paint. If they’ve already dried, soften the mess with a sopping wet hot cloth that’s been dipped in a 50-50 mix of water and white vinegar. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes then gently wipe it off. If there are any egg shells, delicately pick them off first to avoid scratches.

Shaving cream

That foam may be kind to your skin, but it’s a killer on painted surfaces. If you catch the cream when it’s still wet, a pressure washer can blast it off. But if it’s dry, don’t scrape; dampen the shaving cream to soften, then wash the area with dish soap.

Toilet paper

If you wake up to find that your house has been toilet-papered, check the weather report. If it’s a dry day, wait until the dew has evaporated before you start cleaning, since the TP is less likely to shred into pieces. If it’s rainy and damp start as soon as possible to clean up and prevent the shredding from getting worse.

To gather the paper without damaging your trees, use a rake or broom to gently comb over the branches; a leaf blower can also help you clear twigs without damaging them.

But ultimately, curb your odds of a post-Halloween cleanup completely by turning on your porch lights and keep them on all night on Halloween. After all, pranksters prefer to do their dirty work in the dark.